Tara Hopkins (Season 01 - Episode 07)
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This Week's Changemaker; Tara Hopkins Empowers Women While Protecting the Environment


On 15 November 2009 Sabanci Foundation's "Turkey's Changemakers" program hosts Tara Hopkins who developed a project to create usable and fun bags from recycled materials. While creating awareness about the environment, each bag creates a sustainable income for the woman making them.


Tara Hopkins, an American who has been living in Turkey for 19 years. Despite the fact that she cannot speak the local language fluently, she still managed to make a difference in women's lives while contributing to environmental protection in Turkey. She developed a project called "Cop (m)adam" (Garbage Lady) which transforms waste material into vendible, creative, reproducible and fun handbags. A commonly overlooked group of people, women, were involved in the production process. While the handbags provide women who craft and produce them with a regular income, they also encourage people who buy these handbags to rethink about recycling.


Tara Hopkins officially launched this project in August 2008. Since then, the "Garbage Lady" project has produced 1.100 handbags out of packaging waste/materials and 500 out of fabric and nylon bags.


"Garbage Lady" currently has 150 women employees in various provinces such as Balikesir, Istanbul and Diyarbakir.


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