Hend Riad & Mariam Hazem
FOUNDERS, REFORM STUDIO
With the world on the brink of a climate catastrophe, sustainability in our everyday lives is a constant conversation and question. Especially when it comes to plastic. Hend Riad and Mariam Hazem, the Cairo-based duo behind Reform Studio, understand the need to turn one of mankind’s most damaging materials into reusable items that we not only need to buy, but want to buy. Created in 2012, Reform Studio turns plastic into into a material they call “Plastex,” which is then used to design beautiful and practical items from backpacks to rugs.
The process of turning plastic bags and recycled cotton threads to make luxury home and lifestyle products can oftentimes be cheaper than just recycling a bag, the duo explained in an interview with Design Indaba. And by using a weaving technique to intertwine the plastic bags and threads, Reform is also helping to restore Egypt’s weaving industry. “The feeling of responsibility towards serving our society and environment, gave us the motivation to solve one of the major problems in Egypt; waste,” they told Design Indaba. “We started to deal with waste as a raw material trying to transform its negative impact into a more positive one.”
What’s next for these environmental heroes? A collaboration with IKEA; the first African collection by 10 designers that will be launched in March 2019.