Buro Tries: Making an upcycled pouch with Biji-biji Initiative

Waste not


By Rachel Au

Buro Tries: Making an upcycled pouch with Biji-biji Initiative

The Buro 24/7 Malaysia team had a month-long discovery on sustainability and all the areas it encompasses. From vegetable-tanned leather to going plastic-free for a week to searching the best luxe eco-resorts for our next (green) escape in Asia, it truly opened our eyes and has become one of the things we truly stand for. Did you know Buro 24/7 founder Miroslava Duma has recently launched Fashion Tech Lab as well? Hence, all these tidbits aside, we decided to learn more about upcycling through one of Malaysia’s amazing social enterprises, Biji-biji Initiative.


One of the organisation’s first prominent projects was giving safety belts a second life instead of having it contribute to waste piles. You’ll be surprised at what a sturdy material it can be to create bags with a sleek finish. Biji-biji has since gone on to set up art installations, create inventions, and host workshops — all from waste materials. For example, they’ve made a Bicycle Juicer, a hamster wheel, an art installation from cut-out Mountain Dew bottles, and more. While all those are great, they’d take too long of a time for us to join in for one Buro Tries session so we decided to join a workshop: Making an upcycled pouch from felt.


The felt material is sourced from event planners, as we’re told, who usually use it for one occasion and subsequently discarded. Biji-biji has contacted some of these people to form a partnership where they will take these waste materials and turn them into products such as a laptop bag or a pouch. For the latter, it’s really easy to do at home. Watch the video below to find out how:

For more info on Biji-biji Initiative, its workshops, projects and products for sale, visit their website, Facebook or InstagramThis video was shot at the new Black Milk Project Studio which hosts its own workshops and opens its space to rent.


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