Trochet is performing vital 21st century alchemy. Instead of turning lead into gold, the woman-led start-up is turning discarded plastic bags into lovely useful objects.
As the number of humans on the planet tops 7 billion, durable waste is becoming both one of our biggest products and an ever-larger problem—and the KSA is no exception. Enter Trochet, whose name combines “trash” and “crochet”. Like its name, Trochet’s creations are ingenious hybrids that create new value out of unlikely combinations.
The process starts with combing littered parks, streets and beaches for stray plastic bags. These are carefully washed, cut into strips, and hand-crocheted into all manner of alluring products from colorful beanbag chairs to yoga matts. And by employing creative underprivileged and disabled women to create them, Trochet also makes a dent in Saudi Arabia’s 86% female unemployment rate.
After winning first place at Harvard’s Arab Week, the start-up attended a month-long accelerator program at PITME in Silicon Valley, and has just launched a campaign to acquire its own production space. “We need your support,” says co-founder Diana Rayan, “to build a factory for all of us and develop our community.”