Plastic Pamsakula - recycled robes from trash

The Chek Daeng monastery in Thailand, under the inspired leadership of their Abbot, Phra Maha Pranom, have taken the idea of rag robes and updated it for our current age, using plastic bottles to produce polymer thread that becomes robe cloth. In the process, they have become leaders in recycling and are now a mini industry, producing other products such as building materials.



A decade or two ago I was at a convention. One table was selling sweaters made from recycled plastic bottles. I can’t remember the price, but it was mind numbingly expensive.
I wonder how economical his process is and if it also generates pollution.

When I was a student I couldn’t afford meditation cushions. I used couch cushions for several years that I salvaged from a neighbor’s trash. I got an amazing amount of good experiences using them.

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Bhante I saw this a year or two ago. Not sure if you’ve ever worn a synthetic top layer, they’re not breathable so I imagine it would be similar.

Not comfortable because of the lack of breathability of a natural fiber like cotton, wool or bamboo etc.

It would be really hot wearing synthetics especially in a country like Thailand or anywhere humid.


Yes I am not a fan of pure polyester fabric either :hot_face: but in the video they mention it is mixed with cotton to create a poly-cotton thread - which I guess would be like many other fabrics which people regularly wear.


Yeah, most of our robes are some kind of cotton, but I actually like my synthetic angsa: it dries faster and doesn’t get moldy as easily


that’s true Bhante, that’s the one of the advantages of synthetics, they dry really quick :grinning:

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Bundanoon is the climate for this scheme! We could weave thermals.

I found this scheme and this monk very inspiring. Great to see a monastery taking responsibility for the environment and upskilling locals.

Every Vesak and Kathina I am the one picking through the rubbish to find and clean all recyclables but slowly I’ve become jaded that even if I sort and clean them well they are not going to get processed. This story hasn’t helped :frowning:


I wear boardshorts everyday made out of recycled plastic bottles, but only when I go to the beach. They are definitely too hot to spend my day wearing them, plus they give a skin rash with prolonged use. Now, its 1.48pm, 32C, and I’m wearing cotton shorts. Possibly the best solution is to stop the use of plastic bottles. :surfing_man:

I recall the generous Thai people packaged the daily alms food in small plastic bags (tied with elastic band) when offering to the bhikkhus. :saluting_face:

More pamsakula here

This is where the worlds’ op-shop rejects go to be sold or die.

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