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  • Upcycling Raffia Sacks

    Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

    Ortigueira is a small municipality (about 24,000) in the rural interior of the southern Brazilian state of Paraná (PR), about 200 kilometers from the state capital.  Until recently it was perhaps best known as the city with lowest human development index (HDI)* ranking for the state.
    Now it’s becoming known as a center of an innovative […]

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    Trash Photos XVI: Furniture Made with PET Bottles

    Sunday, April 26th, 2009

    Back in January I posted about making furniture made from scrap tires that serves not only to “upcycle” (as my friend Leila insists I call it!) waste but also to help unemployed or low-income Brazilians earn income.  At the time I intended to post a week or two later about similar projects involving furniture made […]

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    Trash Photos XV: Clothes and Accessories from Trash

    Sunday, January 18th, 2009

    Two years ago I did a post about a conference of catadores (waste pickers) in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, that featured a “fashion show” of clothing made from recovered materials, including a dress made from used calling cards.
    The Brazilians are nothing if not creative.  There are now several who spend much time dreaming up clothing […]

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