Ala Hilu, a Palestinian entrepreneur has been working in upcycling and reuse of waste since 2013. While the idea of reusing waste is not necessarily new, Ala takes a daring approach of focusing on the necessity of producing items that are in demand rather than simply producing artistic items which display that trash could be repurposed. In the early start of Resign, Ala launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to obtain the machinery required to achieve his production goals. Our team shares a common vision with Ala which is to garner cooperation and mutual support to the achievement of as many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as possible. Through his work he has focused on the importance of gender equality and providing skill development opportunities for women (SDG 5), improving general health in his province by converting trash to usable products (SDG 3), responsible consumption via challenging the main stream concept of waste (SDG 12), climate action via reducing demand for raw materials (SDG 13), and inviting international and local volunteers to contribute to his work to foster partnerships towards sustainable development (SDG 17).
Given Ala’s success story and his deep understanding of the linkages between environmental sustainability, economic development and social justice we decided to partner with him as his work can represent an ideal case for sustainable development cooperation between German businesses in Baden-Württemberg and a developing country, Palestine. Ala is passionate about creating eyeglasses frames from waste wood, metals and plastics which would require CNC machinery and an export partnership with some opticians in Baden-Württemberg. Glasses frames are equally important and useful for people living in the Global South and the Global North, they also can have a profitable value chain for multiple partners. Ala has the skills needed to produce eyewear and can easily obtain the “waste” input required to produce them. The main reason he has not produced eyewear so far is his need for machinery which exceeds his budget. OneLife is currently working towards finding and facilitating the needed partnerships for Ala in Germany. Below are some photos of his handmade upcycled products which serve as an example of his highly skilled workmanship. Please feel free to visit the featured link below to learn more about his work and successes so far.
Please feel free to contact our project representative (Mr. Saji Zagha: firstname.lastname@example.org ) about any partnership opportunities for Resign.