Adejoke Lasisi: Makes a school bag from 250 used water sachets

Adejoke Lasisi: Makes a school bag from 250 used water sachets. She does it as a way to recycle and get rid of waste in her location.

Adejoke Lasisi is in her early 30s and comes from a traditional, middle-class family of weavers in Ibadan. Beginning from age nine, she started weaving the popular aso-òfì, a material made from cotton threads, woven traditionally by the Yorùbá people.

Now, she has converted her craft to free her home city of some of its waste load. In Nigeria, “pure water” sachets that have been thrown away are small, rectangular sachets of drinking water made from a nylon – are common in roads and gutters.

“I start to pick them up,” she says. “I also try to think of what I could create with them.

“People always complain about the pure water sachets littered all over the place. I figured that it would be great to make these nylon sachets into colorful outfits.”

She has now perfected the art of combining weaving wool with nylon. Doing this requires a five-step process before the sachets transform into eye-catching products such as purses, bags, slippers, artwork, mats, and more.

First, Lasisi searches for nylon by picking up sachets from the streets and collecting imperfect sachets thrown away from water processing machines. She says the nylon used in manufacturing pure water sachets has two advantages: It is the right texture for weaving and is essentially a neutral color, meaning it is easy to dye.

“After sorting, we wash the material thoroughly and disinfect it, after which we dry it in the sun. The whole process takes three days. Once dried, we shred the material with scissors into thread-like strands. Then, we can begin to weave them on the loom.”

One of her most popular products is a school bag made from 10 percent òfì and 90 percent nylon and recycles 250 water sachets.

Since Lasisi started Planet3R, her for-profit business, in 2020, she has also partnered with different organizations and won several grants in Nigeria and overseas to train young people in the art.

 “I hope that other young people will be able to save the environment with their hands too. The more wantrepreneurs we have, the cleaner our environment becomes.”

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