ELEPHBO: Sustainable fashion made from cement bags

Every year, huge amounts of empty plastic cement sacks end up in nature in Cambodia. The Swiss label ELEPHBO takes this on and transforms it into cool sneakers, bags, backpacks and caps .

In Europe, cement sacks are mostly made of pure paper and can therefore be disposed of with waste paper.

Not so in Cambodia: Due to the high humidity, these are made of a robust, waterproof plastic (polypropylene), which is not recyclable and therefore ends up in nature and persists. To solve this problem, ELEPHBO comes into play.

Cool prints

When ELEPHBO founder Nicolas Huxley traveled through Cambodia in 2012, he noticed the many bags of cement that were thrown away. But not only negative. "The amount of waste was frightening," recalls Nicolas. "But I found the typical prints on the bags very cool."

Huxley had his first visions of recycled bags with the cool prints while he was still there. He collected some sacks himself and brought them back to Switzerland. Together with a designer, he developed the first ELEPHBO product line: weekenders made from cement sacks from Cambodia.

Cement bags become fashion

Today the range of the Zurich label consists of many cool unique pieces.

Backpacks and bags, caps and sneakers, card holders and toilet bags: they are all made from recycled cement sacks from Cambodia with the eye-catching prints . Incidentally, the prints have not been printed, but are originals from the construction companies themselves.

Employees on site collect these, wash, dry and cut them before they are passed on for processing. Is produced to fair and transparent conditions directly in Cambodia itself or a small family studio in Bosnia.

Why we are fans of ELEPHBO

Not only the products from ELEPHBO are pretty cool, but also the sustainability ideas of the whole brand.

On Demand Orders

ELEPHBO products that aren't made from cement bags are only made to order, like their bath towels and cell phone cases. So there is no surplus.

CO₂ compensation

ELEPHBO calculates how many CO₂ emissions the manufacture of a product has caused and compensates for this with a donation to a drinking water project in Cambodia. The aim is to provide 1.7 million people with clean drinking water through a subsidized ceramic water filter system.

social influence 

For the production of its products, ELEPHBO guarantees safe and fairly paid jobs in Cambodia, especially for women and socially disadvantaged people, and also monitors its partners and supporters accordingly.

This is how you care for and clean your ELEPHBO products

bags and backpacks

It usually helps if you remove the dirt with a damp cloth. Then dry the wet spot. If the dirt is stubborn, you can tear off a corner of a bluu cleaning strip , dissolve it in water, dip a cloth and use it to wipe clean.


If the sneakers need to be cleaned inside, you can use saddle soap. Rub it in until it foams. Then you can remove everything with a damp cloth and let the shoes dry well.

To clean the outside, use a damp cloth first.

If that doesn't help, bluu can be used again: dissolve bluu wash strips in warm water, dip a cloth in and use it to work on the sneakers.

You can find more about ELEPHBO and their recycled unique pieces here .

You can find out more about cleaning sneakers on our blog .

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