CuCilento: turning by-products into shopping bags

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CuCilento (which can be understood to mean both "Sew slowly" and "Sew in Cilento", the region in Campania, Italy, where this activity is established) is an innovative business project designed by Sarah Khoudja as part of the EU's Empowering Women in Agrifood programme led by the Future Food Institute.

Set up in October 2022, Cucilento is an upcycling workshop which processes agricultural by-products and other materials (boat sails, factory scraps, etc.) classified as waste and turns them into net or fabric bags that can be used for food packaging or shopping. 

Through upcycling, CuCilento reduces the amount of waste which ends up in landfills or incinerators and makes people think about the issues involved when they buy something.

CuCilento achieves this goal in two ways:

  • it provides a sustainable alternative that limits or eliminates the plastics and bioplastics which are part and parcel of buying and storing food 
  • it supports local economies through a widespread workshop model where people who are isolated or in a difficult situation can work from home and become financially independent.

Textile bag Sisi

In future, CuCilento aims to expand its range of products and activities in order to limit textile and raw material waste, enable people to earn an income and develop skills by investing in the local community and its members.

Main results
  • Setting up 4 small shops in Rome, Salerno and Naples
  • About EUR 10 000 earned in 7 months of work