Hello Everyone! I am a design researcher in a new design studio based in Egypt called Reform Studio. We design a range of furniture using a material we’ve created out of plastic bags called Plastex. We gather used plastic bags from our community of Reformers. Then we sort, sterilize, cut, spin and weave them on a traditional Egyptian handloom. Egypt currently doesnt produce any biodegredable bags, so all these plastic bags we use for an average of just 12 min end up in landfills accumilating everyday without proper decomposition, or maybe a sheep’s or a fish’s lunch, or cloging drains and streams! We’ve reused 4,730 plastic bags so far, which otherwise would have been aimlessly flying somewhere on the streets of Cairo. You can find more about what we do and how you can get involved on our website:

Here is how you can help!

If you are in Egypt you can join our Reformers Community by filling up this form!

If you are outside Egypt then spread the word and share our awesome projects with your friends!! :slight_smile:



Hi Dina , welcome to Edgeryders :slight_smile:

I remember seeing your work in Furnex and I liked it alot actually , I have some questions regarding Reform

what was the obstacles you faced in establishing this? like u weave the plastex on a traditional Egyptian handlom so who actually do this work ? Egyptian craftsmen or some women that looks for a day job ?

and the reform community who donates the plastic bags to which “community” in Egypt do they belong El Ma’ady or El zamalek for example or is it a more diverse community  ? and what do u think could be possible to introduce this culture of "recyling " to a wider commuinty ?

also I remember u where 3 in Furnex how did u move forward with the idea to make Reform and how do u manage the work ?

sorry for these so maney questions but it is actually a very interesting project :slight_smile:


Hello Hazem! There are many stages before weaving the plastic bags. We hired porfessional weavers for the weaving part, but the cutting and the spinning of the material is done by housewives who are searching for extra income. The sorting of the plastic bags is currently done by volunteers, and we are still working on systemizing the gathering of the plastic bags, we are open for any suggestions or collaborations! Right now we gather plastic bags from friends and family from different parts of Cairo but we are working on expanding our community of Reformers, so we are thinking of making gathering points in different unis, or co-working places, and so on, and in the future we’ll have door to door gatherers.

Reform is founded by Hend Riad and Mariam Hazem, two of the designers from Furnex. As for your last question, I guess we are learning this along the way :slight_smile:

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“Egypt currently doesnt produce any biodegredable bags” -wow, learning new things every day.

Thanks for the inspiration Dina, I think it’s wonderful that you are using your skills to fix a pretty clear cut issue. And the designs seem beautiful, congrats for the awards as well, peeked into the website for a couple of minutes.  @Vahagn and his crowd in Armenia are using unused bicycle chains or teabags to create objects and jewelry - here’s a sample of what apparently is upcycling. and the lamp made of teabags below. Quite impressive and apparently so easy to make! Looking forward to stay in touch, thanks again for this!

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Interesting! Thanks @noemi for sharing!

keep going forward

it’s good to hear that u have both professionals and housewives involved in the process . can I ask how many housewives till now invovled in this .and do u work with any CBO or only people u know from ur network

actually there was an initiative about recycling paper - I don;t know what’s happening with them now - they were working with people from the "garabage city "

u can check their website I am trying to get into contact with them

and I think trying to get this project more sustainable at some point u will need not to depend on volunteers but for this scale its really good that u already have volunteers who support this recycling cause :slight_smile:

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We are still at the early beginging so we don’t have the capacity to hire a lot of people that’s why we are relying on volunteers right now for the sorting, but definetly yes, as one of our goal is to increase work opportunities acrosss Egypt. No we are open to any collaboration with any CBO or other entities. Thanks for the link!

btw I find the website a bit confusing and I’ve been recieveing email notifications to threads I haven’t subscribed to even after cancelling all my email notifications! Plus I recieve each email twice!

is the notification still on ?

I see u only have notifications on the caring for commons and this post ,

for the twice email notification may be @Alberto or @Matthias could help .

for now till it’s fixed u can creat a folder at ur email where every notification can come to this folder :slight_smile: as a temporary solution

also may be u find this topic interesting about waste managment in Egypt or take alook at what happens in Georgia now


Hi Hazem, I was receiving notifications from the Armenia workshop but haven’t received anything recently. Yea I’ve been reading the caring for commons posts, interesting topics, and very interesting people, would be awesome to get to meet everyone!

Where do you get the plastic bags from? Can we donate them?


yes the plastic bags are donated, we currently receive them from our small network of friends and family, but we are currently in the process of systemising the gathering process and expanding our community.

If you wish to join our community, you can fill up this form and we’ll get in touch with you shortly. 

What a great project!

Morocco has a similar problem  - plastic bags are everywhere in the nature, there is no garbage separation process and you get plastic bags every time you shop. It’s hard to explain to shopkeepers why you do not need the plastic bag even if you have your own bag, they still will insist to put things in plastic bags first…Moroccan women in the High Atlas mountains are weaving carpets with recycled plastic bags(used for rice and other grains/flour) so I’m sure they can use the small plastic bags too if they were taught how.

Just found this website of 2 Belgian girls who source Moroccan boucherouite rugs made by local women in Mhamid. Maybe you can contact them and they can visit you and learn the method you are using to teach it to Moroccans too?

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

Is this still going?

@dina, we have not heard from you recently… is the project still live?