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Innovative Recycling: Green Drinks December Forum at Arup

In this day and age, what was originally thought of as the non-recyclable can now be recycled. More and more products outside of the realms of paper, plastic, glass, etc., has a means of being reused. While this may seem like environmental progression, it has become increasingly challenging to find the most efficient, cost-effective, low pollution methods and technologies to be able to process these unused products.


Because most products are not designed to be recycled today, a great deal of energy is required to reprocess materials for re-use. Generally, this energy comes from non-renewable fossil fuel sources that pollute the air and landscape, or from nuclear power plants that produce radioactive waste. Byproduct emissions from current recycling operations often release hazardous wastes into the environment.


In this forum we will explore the latest technologies being created to tackle these issues and aid in making any unused product imaginable fully recyclable. We will also feature or discuss stories of designers who are ‘upcycling’ to create unique products from waste in unique ways.


Bunny Yan
Subject: Presentation will focus on the world of ‘new garbage’, upcycling, and how industrial waste or defected goods that do not meet quality standards set for the original product may be used as primary materials in making different products. Talk also briefly discuss the possibility of linking designers and factories to create new items that will be beneficial for both parties.
Background: Bunny has over a decade of design experience; initially received her degree in Fashion Design and has been head designer/design director for leading apparel brands in US. An accidental discovery while visiting a garment factory sparked her interest in design with pre-consumer waste which led her to open the first up-cycle design shop in China. Now one year later 'the Squirrelz' up-cycle design shop is the retail shop for over 2 dozen different up-cycle designers, recycle brands and social enterprises.

Ally Qin
Subject: Through this talk Ally will talk about how her organization, Netspring, is turning electronic waste (mainly computers) as a useful resource to impart education to underprivileged kids in various parts of China.
Background: Qin Ying (Ally) worked with Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell for over fourteen years, with a focus on marketing development experience. Ally is also very fond of kids, and managed to turn her interests and passion into a professional career by joining the "Netspring Green IT Classroom” program as the Project Manager and Marketing Manager in early 2013. Ally graduated from the Shanghai University with a major in Computer Science. She also has an educational background in Pre-school Education and Applied Psychology (Marketing) .

Monique Maissan
Through her presentation titled 'Making Recycled Plastic Bottles the New Standard of Good Practice in the Textile Industry’, Monique will further touch upon the textile industry background, what her company does [differently], and how they are making a [positive] impact.
Background: Monique is a China-based Dutch entrepreneur, specializing in high quality woven and knitted garments. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Textile Engineering from Amsterdam Poly-tech University Institute, and has over 20 years of experience in the textile industry. Monique is the driving force behind Vision Textiles, Waste2Wear, and Waste2Weave. Vision Textiles was founded in Shanghai in 1998 and has evolved from a wholesale trader to a manufacturer, with the acquisition of a wholly owned factory, which opened in 2011. Vision Textiles began to grow rapidly after founding its own brand dedicated to school uniforms called SchoolCampusStuff® in 2006.
Vision Textiles has a liaison office in Tirupur, India, opened a JV factory in Coimbatore, India in 2012, and has opened sales offices in USA (2012), Malaysia (2013), and Europe (2014). A new branch in Singapore is scheduled to open in early 2015. Monique has won the “Enterprising Women of the Year” award in 2012, in the United States, and currently resides in Shanghai with her two children.

Waste2Wear® and Waste2Weave: Eco-friendly Fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles. This special process involves turning environmentally damaging waste into useable, sustainable yarns. The recycled yarns are then combined with natural fibers to be woven or knitted into 100% eco-friendly fabrics, suitable for garments, home ware, and accessories.