Street Sleeper is an innovative new project based in Cape Town, South Africa. Using a combination of ingenuity and clever design, Street Sleeper are working to tackle challenges faced by homeless people. The first of these being shelter from the elements. To combat this, Street Sleeper are upcycling old PVC billboards into survival sleeping bags. Once destined for the landfill, these upcycled sleeping bags now provide shelter from the cold and rain.
From billboard to bag
Street Sleeper set out to create a durable, urban sleeping bag that would stand up to the harsh Cape Town winter. As part of their design requirements, they also wanted to source the material in a sustainable way. Upcycling PVC billboards was a brilliant solution as this material cannot be recycled in a traditional way. Repurposing the PVC into urban sleeping bags allows the waterproof material to be reused to its advantage.
Other clever design features of the Street Sleeper sleeping bags include that they are large enough to store valuables and can also double as a daytime backpack.
Aside from the creative use of PVC, we also love that the Street Sleeper sleeping bags create local employment. In the process of being transformed from billboard to sleeping bag, unemployed people are paid to wash and cut the PVC. The sewing is done in conjunction with local community projects.
Gifting a Street Sleeper bag is easy and costs R150, less than $15. As you can see by the diagram below, Street Sleeper are very transparent about where the donated money goes.
The bags are distributed through feeding centres in Cape Town’s CBD, such as The Service Dining Room in Canterbury Street.
Click here to gift a bag.
Thank you for the tip Kerry! If you have a upcycled article suggestion please email us at upwhat [at] upcyclethat [dot] com