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Recycled Vietnamese Rice Bags With A Cause

by Elke Erschfeld

During a recent weekend trip to the North Fork of Long Island I was intrigued by a store with the sign “where every day is earth day”. The store Jet’s Dream is located on Main Street in Greenport and offers many eco-friendly finds that range from natural beauty products, soy candles, organic bedding, to recycled handbags. One of their greenest products is an entire collection of bags made from recycled Vietnamese rice bags by Malia Designs. All designs are not only environmentally friendly but socially conscious as well since every purchase supports the fight against human trafficking.

The recycled feedbag collection consists of more than twenty designs like computer bags, diaper bags, shopping bags, cosmetic bags and even yoga bags. Every style has many color options to choose from with unique lettering and illustrations. Originally the colorful bags were used to house a grain that is fed to farmed fish in Vietnam. As a result the bags reflect a nice mix of Eastern and Western design philosophies. Nowadays, the eco-friendly bags are great for everyday use like running errands or shopping for groceries with their lightweight, durable, and water-resistant material. They make distinctive travel or beach accessories as well.

All products by Malia Designs are made under Fair Trade conditions, which ensures a fair and livable wage for workers under safe working environments. The production of the bags creates an economic opportunity for women in Cambodia through their crafts as opposed to being lured by potential traffickers that promise jobs outside their home villages. According to Malia Design’s website, Cambodia has the highest incidence of sexual exploitation of woman and children in the world and is an easy target for traffickers. By purchasing the bags you can support organizations that fight human trafficking in South East Asia such as Damnok Toek in Cambodia and CAASE in Chicago. The recycled rice bags by Malia Design’s are a great gift for yourself and others while creating awareness for a cause in style.

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