Given our concern about the way in which advertising banners and other similar materials were disposed of once they had been used, we asked the San Sebastián Environmental Council to donate these materials to us so that we could recycle them and turn them into fashion products and accessories. Not only did we therefore come up with an alternative way of properly managng waste, but we also offered a way of creating social and environmental value using our social enterprises.
The project was received very positively, and it managed to receive enough funding so that work on the project could begin and that the project could develop in a small workshop.
SINdesperdicio is an initiative that helps to close the materials lifecycle. It collects materials that are sent to waste sites and it gives them a new lease of life by using social upcycling.
Whenever a town council or any other organisation uses PVC banners to advertise an event/activity, they often do not need these banners after a certain date. Once they do not need them any more, we initiate the logistical process and ensure that these banners reach our small workshop that is found in the heart of Gipuzkoa (Arrasate). We then wash the banners which environmentally-friendly products and then we turn them into fashion products (hand bags, shoulder bags, wallets), accessories and office supplies. Each product is carefully hand-made and follows a 'slow philosophy'. This is how we make unique, one-off products that come with great social value.
SINdesperdicio directly employs one person whose sole job is to manufacture its products. Another person is in charge of coming up with new designs and occassionally helps to manufacture the products. Another person is in charge of marketing, and they often receive additional support from interns who are university students. There are also a number of administrative staff who deal with billing issues.
Mainly town councils, museums and cultural organisations, media agencies, print shops and essentially any organisation that uses advertising banners.
We are also looking to collaborate with new designers.
Keep on educating the public about recycling using tangible initiatives.
We need to have more designs and streamline our production process so that we can be more competitive. It is vital, however, that we stay true to our values and the brand that identifies us: local, sustainable, fashionable, environmentally-friendly and based on solidarity.
We have managed to get in contact with collectives and organisations that were not aware of the work that we do because they work in a different sector. I think that our products are a tangible way for people to fully understand what the circular economy entails from a solidarity economy perspective: recycling, social integration and protecting the environment.
Our work is a life philosophy that is rooted in being able to give products and materials, which have served their purpose, a second life and turn them into SINdesperdicio products.
We mainly work with PVC, but we could also use other materials such as rubber and fabric off-cuts.
We need to be able to work on the story-telling side of the product, and give out the message that we are doing something that is different and has a high level of added value. It would also be worthwhile to have the support of a cultural reference point that could act as a lever and open up the solidarity economy to people who do not know about the wide range of products that it offers