Blue Recycled Plastic Wastebasket - Lantern Shape Measures: 16-1/2" high x 15" dia.
SPEED Trust Artisan Story - Recycled Baskets
SPEED Trust (Slum People Education & Economic Development), is a non-profit organization based in Chennai, India. The organization supports, socio-economically deprived women from the urban slum areas of Chennai. SPEED Trust partnered with Baladarshan, a fair trade network of organizations which supports various women craft producers, organizations and cooperatives working towards creating better livelihood opportunities, self-sustainability and a platform for their products.
SPEED Trust was started in 1999 at Gandhi Nagar Sathyayani Muthu Nagar, one of the largest slum areas in Chennai. The project began with a tailoring training to teenage girls from the slum community, who after a period of one year, were provided with a sewing machine by the trust. Simultaneously, SPEED Trust also set up educational programs which have helped women and girls to choose different occupations and livelihood options.
In 2002, SPEED Trust began training the physically challenged and HIV affected members from the community in the skill of basket weaving, these members were either unable to move or find work opportunities outside their homes. These unique baskets were woven out of recycled plastic (Polyethylene) wires. Apart from these magnificent baskets, the artisans at Speed Trust make several other interesting products which include, bags and aprons from salvaged billboards and hand-rolled insence and cones. The trust now runs a production unit and a showroom by the name of Varnajalam in Chennai, where they carry an array of handmade products by these women artisans.
Today SPEED Trust has been able to expand its reach, not only in the domestic, but also the in the international market. Apart from providing vocational and educational training to women and girls from the slum community, SPEED trust also gives micro-credit loans to these artisans. The loan facility helps in making them independent and their businesses self-sustainable.
This recycled plastic basket has been handmade in India using bright strands of salvaged plastic, which are created by remelting recycled plastic bottles and other bits of plastic waste. Besides helping keep Chennai's streets and slums clean, this basket can be used as laundry basket or as a wastebasket and creates work for female slumdwellers in Chennai's largest slum.
Every morning a group of women from the slums of Chennai search through piles of industrial waste, anything that can be salvaged ranging from metal, plastic, paper, cloth etc. The recyclable wastes are then sold to respective factories or recycle plants, where the waste is re-created into pipes, tubes, window frames, plastic sheets, adhesive tapes and insulation wires.
A similar process makes the plastic wires for these beautiful, hands woven totes and baskets. Available in an array of colors, the SPEED Trust - Varnajalam cooperative buys these recycled plastic wires which are used by the artisans to weave into these beautiful articles.
First amongst those trained in this craft at SPEED Trust was Revathi. Suffering from terminal blindness, today Revathi is the master trainer for new women members at SPEED Trust. The artisans engaged in making these bags are slum dwellers and physically challenged, who have the choice to work from home, without having to move out of their houses. The plastic wire basket project has helped women artisans from SPEED Trust to create a sustainable livelihood. They use the income generated from this activity to educate their children, health needs and other basic requirements for themselves and their families. The benefit of buying these bags is that it benefits marginalized women. Not just the weavers, but also the rag pickers who saved your bottle from the landfill.