PAGIR is an organisation for economic and social inclusion based in Leh, Ladakh some 11,500 feet above sea level in the Himalayas. Nothing is manufactured there, everything has to be brought in. It is a favourite place for tourists as it is a city in a high, barren and often extremely cold desert with a fascinating ethnic mix of peoples and influences from the pale of Persian Muslims to the ruddy complexioned tribal Buddhists and much in between.
But being a pristine high desert there is a desperate need to make sure that it stays environmentally unpolluted. PAGIR is committed to that and looks all the time at ways to prevent harmful waste and to reuse, up-cycle and use up leftovers.
PAGIR also has a commitment to find employment for some of it’s members who have disabilities and they match the two causes. There is a ban on plastic bags in Leh so people with disabilities make paper bags and cloth bags from tailors waste for the grocery shops. MESH Design team have encouraged them with designs for small purses, hair bands and other small accessories using the same waste from the tailors' shops in the town.
Now the charm with this use of leftovers or up-cyling is the uniqueness of each product. A batch of hair bands will come in a wonderful assortment of colours, whatever off-cuts the tailors had left over. MESH showed the PAGIR tailors how to make them reversible so you can have floral and plain, stripy and floral and each one different.
MESH would really like our export buyers to consider buying some of these items and so in the recent workshop MESH design team showed PAGIR tailors how to select a set of blues or a set of reds in the hope that the export buyers, nervous about too much variety might at least go for an order by colour.
In this case surely the charm lies in the variety, but with two fantastic bonuses:- work for people with disabilities and a little less waste to spoil the beauty of that wonderful high desert. What a great deal that is!