Christmas Gifts with a Cause: SICA Upcycling Design

I am starting off the holiday season! This year I am not posting any “gift guides” as I did last year, but I decided to rather share some stories of companys that I admire for what they do to inspire you to gift christmas gifts with a cause this year!

I will also be sharing a few other posts which are christmas gift inspirations in the broader sense… so there will be a lot coming up in the coming weeks. More or less all products that I am sharing in these posts to come are pr samples that have been send to me to test and try. However, it was me asking for most of these products. So I was doing my research first, looking for brands that I want to support and then asking them for samples and then decided to blog about them or not. So none of these posts is “bought” and, just on a sidenote, I am not getting paid for any of them. Just wanted to say this in advance for everyone to know ūüôā

But now, lets start with the first one of this little series: SICA UP

I have been visiting Simone in her small atelier in Berlin Friedrichshain some two weeks ago. I actually got to know her sometime early this year on a market in Berlin. We have been exchanging emails ever since, and I have been blogging about one of her beautiful bags this summer (you can find the post here).

It was a real pleasure to finally get the chance to meet Simone again and to have some Brasilian tea together, all while talking about her story, her collection of accessoires, and her partners in Bangladesh. I loved visiting her in her small atelier which really is the cutest little place I have seen in a while.

Born in Brazil, Simone founded SICA in 2006, a label that focuses in diverting textile waste from landfill back into the hands of its same industry makers. From the very start of the label she has been applying social approaches and re-utilising textile waste. She then made her Masters in 2012 to develop further her work with SICA regarding sustainability. Topics such as resource waste, life cycle of a product and poor working standards were in her focus.

I find the idea of using the waste of the fast fashion industry to create something unique and beautiful really inspiring. It is actually Simone’s goal to create zero waste products, using all the left overs, all while carefully considering the energy used through each products process.

Simone has been to Bangladesh four times in the past four years; there she is collaborating with skilled craftspeople to both support them as individuals within a fair working environment and to help preserve their traditional craft.

Now one could ask: why Bangladesh? Simone is actually from Brazil, however, she decided to work with women in Bangladesh for a variety of reason:

  • Bangladesh is one of the most overpopulated countries in the world, with¬†almost the same population as Brazil yet they are 59 times smaller.
  • Bangladesh is home to¬†over 5000 textile factories and is the second largest global exporter of garments after China.
  • Yet today it still struggles to¬†implement and maintain environmental and social standards within its industry.

The importance of the industry is clear as it employs more than 3 million people and is a large contributor towards the country’s economy. Accounting for more than 80 percent of Bangladesh’s global exports.

Since, around 8% of garment production goes into waste, Simone found that it was time for a change! Imagine; some of the largest factories in Bangladesh can produce around 1.5 tons of waste daily!

Simone wants to transform this waste into beautiful accessoires. SICA offers on the one hand beautiful bags, laptop cases, and even bicycle bags, on the other hand you can find everything but everyday carpets and table runners.

Feel free to visit Simone’s webshop here: SICA upcycling design

I find that especially the laptop cases (see picture above) and the carpets and table runners make a really beautiful gift for both women and men.

Would you agree? If so, why not supporting a really great project by gifting some SICA accessoires – to yourself or to others ūüėČ

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