Recycle: After successfully weaving an enterprise from plastic waste, members of Dewathang Zero Waste group in Samdrupjongkhar have taken up tailoring to enhance their income.

The group requested the Samdrupjongkhar Initiative, SJI, a civil society organization, to arrange a tailoring training for them to learn the craft of stitching bags from both plastic waste and fabrics.

The members decided it was time to diversify their products because their recycled products are not selling as much as it used to when it hit the market.

One of the members, Choki, 30, said the products were popular in the beginning but the market was waning. “We usually weave with plastics to make bags, but the stitching was done by SJI officials, so we thought it was time we also learn to stitch.”

Another member, Dechen Tshomo, 27, said that if they had to sustain the tshogpa, they had to do something more.

The members recently completed a ten-day intensive basic tailoring and they are hopeful that they would be able to use their new skills.

“It has not only helped us learn stitching but also to turn old fabrics into different products,” a member said.

SJI’s administrative officer Cheku said such trainings would help them strategize the market and produce more. The Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts helped trained the members.

Yangchen C Rinzin