SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 11, April 2016 - Page 118

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TORRAIN recycled bags from Cambodia

The story began in the rural farmlands of Cambodia where a local lady decided to take action in her community. Farmers were not only living in poverty, but also in a toxic environment. This woman noticed that pesticides and solid waste used for the growing and shipping of cement, fish feed and other products were piling up and not being disposed of properly. She began purchasing the discarded materials from the communities and recycling it. She then employed local families to wash, dry and sew the materials into durable, water resistant and colorful tote bags.

In 2009, while visiting a night market in Cambodia, Nyla Jano noticed the recycled materials and met the wonderful Cambodian woman. They discussed the opportunity for Nyla to design her own products which, the artisans would then produce in the comfort of their communities. Upon learning the backstory of the artisans and the recycled materials, Nyla became inspired to create TORRAIN; a company that contributes to Cambodian artisans’ well being while encouraging style with a global conscience.

Since the onset of TORRAIN, Nyla has developed relationships with more artisans in Cambodia and is now employing communities who have been displaced from their farmlands or affected by landmines or polio. Nyla's designs are ever-evolving and she is currently developing a US-made line of recycled bags as well.

torrain.org

118 - SEVENSEAS