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How to care for our planet and people too!

Sustainability has been a hot topic the past several years as we become aware of how our purchases and lifestyle choices impact us, our neighbor, and the world we call home. With sustainability, we talk about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations. The concept of sustainability comprises three main areas: economic, environmental, and social—also known informally as profits, planet, and people.

In all countries around the world how to dispose of waste in a sustainable way is a real challenge but especially in developing countries like the Philippines where they don’t have the economic means to do so. 

What are single-use plastics and why the need to recycle? 

Due to the economic realities in this part of the world, companies produce smaller quantities of products to make them more affordable for the millions of people living at or below the poverty line.  There are tons of single use plastics for almost every type of consumable item for sale. The consumer can then purchase the everyday items such as coffee, tea, milk, or laundry detergent for that day or week until they have enough money to buy more.

The problem with having so much waste like this is that it doesn’t break down in the landfills, instead it creates a huge problem of disposal containment due to the amount of packaging produced in combination with the lack of recycling methods or current facilities available. 

How could we be a part of the solution? 

Led initially by the need for job creation in the most economically depressed communities in Manila, the government taught groups of people living in some of the squatter communities how to use these plastics as a material to create bags and wallets. Not only did women now have a means to earn a fair wage for her craft but it made a small dent in the problem of single use plastics disposal.

As the women perfected their craft, they began to have challenges on how to access enough wrappers to sustain their small business and market their products within their own country. On a trip to facilitate two women’s retreats in 2014, I met amazing people working with the women weavers and other communities living in dire this poverty.  There I met my current partners, Ghie and Dess, who invited me to go into the impoverished communities to meet the women and children they were serving.

My heart began to stir when I saw the amazing handmade items and learned that the women didn’t have a market for their products.

Later, I found out that the workers had been praying for a market for the weavers. Looking back on this day, the nudge, that seemed to come out of nowhere came upon me, to try and sell their products at a fair wage. This surely must have been an answer to that prayer of the workers. 

What is SORA Products waste / sustainability footprint? 

What began as a way to provide a needed job for a family has become so much more. SORA Products is now a Fair Trade sustainable fashion accessories brand that not only provides sustainable income stream for the women artisans but also provides a zero waste product that cares for our environment as well. We are doing our part in the efforts to break decades of generational poverty in our partner communities while providing sustainable products for the fashion marketplace and caring for our world that we call home. 

We take pride in knowing that the only environmental footprint that our products have is a zipper and some nylon thread, with the rest of the materials being over 200-800 strips of upcycled beverage plastics per bag depending on the size!