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Abject Object Recycles Shoes and Puts Women Back on Their Feet

A new initiative by Project H Design in Los Angeles uses waste from TOMS Shoes and puts homeless women to work.

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Non-profit Project H Design now consists of nine chapters of designers worldwide who are working to improve the well-being of local residents (we covered its Hippo Roller project in our Designers Accord series). In 2009, the group’s Los Angeles chapter launched Abject Object, an initiative where designers work with women at the Downtown Women’s Shelter to produce products like pocketed scarves and hammocks which convert into bags that can be utilized by the homeless, but are also functional and fashionable enough to be worm by everyone else. This week, Abject Object also announced the Rag Rug, a new collaboration with TOMs Shoes that reuses parts of unsellable canvas shoes.

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After more than a year in development, the products will hit the market in limited numbers in the upcoming weeks, with proceeds paying the women artisans directly. A exhibition of the products and design process opens tomorrow night with a fundraiser at L.A.-based Artecnica.

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About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato

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