Billboards: A Second Life

Secours populaire français Speed TrustWhether you’re looking for the perfect gift for your teen or want to treat yourself to exclusive recycled bags and wallets that make a statement, our collection of billboard accessories is just for you.

Billboards are widely used as part of any urban landscape. Serving as an essential advertising tool for everything from cosmetics to cinema, apart from advertising, they make for a very useful housing material for slum dwellers in India.  They are used to cover the slum roofs, especially during the monsoons. These impermeable sheets help protect from harsh weather conditions.

Billboards are one of the most produced industrial wastes with the shortest span of use. Billboards are very harmful for the environment, especially when disposed into landfills, where they take several years to decompose while releasing toxic waste that mixes with the soil and ground water.9800-Recycled-Billboard-Tablet-Shoulder-Bags-Ipad-Case-India-Fair-Trade-Speed-Trust

Our artisan partners in India realized another innovative way to reuse these large vinyl sheets. They started making them into utility products such as bags, totes, wallets and backpacks. Used or rejected billboard sheets are taken from several salvage or scrap shops in the city, where they have been sold by either rag-pickers or companies who do not need them anymore.

9804-Recycled-Billboard-Tablet-Shoulder-Bags-Ipad-Case-India-Fair-Trade-Speed-TrustA great example of products that were given “a second life” are these Billboard Tablet Carriers from India. They are perfect for the office, home, or when you’re on the go. They come in a variety of vivid colors and prints and are sure to stand out. Made with discarded or rejected billboards and are lined with 100% cotton fabrics. Each perfectly fits an iPad with an outer case; this allows you to throw your tablet computer over your shoulder with an added layer of padding and water resistance. Opens with one Velcro flap and has a shoulder strap for convenience. Choosing a present for your teen is a hard task, but we just made it easier. 8838-Recycled-Billboard-Backpack-Speed-Trust-India-Fair-Trade

This Recycled Billboard Backpack combines functionality with fun vivid designs.  Each includes one outer zipper pocket and adjustable strings at the back.  Perfect for a picnic, day trip or just a routine day at school, your kids are sure to love them and so would you.

These Coin Purses are also made from recycled billboards, and are a great way to support the environment. Discarded and rejected billboards are collected from scrap shops around the city and converted into these innovative, utility products by female artisans from in India. Each includes one stuff pocket and one zipper pocket and comes in a set of 5 coin purses. Your teens will love the bright colors; you will love the durability and the eco-friendly component. Like all of our items, these billboard items are fair trade imported and support educational programs and vocational training to build communities and give opportunity to those in need.

8880-Recycled-Billboard-Coin-Pouch-Wallet-Speed-Trust-India-Fair-TradeThe artisans that use this “green” technology come from an organization called SPEED Trust (Slum People Education & Economic Development), is a non-profit based in Chennai, India. The organization supports, socio-economically deprived women from the urban slum areas of Chennai. SPEED Trust partnered with Baladarshan, a fair trade network of organizations which supports various women craft producers, organizations and cooperatives working towards creating better livelihood opportunities, self-sustainability and a platform for their products.

SPEED Trust was started in 1999 at Gandhi Nagar Sathyayani Muthu Nagar, one of the largest slum areas in Chennai. The project began with a tailoring training to teenage girls from the slum 9049-Speed-Trust-Billboard-Textile-Artisancommunity, who after a period of one year, were provided with a sewing machine by the trust. Simultaneously, SPEED Trust also set up educational programs which have helped women and girls to choose different occupations and livelihood options.

Today SPEED Trust has been able to expand its reach, not only in the domestic, but also the in the international market. Apart from providing vocational and educational training to women and girls from the slum community, SPEED trust also gives micro-credit loans to these artisans. The loan facility helps in making them independent and their businesses self-sustainable.

These unique billboard accessories are durable, eco-friendly, and creative: everything you need for a perfect present that will last. Kids and teens will appreciate the design, you will appreciate the cause!

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