Cebu City, Philippines, has a large waste problem. Every day, tons of unsorted waste ends up in landfills. The city wants to get rid of the landfills but currently has no alternatives. Some districts try to reduce waste by focusing on composting waste. Others make products from waste. Councilor Hon. Nida Cabrera challenged Product Designer Sep Verboom to innovate the recycle programs in Barangay Luz by creating a new recycled product out of local waste materials.
Sep Verboom partnered with social environmentalist Hon. Nida Cabrera to innovate the waste management in Cebu City. Old fans are purchased in junkshops and are combined with traditional weavings by local craftsmen.
Every product is made by hand, each with its own great story. From mirrors to poofs, it is obvious that those fans deserve a second live.
Implementing creativity trainings to maximize the involvement of the local community. Working side by side the people, leads to ownership. Improved and approved by the residents. Afterwards, locals are inspired by the possibilities. Making Fantasized a sustainable long lasting project. The project had a twofold objective: creating environmental awareness and supporting the residents in their livelihood.
Fantasized will not solve all the problems in the world, but it shows that we need to cooperate, inspire and be creative. All together.
Our main question: How is this project economically possible?
to get an answer to our question we decided to contact the designer Sep Verboom himself, and ended up having a casual Skype conversation with him.
so here is a little summery of the interview:
It took him two years to even start the project. He first wanted to start his own little company and arrange everything by himself, but that didn’t work out quite well. He had to deal with starters issues and a lot of paper work.
So he partnered with this little local company in the Philippines. The company had a lot of experience with for instance shipping, efficiency, and quality checks.
The biggest expenses were the tickets and the vaccinations. In the Philippines he stayed at a hosting family, who are like real family now, and that saved a lot of money. Life is way cheaper compared to Belgium. And he also mentioned that the people with less money are in a better position to be creative and think creative.
He also gave us a little sneak peak of his next project, which is also going to take place in the Philippines called: ROPEhope.
the answer to our question:
He mainly invested his own money, for the tickets and vaccinations. After his product was a big succes he started to get recognition for his work and even ended up winning the Dutch eco design award ( that covered part of his expenses). Now he has some investors to help finance his next project.
So to financially be able to cover the costs of such an project it is very important to promote your project.
He also told us that his collaboration with indiegogo ( known as the largest global fundraising site, they help individuals, businesses, and non- profits raise money online—to make any idea a reality through crowd funding)
was a complete failure.