Indonesia is facing a serious challenge managing municipal solid waste (MSW), with levels of MSW rising with an increasing population and economic development, though lacking an effective strategy in treating and sanitizing the resulting landfill [Manuwar, 2014]. On February the 11th 2014, Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment (MoE) publicized plans to simplify current industrial waste laws with new and effective regulatory framework, and at the same time comply with stricter waste management standards [GBG Indonesia, 2014]. As the government begins to seriously address and find solutions to the waste crisis, progress begins on a smaller local level, and small design solutions are popping up to address the issue.
[All Images courtesy of http://www.ffrash.com ]
One such design solution is Ffrash, a design initiative, which produces sustainable, high quality furniture and interior products from local trash. The Dutch/Indonesian design initiative partnered with Kampus Daikonia Modern (KDM) to educate street children in innovative design processes, which turn waste into high-quality interior products. The company is entirely not for profit, and has multiple sponsors such as The Intercontinental and The Kingdom of the Netherlands. This allows all profits to be invested back into the company, and train more disadvantaged youths in sustainable practices, hopefully for generations to come. The company addresses three key factors in its design practice – economic growth, environmental issues, and poverty – which allows for sustainability both now and in the future.
In October 2012, 25 students were preselected from KDM and other shelter organizations to begin Ffrash training, and were taught product design, focusing on creativity, manual skills and independence. After a round of interviews the first group of artisans were selected. In January 2013, a new group of junior artisans were selected from former street-children, both groups becoming senior artisans in early 2014. This cycle of development creates sustainability on a basic ground level, where as these young people learn invaluable skills to gain both independence and stability, they are able to pass these skills on to the next group of willing participants, as is the case in Ffrash, where senior artisans now teach the next generations. By embracing children from any disadvantaged background, the company aims to help break the poverty cycle, which can only be done by providing education and skills.
Each collection is designed by a different, well-known Dutch designer, and is available for sale online and in three stores in Indonesia, and one in Amsterdam. The products showcase innovative and sustainable design at its finest, and include a clock and stool made out of bottlecaps, which have been smoothed over to create a dynamic speckling of colours, and up-cycled denim that has been shredded and re-woven to create textured pillows. Each design is made more exceptional by the sustainable and innovative practices that created it, which not only works towards ecological sustainability within Indonesia, but also betters the lives of talented locals in disadvantaged situations.
Rotteveel, J., 2013, Ffrash Project Transforms Trash Into Recycled Furnishings in Indonesia, Inhabitat, viewed 26 April, <http://inhabitat.com/ffrash-project-transforms-trash-into-recycled-furnishings-in-indonesia/ >
Manuwar, E., 2015, Injury Time for Indonesian Landfills, Waste Management World, viewed 26 April, <http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/print/volume-14/issue-2/features/injury-time-for-indonesian-landfills.html >
GBG Indonesia, 2014, Sweeping Opportunities in Indonesia’s Waste Management Industry, Global Business Guide Indonesia, viewed 26 April, <http://www.gbgindonesia.com/en/main/business_updates/2014/upd_sweeping_opportunities_in_indonesia_s_waste_management_industry.php >
Ffrash, 2015, Ffrash: then trash became Ffrash, viewed 26 April, <http://www.ffrash.com/ >