To explain their approach, Luc Van Hoeckel shares that “as designers, we often focus on creating technical and aesthetically pleasing products without necessarily considering the real needs of people. But by shifting our mindset towards social design and human-centered design, we begin to truly grasp the needs of people and the communities we aim to serve. The world doesn’t need more products. Instead, we need to focus on what are the needs of the people that we’re designing for.”
By leveraging Super Local’s expertise in social and human-centered design, our partnership seeks to minimize the environmental impact of tourism waste in the Everest region by converting plastic waste into upcycled souvenirs and reducing the pressure of waste pollution in the Khumbu region and its surrounding communities.
Waste to Product initiative: repurposing of HDPE bottle caps in the Everest region
Waste to Product is a Sagarmatha Next initiative to convert waste from the Everest region into upcycled high-quality products. In our efforts, we have found innovative ways to repurpose HDPE plastic bottle caps that often go overlooked in the waste management process.
Super Local team, during their research, discovered that on the Everest Base Camp trek a typical hiker drinks about 38 bottles of water. Unlike water bottles, HDPE bottle caps fail to find their way into industrial recycling facilities. To address this, we established a plastic upcycling workshop at moware lab in Kathmandu where the collected HDPE bottle caps from the Himalayas are transformed into upcycled products.
Super Local and collaboration with the women-led moware team at the moware lab
At the moware lab located in Kathmandu, there is a convergence of creativity, craftsmanship, and environmental consciousness. Super Local team conducted a training program with the local team of moware design to transfer the know-how of upcycling waste.
Luc expresses “Nepal possesses diverse crafts, such as woodcraft, ceramics, and textiles. However, working with plastic is akin to exploring a new craft. Previously, plastic was primarily associated with industrial processes. But through upcycling, where plastic caps are carefully cleaned, melted, injected, and enhanced with additional new elements, it becomes a craft in its own right.”
During the workshops, the women at moware design were trained in the upcycling process. By elevating waste into meticulously crafted products, they are also inspired to reimagine waste as a resource with untapped potential.
Moware lab host training workshop for anyone interested in learning the upcycling process and make their own product. Please get in touch if you would like to book a spot.
"From the Himalayas" collection
The Himalayan stones are inspired by the mani stones that one can find along the trekking trails in the Khumbu region. Many visitors at the Sagarmatha National Park take a little stone as a reminder of the trip, which is discouraged. Every stone belongs in nature! With the Himalayan stones, we offer people the opportunity of taking a stone back home as a memory, but one made from the plastic that was once taken up to the mountains. This way visitors have a beautiful reminder of their trip while contributing to clean up their own waste.
The stones come in vibrant colours and are named after three passes of the Khumbu region – Renjo-La Pass, Cho-La Pass, and Kongma-La Pass and are made of 8, 10, and 17 bottle caps respectively.
Get your order here.