- Title: Trash to riches: Palestinian designer fashions clothing from recycled rubbish
- Date: 2nd October 2019
- Summary: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PALESTINIAN FASHION DESIGNER, MAHA SHALTAF, SHOWING PIECES OF RECYCLED METAL BOTTLE CAPS USED TO DECORATE TRADITIONAL DRESS RECYCLED METAL BOTTLE CAPS DECORATING DESIGN HANDS OF SHALTAF SEEN PICKING CRUSHED METAL BOTTLE CAPS FROM PLASTIC BAG (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN FASHION DESIGNER, MAHA SHALTAF, SAYING: "I drew the design this way and sewed them on the dress this way. I used the same technique with the Abaya, the colour of the satin fabric works well with the colour of the bottle caps. Here at the back of the Abaya, I put the metal caps in a way that looks like liras (coins)." SHALTAF USING SCISSORS TO CUT FABRIC SHALTAF PICKING UP PIN VARIOUS OF SHALTAF WORKING WITH SEWING MACHINE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN FASHION DESIGNER, MAHA SHALTAF, SAYING: "The beginning was when I used to wear jeans to school, we would buy two pairs for the whole year. So in order to use the pants more, outside of school, it would wear out around the knees. So I collected discarded jeans pockets to cover the worn-out area around the knees, and added some stitches around it so the design looks neat and beautiful." VARIOUS OF TRASH VARIOUS OF SHALTAF COLLECTING METAL CAPS FROM TRASH (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN FASHION DESIGNER, MAHA SHALTAF, SAYING: "It took me a month to collect these small caps. And after I collected them, it took me some time to hammer them and in order to make them look like the golden lira (coin) in a way that would be suitable to put on the dresses because I can't put them on the dresses with their original look." BASKET FILLED WITH EMBROIDERY BRACELETS SHALTAF SHOWING PRODUCT TO CLIENT DESIGN ON PAPER VARIOUS OF SHALTAF SHOWING DESIGNS TO CLIENT, ZINA SALMAN DRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CLIENT, ZINA SALMAN SAYING: "I like recycling a lot, everything at my home is recycled including glass and plastic. When I found out that she recycles clothes, I found it really nice. I started to bring old clothes to her and she gives them a makeover and I managed to have recycled clothes as well through Maha." VARIOUS OF SHALTAF SHOWING DESIGN MADE OF CHIPS BAGS AND NEWSPAPERS VARIOUS OF SHALTAF SHOWING DESIGN MADE OF SEVERAL OTHER DRESSES
- Embargoed: 16th October 2019 14:12
- Keywords: Recycling Fashion Palestinian fashion designer Recycling in Ramallah Palestinians
- Location: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- City: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Fashion
- Reuters ID: LVA001AZENK9H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Sifting through crumpled soda cans along a dusty road in the occupied West Bank, Maha Shaltaf sees fashion value in the discarded metal: it will be the centrepiece of her next dress.
The 55-year-old fashion designer recycles metal caps and rings into mock gold coins and sequins, using the roadside items to patch up worn-out jeans and even add layers to traditional Palestinian dresses and gowns.
"It took me a month to collect these small lids," Shaltaf said while poring over bolts of colourful fabric in her Ramallah studio. She says she dented each lid with a hammer to make them look like gold coins, which are common in Palestinian couture.
"I can't put them on the dresses with their original look," Shaltaf said.
Shaltaf says she hopes to do her part in cleaning up her city by recycling thrown-out newspapers and plastic bags into clothing, which has piqued the interest of clients looking for eco-friendly fashion options.
"When I found out that she recycles clothes, I found it really nice. I started to bring old clothes to her," said Zina Salman, one of Shatlaf's several dozen clients who says she recycles glass and plastic on her own at home.
Many Palestinians complain of litter-ridden streets, poor waste management systems and few recycling options in the West Bank, a territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Trash heaps left to rot by the roadside are often burned, which the World Bank says leads to "toxic air pollution".
(Production: Roleen Tafakji, Saed Hawari, Rami Ayyub)
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