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Upcycled Life Jackets

Greek Volunteers are Turning Refugees' Vests Into Temporary Shelters & More

— December 29, 2015 — Social Good
With huge numbers of Syrian refugees seeking sanctuary via the seas, an incredible amount of life jackets are being discarded, and not reused as temporary shelters.

According to a UN Refugee Agency report, more than 660,000 refugees from the Middle East and Africa have arrived in Greece, including the 630 mile-long island of Lesbos which sees at least 3000 new arrivals daily. Mountains of life vests, rubber rafts and clothing have been left behind. Enterprising volunteers like Jai Mexis have decided the best use for the discarded items is to recycle them into products that will in turn help these migrants.

Mexis is now designing handbags, backpacks, rain coats and calenders to sell. He hopes to also construct temporary shelters and provide job opportunities.
Trend Themes
1. Upcycled Fashion - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Create a sustainable fashion brand that upcycles discarded materials like life jackets into stylish products.
2. Social Entrepreneurship - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Start a social enterprise that addresses the refugee crisis by repurposing and selling discarded items to generate income and create job opportunities.
3. Circular Economy - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Develop a circular economy model that focuses on repurposing and reusing discarded resources, such as life jackets, to reduce waste and promote sustainability.
Industry Implications
1. Fashion and Apparel - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Collaborate with designers and manufacturers in the fashion industry to create upcycled products using materials like discarded life jackets.
2. Social Impact - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Engage in social entrepreneurship initiatives that actively address social challenges, such as the refugee crisis, by repurposing discarded items and providing job opportunities.
3. Environmental Sustainability - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Promote environmental sustainability by developing innovative solutions that repurpose and recycle materials like life jackets to reduce waste and contribute to a circular economy.
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