The social enterprise making ethical bags from recycled plastic.

A pioneering recycling project in Morocco combines contemporary fashion design, environmental protection, sustainable development and women’s empowerment.

Plastic bags have proliferated for a long time in the peri-urban areas of Morocco, becoming an unavoidable symbol of pollution.

When I was a teenager, the landscape of plastic bags surrounding my village, as far as the eye could see, had a major impact on me,” says Faïza Hajji, a Télécom Bretagne graduate in France and president of Morocco’s Docteur Fatiha Association (ADF). “So I came up with the idea for a project during a competition of the French CCE [French Trade Advisors], in the international category.

In 2006, two years after the competition, Ms. Hajji used the association to create the social enterprise Ifassen (”hands” in local dialect) in Berkane, her hometown in northeastern Morocco. Since then, the brand has recycled more than 56,000 plastic bags and given birth to three artisan women cooperatives, and it continues to grow and improve.

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