The Cambodians are expert recyclers. You often see people collecting plastic bottles and even sorting through rubbish bins to grab them. In the markets you see lots of stalls selling bags like these:
You can get any type of bag, from shopping tote to holdall to handbag, pencil cases and even wallets made from these bags. The ones from market stalls seem to be mainly made from cement bags made in Thailand. Whilst the material used to sew these bags is strong (it must be to hold cement!) I’m not sure as to how strong the sewing that holds it together would be. As most of my blog readers are crafters they, like I know how the quality of stitching can make a difference to the strength of an object.
If I had the cash I would like to buy a bag from here:
Bloom source a wide range of high quality, strong materials and they are all made by just 10 women. Their bags are lovely and a lot more unique than the ones on market stalls:
I admire what bloom is doing, as clearly do some others including body shop who awarded them a grant in 2009, which they turned down as they want to be self supporting. That, to me, is a great aim as I believe too many people become dependant on handouts and then struggle when they are removed. In my opinion (and this is my blog after all!) whilst grants etc can appear to support things in the short term, long term progress is not always made. This is the reason Bloom is not a NGO. I commend Bloom and all that they aim to do.
Already being over the baggage allowance for our flights means I can’t do any big shopping I did buy something tiny from Bloom, that links nicely with what I’ve previously got. I will blog about my Siem Reap purchases (some of which were crafty!) soon.