05 Dec 2016
Bethlehem, Palestine
Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Waste Management

What can upcycling and design do to help tackle the trash crisis? What emerges when creativity comes in to solve a problem as big as environmental pollution? This Palestinian designer from Bethlehem had a different perspective about the environmental problems riddling his city and had his own innovative way to resolve them.

Alaa’Eddeen Hilu saw a potential in the trash that littered his city. Unlike some designers who rarely take the environment into consideration when conceiving their project, Alaa is one of the rare sustainable designers in his city.

In fact, preserving the environment and taking waste out of the streets were Hilu’s main concerns and those led him to develop methods of upcycling trash and ultimately, creating resign.

Launched in 2013, Resign is a fusion between design and upcycling.

Its productions may not look like the typical regular products we purchase, but they certainly are ecologically-friendly. Whether it is glass, wood, plastic, or metal, Hilu always made use of what would be otherwise unused material by finding a way to mould it into a useful and stunning piece of art, for a daily use or decoration.

Together with members of its community, Resign was able to create gardens out of upcycled material, trash hydroponic systems, kindergarten equipments, and home furniture.

One of the most remarkable movements that resign took part of, was the “all women” team supported by Hilu. Nine women from Al Walajeh village worked together towards beautifying their gardens out of upcycled materials, building swings for the children and making benches and chairs for adults.


“Resign had the chance to be present in many events during the past few years. We conducted several trainings and workshops for many participants and fans at Resign's workshop and at other organizations. ”

Alaa’Eddeen Hilu, Founder of Resign
The green project making cool stuff from trash | The Switchers

With only a modest backyard workshop and a lot of determination, Hilu was able to create a difference in his community.  Armed with his imagination and design skills, he set out to bring about a change thanks to which, people of all ages are more aware of the importance of recycling today and are visibly willing to be more involved in the workshops that Resign organizes.

Kids, women, and volunteers are getting together to participate in various projects such as the”Dragoness Lucy” project where a group of volunteers and kids helped in making a lovely Dragoness called Lucy during the Bethlehem live Festival.

Resign is not merely an artistic enterprise, but also a service to the city. Such an initiative pushes other creative individuals to take arms against pollution.

Even those without the skills for design were brought about and taught to join the rest.

Resign was just an ambitious vision that Alaa had before turning it into the first professional green project for recycling and quality design products with a high level of artistry in Bethlehem.

It has made variety, creativity and art the prominent features of its social movement of creating beautiful and artsy products and furniture while involving people in its activities. Reaching its community not only by upcycling design but also by promoting recycling culture among its community members.

“Spreading information is our main investment, and knowledge of upcycling is the true product we can make,”Alaa’Eddeen Hilu, Founder of Resign
The green project making cool stuff from trash | The Switchers

Images by : Ala’a Eddeen Hilu, Andrea Mic and Katja Volkenant

Resign for upcycling Palestine Upcycling design