Earning money from trash- Story 1: New life of pano advertising

  1. ”The revolution” of reuse

I myself conduct a spirit of protecting the environment regularly and soon recognized that there are various tips provided without practicability. Therefore, I hardly put my faith in reusing until seeing panos made by my colleague. I realized I was wrong. Reusing has now become more realistic. 

2. A new life of old banners

To satisfy my curiosity, I met Ms. Huong who creates the pano bags. I was given a tour of Ms. Huong’s house where many items like old banners, cloths and unfinished bags display. She considers her house as a recycling workshop.

A pen box made out of advertising banners and old clothes.

Bringing her to this job was the meetings organized by the Women’s Union of Ha Long City and GreenHub. These working sections are in framework of the project to promote the reduction of plastic and to introduce methods of reusing plastic waste. With her entrepreneurial spirit and demand to change her career, after approaching the way to reuse advertising banners, she immediately started to implement her new business. However, things are not as easy as they seem. On average, each product requires about 4 days to 1 week to be released.

Collecting old banners outside is the first step. In the beginning, the Ha Long Women’s Union enthusiastically assisted her in making contact with the units that have old banners and fabric. They are willing to give her things when knowing her meaningful purpose in creating eco-products. The next step is pre-treat clothes and Panos. The recycled materials require more effort to wash, dry, cut, etc than buying brand new ones. On average, wrinkled old banners and clothes take 3-5 days to be straightened.

Collected cloths pre-treated by Ms. Huong 

Next is the fabric cutting stage. Workers need to make the most of fabric pieces. “Acting environmentally by as little as possible” – she said. Then overlapped  the pieces of cloth on the pieces of banners and cut.

Ms. Huong guides her daughter to measure and cut old banner pieces.

The final is the finishing stage. Each worker can accomplish one bag per day. Color scheming is problematic, not to mention complete the product. As a result of owning a shipyard, she gets used to woods, nails and machines. But it gets more challenging when it comes to color scheming and size measuring.    

Entire process is implemented manually. 

3. The future plans

Witnessing she’s in the middle of clothes and banners, I could not bury my deep respect for her. She is hard to make a living but always eager to learn and overcome life’s challenges. When I asked, she expressed her demand to approach art and tailoring, aiming to create more sophisticated products. She also wants to find sustainable output which can generate income and be a cornerstone for the development of her products. 

Square bags made out of advertising banners and old cloths.

To buy these meaningful products, you can go to Ha Khau Ward, Ha Long City, or contact Ms. Huong at 036 282 3428

As a companion, GreenHub facilitates the enhancement of businesses by providing help from the capacity improvement to conducting ideas. Hopefully in the future stages, there will always be a companion of people who pay attention to the environment.

Activities to support women in starting their business with recycling products are part of the project “Building a “Plastic Action Network” and Linkages with Government, local businesses, Youth and Women to Reduce- Reuse-Recycle (3Rs) Plastic Waste in Vietnam (PAN) which is implemented by GreenHub and funded by the Coca Cola Global Fund.