Craft cooperatives, also known as social enterprises, are now finding new means to empower members of their communities to earn money.
“Escama Studio”, which means fish scales in Portuguese, is a Brazilian craft cooperative offering women in the ‘satellite cities’ of Brasília business practices in hand production of bags using recycled aluminum pulltabs as main raw material.
The craftswomen receive business training and are fairly paid for their piecework with a price set by the cooperative. Escama’s purses are as ethical and eco-friendly as they are made entirely from recycled materials – some of the bags uses over 700 aluminum pull-tabs recycled from soda cans in Brazil. Each piece comes with a hang tag bearing the signature of the person who made it. On their website the artist profiles and picture are made available to the public, where you could leave a message to the artist. In addition, Escama donates 3 percent of gross annual sales directly back to the cooperatives.
The majority of the beverage cans’ pulltabs used in the production of the eco-friendly handbags are made of aluminium (75 percent). Another more rare material used to produce pulltabs is tin-plated steel, which accounts for the rest of the worldwide production of pulltabs (25 percent). These pulltabs are known as “stay-on-tab”, invented by Ermal Fraze and Omar Brown. The “stay-on-tab” version features the “easy-open ecology end” which replaced old plain lids (known as shells) in order to reduce injuries and roadside litter caused by removable tabs. The mechanism uses a separate tab attached to the upper surface as a lever to depress a scored part of the lid, which folds underneath the top of the can and out of the way of the resulting opening.
Worldwide production for all beverage cans is approximately 475 billion cans per year worldwide, 100 billion per year in the US, 52 billion per year in Europe, growing about 3 percent annually. Recycling the aluminum pulltabs is definitely a clever and very creative way that actually makes you feel like you are doing something positive for the planet.
Shanghai Metal Corporation does not take any part in the handbag purchase. We are proud of initiatives such as Escama Studio as an empowering cooperative bringing hope and happiness to the community and the society as a whole.
Shanghai Metal Corporation offers a wide array of aluminum sheet (aluminum plate) used in the production of beverage can, caps and ring-pull. For our full list of products that we offer check out our website here. Be sure to join the conversation in our LinkedIn group, Facebook, and Twitter. Try also our new mobile application by scanning the QR code below.
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Sources: inhabitat.com, Wikipedia
Camilla G.//SMC Editor