Upcycling and design studio

Social Challenge 

Marginalized laborers faced inequality in accessing job opportunities due to their low level of education and discrimination. According to the General Statistics Office of Viet Nam, the number of unemployed people of working age in 2022 is nearly 1.07 million. This increased unemployment means that most potential social workforce is not associated with economic activity,which is a waste of social labor. While the government budget and the financial resources of families are very limited. 

In addition, the business aims to make the best of recycled waste due to the overconsumption of plastic, clothes, etc. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of VietNam, the amount of plastic waste is still very high, which is a  “burden” for the environment. Every year, the amount of domestic solid waste is 25 million tons, but only 30% is burned and reused as organic fertilizer. The amount of plastic waste and plastic bags account for about 8%-12%, increasing yearly. 

Solution Idea

A social business model that employs marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, refugees or low-income individuals, and specializes in turning discarded materials such as furniture, home decor, and clothing, textiles etc into high-quality, functional design products. The studio could also offer custom design services, creating unique products tailored to the needs and preferences of individual clients. The products could be sold online, at markets or events, or in a physical store.

To promote education on sustainable manufacturing practice and creative reuse of materials, the studio would be open to the public with weekly upcycling workshops or workshops at market fairs or community festivals and classes on upcycling and sustainable design, providing the tools and skills for customers to create their own upcycled products. 

The marginalized groups would also be involved in the collection, sorting and processing of recyclable materials. The studio would provide training and skills development for its workers, helping them to acquire new skills and knowledge related to design, manufacturing, and sales.