India has been a renowned for its fine metalwork products for centuries. The skill and technique that emerged from this region is historically influential. But since the cost of metals has skyrocketed in recent years, many skilled metal workers have been left without means of sustainable income.
Noah’s Ark International works with artisans to design and produce marketable products using recycled materials, including bicycle chains, a low-cost alternative to costly metal. Because bicycles are the most common form of transportation in India, bike chains are easy to come by.
Samuel Masih identified the opportunity to transform these recycled bike chains into something marketable. With the help of fair trade and Ten Thousand Villages, Samuel’s social projects have been successful. These include education programs, health care, and an overall steady workflow for the artisans.
Items such as picture frames, clocks, or key chains take on a modern, even masculine, look—perfect for creating an industrial look in your apartment or house. With trends showing warm greys and blacks as popular accent pieces in home décor, a small tea-light holder made of a bike chain could be exactly the finishing touch that adds a bit of intrigue to the space.
You don’t have to be a cyclist to appreciate that bike chain items are a testament to the resourcefulness of people living in developing countries. Samuel is just one of many who are taking strides to make changes in his homeland. Fair trade supports his efforts for the betterment of underprivileged people.