Energisa Juntos

Sewing stories: a bag full of purpose

Electricians' uniforms gain new life as ecobags through the hands of women from Paraíso do Tocantins

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In the small town of Paraíso, in the interior of Tocantins, a project developed by Apae (Association of Parents and Friends of the Exceptional) is weaving a unique story by transforming retired uniforms of Energisa electricians into sustainable ecobags . The initiative, which has already been featured on Bom Dia Tocantins, has already yielded more than 900 bags and has helped to supplement the income of mothers of students at the school and promote social inclusion.

The project was born with a simple idea: to reuse uniforms that were about to be discarded. 

We decided to donate these materials for transformation into marketable products, generating a new source of income. In this way, we combine the benefits of providing an appropriate and sustainable destination for unused uniforms, while supporting the association's noble cause - explains Leandro Fernandes, Energisa Tocantins' project manager. 

The ecobags are carefully produced by a group of seven women who meet twice a week at Apae to sew and embroider the bags. Amid the threads and fabrics, Margarida Maria de Oliveira Costa, a dedicated teacher, is one of the skilled hands that bring the ecobags to life: 

This project is an opportunity for the mothers of our students to get out of the house for a while, distract themselves and earn some extra money. Only those who are mothers know how tiring the routine is and here they interact and feel more valued - says Margarida.

Ecobag being made on a sewing machine

The ecobag-making project is part of the Women's Paradise program, which began in 2017 and involves mothers, grandmothers and aunts of people with disabilities. Training in cutting and sewing has opened doors for these women to develop, creating a variety of handicrafts that go beyond ecobags, including exchange garbage cans, door weights, school cases, kitchen gloves and other decorative objects.

The project is all sustainable. The uniforms that Energisa no longer needs are used in our handicrafts. The money raised goes to the people who make them and to maintaining the project and the school. It's hard work, but it's done with a lot of joy and care - explains Lucilene Macedo Ribeiro de Souza, coordinator of coordination, projects and fundraising at Apae Paraíso do Tocantins.

Of the more than 900 ecobags made this year, 260 were distributed at the 1st Tocantins Sustainability Forum in November. Those who attended the event and received a copy were delighted with the idea:

Ecobags are extremely important because we no longer use traditional plastic bags on a daily basis. My family has already adopted the use of ecobags to go to the market or do other shopping. Not to mention that we can reuse them for years and help to avoid polluting the environment - comments Renato Klein, journalist and coordinator of the Ecos Program at Sesc Tocantins.

The story of the ecobags in Paraíso do Tocantins is an inspiring example of how creativity and determination can make a difference in the world. This project not only transforms uniforms, but also lives, leaving a positive legacy for the entire community.

The garments that once dressed electricians and commercial assistants throughout Tocantins in their activities now carry a different energy: that of caring for the planet and the people who live on it," adds Fernandes.

Social Project, Training

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