PH leading wireless services provider Smart Communications formally launched a line of high quality and very fashionable hand bags.
Yeah, you have got that right. As a part of their initiatives to provide eco-friendly and sustainable livelihood to its adopted communities, Smart launched a line of hand bags in Boracay, especially made from discarded tarpaulin materials formerly used as their own outdoor advertising.
The bags are designed by the internationally renowned designer PJ Arañador and are under the prestigious label Nautilus. The bags are handcrafted by the residents of the PLDT-Smart Amazing Gawad Kalinga Village in Sooc, Arevalo District in Iloilo City, comprised of 60 households with close to 400 members. This project is one of the outputs of Project Zero – a joint project of Smart, Arañador and Gawad Kalinga.
“We called it Project Zero because it all started with nothing but a stock room full of used tarpaulin billboards and banners,” revealed Arañador. The production of the bags, being handcrafted, requires zero electricity and manages zero waste.
“From creating simple products made from tarpaulin, we are glad that PJ Arañador came and helped us train the community in crafting more marketable, quality products,” said Darwin Flores, Smart’s Senior Manager for Community Partnerships. “It also helped that PJ is a designer and social entrepreneur with environmental conscience because that’s what Smart is pushing for – a sustainable livelihood that’s both pro-planet and pro-people.”
PJ Arañador also conducts series of trainings, aside from bag creation, like baskets, trays and small furnitures made of discarded tarpaulin materials for the residents of GK Sooc, Iloilo. Aside from tarpaulin recycling, Smart is also providing other means of livelihood like crushing tarpaulin to be turned into bricks for building and the creation of useful and decorative clay sculptures. “My ultimate goal is for the GK Sooc community to grow this livelihood to a number followed by so many zeroes,” said Arañador.
The bags are now available at Arañador’s Nautilus Shop at D’Mall in Boracay. They will soon be available in Gawad Kalinga’s GKonomics show rooms in key places across the country.