A start-up in Tunisia gives a second life to old shoes

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At the Kenenti workshop in la Goulette, East of Tunis, artists restore, repair and customize old shoes. The innovative and eco-friendly idea came to the mind of Cherif Zaroui, two years ago when he found out the number of items thrown away each year in his country.

"In Tunisia, there are 3 to 4 million shoes thrown away every year. So we thought of giving added value to these shoes and to restore them.", says 0Chérif Zaroui, Co-founder of Kenenti.

Zaroui and his team use fabrics, laces and leather recovered from various factories. Many of these artists are interns proud to be part of this unique project in Tunisia.

"I learn something almost every day. There's a good atmosphere and it's really like a family. It bothers me when I miss a day. I like being here all the time. We have fun and we work.", says Nephtalie Kalume.

In addition to shoes, these young artists have to ability to bring a second life to worn-out handbags. They give them a brand new look surprising their owners even after years of use. Rada Gabsi is a customer who handed over an old handbag because its colour had faded, she welcomes this business _"_for bags such as mine which are quite expensive, I think it's better to bring them a new life".

Initiatives like this one are also appreciated by environmental organisations. The Environmental News & Data Platform, Earth.org for instance warned approximately 92 million tons of clothes-related waste are discarded in the world each year.

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