Egyptian studio Reform wins the inaugural edition of the Ro Plastic Prize - a contest held globally by Rossana Orlandi. Reform won in the Home Textiles category for their innovative Plastex project, a textile material made of reused plastic.

Ro Plastic Prize, a contest created by world-renowned gallerist and design curator Rossana Orlandi as a part of her ‘Guiltless Plastic’ initiative is aimed at combating the pressing issues of plastic pollution. She strives to change the perception of how plastic can be used, challenging design talent to bring forth ideas on how things can be made responsibly, simultaneously encouraging the next generation of design.

Through her initiatives, Rossana Orlandi aims to further stimulate the sensitivity of individuals on this topic, potentially spurring changes in lifestyle to avoid the abuse of plastic and its incorrect disposal that is actively contaminating both the sea and land.

The competition debuted with four categories encompassing Design, Home Textiles, Packaging Solutions, and Conscious Innovation Projects open to designers of all ages and backgrounds and saw 300 applicants from around the globe who created prototypes of products or textiles made of recycled plastic.

Hend Riad and Mariam Hazem of Reform Studio took home the prize for the ‘Home Textiles’ category for their project Plastex--a line of colourful textiles made of reused plastic bags. The studio incorporates plastic into everyday products such as stools and chairs, thereby realigning the perception of plastic bags as a valuable resource rather than trash.

With the escalating crisis of plastic pollution, Reform studio is focused on the redevelopment of objects. Stressing on the unlimited potential of the material, the duo created threads of fabric made out of a combination of discarded plastic and cotton/polyester threads that can be woven on handlooms.

The firm hopes that not only will this encourage craftsmanship and empower local communities within Egypt but will further the studio's nuanced approach to sustainable and contextual design in the Middle East. NGOs and professional associations in the region are championing those that work at the grassroots level to create awareness, build organizations such as green building councils and empower professionals through education.

The active participation of talent born within the region in global competitions opens doors for more creative solutions that can tackle issues on a global scale and invite collaboration.