Mamajagua was a three-year plastic recycling initiative led by Colombian artist and designer Norma Albarez, in Taganga, north of Colombia. After living many years abroad, Norma returned to her native country and settle in Taganga where she began a project to clean the local beaches from plastic waste. She engaged the help of the fishermen and citizens to collect plastic rubbish from the sea and beach and soon they were overwhelmed by the amount of plastic materials, especially shopping bags, that were collected daily. Inspired by similar initiatives, Norma used the plastic waste to create handmade yarns and Mamajagua was born.

Mamajagua aimed to work with the local indigenous community to develop knitted pieces that showcase the native’s artistry of macramé using handmade yarns from recycled plastics.

The indigenous communities of Wayu and Tayrona from this area had already being using synthetic yarns to create their ancestral hang bags call Mochilas, which originally were made from cotton, wool and flax yarns.

The Mamajagua project set up workshops in Taganga to explore how to developed hand made yarns from recycled plastic bags

The workshops were free and open to a local group of people from a mix background, introducing new designs, the sessions became a hub of knowledge exchange for the community and its visitors. The end product was exhibited in a gallery in New York.