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Recycled Rice Bags: Reducing Waste & Human Trafficking

fair trade, trafficking

Trafficking survivor sewing bags in fair trade workshop.

Among the many beautiful purses sold by Fair Trade Designs, some of the most popular are those made from recycled rice bags.  These colorful and practical purses have changed the lives of hundreds of Southeast Asian women.

StopStart, an international non-profit, trains women rescued from human trafficking in sewing, language, and business skills. The technical skills they’ve gained have enabled many of the women to move onto other jobs or open their own businesses.

Rather than contributing to landfills, rice and feed bags are cleaned and cut into patterns for messenger, overnight, and shoulder bags.  The purses are truly unique because each rice bag has variations in its striking patterns and colors.

One simple idea that turns utilitarian rice bags into charming purses has created productive, healthy and free lives for trafficked women.

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