WHAT WE DO

What is XSProject?

Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, XSProject is a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of poor families living in Jakarta’s trash picker communities.

Indonesia is changing and rural communities are being displaced. People move their families to big cities like Jakarta in search of work. With few financial resources, little education and no documentation, many have found themselves living in over-flowing garbage dumps.

Each day it is estimated there are about 450,000 trash pickers working in this city of 13 million people. They pick through the garbage, exposing themselves to infectious diseases and hazardous waste, looking for anything they can sell. By day's end, their efforts might return around US$4 - barely enough to feed their families.

XSProject works directly with the trash picker families living at the Cirendeu open garbage dump in South Jakarta.

Woman sorting trash for XSProject

Trash Transformed

Woman sorting trash in Jakarta

What is upcycling?

Upcycling is an eco-friendly process that takes recycling to the next level! By adding value to waste materials they can be re-purposed to offer better environmental outcomes and even better quality than the original product. It's also called "creative re-use".

Where do we source our trash?

XSProject buys non-biodegradable plastic consumer trash from Jakarta's trash picker community. They don't usually pick up this kind of plastic because they can't sell it to a conventional recycler. We also seek corporate donations of waste materials such as used highway billboards, advertising banners, flags and auto upholstery.

Packing trash onto cart in Jakarta
Photo by shaynabellphotography.com
Washing detergent pouches at XSProject

Plastic Pouches: Reborn

80,000 tons of non-biodegradable flexible plastic packaging is manufactured each year in Indonesia. This kind of packaging is used for laundry, dish soap, fabric softener and other cleaning products. XSProject buys this plastic waste from the trash pickers before it reaches the landfills.

It is carefully sorted, washed, and dried in order to safeguard hygiene and quality. When the materials are ready for production, the pouches are cut and sewn into various products. The pouches are often sewn into colorful patch-work patterns to create larger pieces. We work hard to ensure our finished products are in good condition and meet our high quality standards.

Billboards: A new message

When a highway billboard sign has reached the end of its life, XSProject collects it and creates unique and durable products. The design, pattern and colors are always different depending on which part of the billboard is used to make the product.

rolled up banner material
Cutting billboard material at XSProject Indonesia

Plastic Bags: Fused and Re-used

Single-use plastic bags exact a heavy toll on the environment. They take centuries to degrade and clog landfills. XSProject saves these bags from entering a landfill.

After careful washing, the plastic bags are layered and a simple heating process is used to fuse several bags together, creating a new, more durable material. This is then crafted into beautiful bags you can use every day.

Fair Trade Guaranteed

XSProject is an active member of the World Fair Trade Organization and we support the 10 Principles of Fair Trade. We have passed an external audit and the organization is accredited as Guaranteed Fair Trade.

XSProject - WFTO Fair Trade Guaranteed
FFTI logo

Take a look at what we make

Customized Products

We offer a wide range of handy off-the-shelf designs, but we are happy to customize products for bulk orders too! If you see a product in the catalog you would like to alter to meet your requirements, let us know. Equally, if you have a product you'd like us to make that isn't in the catalog, we'd love to see how we can help.

Our History

Artist's studio to social business

Begun in 2002, XSProject initially operated as an artist’s experimental studio, using waste collected by trash pickers as the artistic medium. Now it has blossomed into an Indonesian not-for-profit foundation under the name Yayasan XSProject Reguna Kreasi.

In 2007, Retno Hapsari took over as General Manager of XSProject in Jakarta. She is a native of Indonesia and a graduate of Gadjah Mada University in Jogjakarta.

Under Retno's guidance, XSProject began focusing not only on the trash pickers but the welfare of their families and the education of their children.

Sewing XSProject bags
Retno Hapsari in the community

Today, much of her time is spent in the community of trash pickers caring for the needs of both the children and adults. She also manages the workshop where XSProject makes and sells products, utilizing the trash that the pickers depend on to make a living. Retno frequently speaks at workshops focused on finding better ways of recycling and educating Indonesia’s consumers about the social impact that waste has on the environment.

Our office and workshop is located in a house in Jakarta. It is the heart of our day-to-day operations. Raw materials are stored, sorted, washed, and sewn. Here, orders are processed, tours to Cirendeu begin and end, workshops are conducted and medical needs tended to.

Wanting to volunteer or visit?

More stories

New Opportunity for Aminah

September 11, 2018

Aminah is one of the Angels at Cirendeu garbage dump. She was born in Jakarta on 19th August 1983. Her parents have 6 children, both already passed away. Aminah went to school until SMK (Vocational School), she wanted to continue her education but her parents being a trash picker did not have money to pay …

New Opportunity for AminahRead More »

Welcome New Teachers At Jakarta Intercultural School

August 1, 2018

A great event as our products are quite popular at JIS. Special thanks to the school for giving us this oppurtunity to showcase us, and we hope the students and teachers have a great year ahead!

The 2018 Class Is In Session!

July 9, 2018

In Indonesia, the 2018/2019 school year started this month. As we have done for the last 10 years, XSProject arranged for all students living at the Cirendeu trash picker community to have new uniforms, shoes and school supplies purchased with donations from our GlobalGiving supporters. Our Kindergarten class is located at the dump site in …

The 2018 Class Is In Session!Read More »

Graduation with a Future of Possibilities

April 11, 2018

As the school year draws to a close in Indonesia, four Grade 12 students in the XSEducation program are preparing to graduate. Three students are hoping for a chance to attend college in September. To be accepted, they need to pass the exams. Then it’s all about choosing a college and studying hard. Ardiansyah (Ardi) …

Graduation with a Future of PossibilitiesRead More »

The Best Gift: a Drink of Water

February 8, 2017

Over the years, as the size of the Cirendeu open garbage dump in Jakarta grew, the 7 wells, used by more than 100 trash picker families living there have become contaminated. For years the rotting garbage, with help from torrential rains and flooding, has been polluting their water supply. These families wash, cook and drink …

The Best Gift: a Drink of WaterRead More »

Organic Farm Opening a Big Success

June 1, 2016

Many thanks to Dr. Titi and RSIA Lestari Hospital for helping XSProject at the Grand Opening of the XSProject Organic Farm. Our guests enjoyed the tour of the farm, given by our 3 farmers Andre, Rudy and Armand. Guests went home with fresh organic produce and some great XSProject products!

Donated Eyeglass Frames – Changing Lives

May 13, 2016

It started in April 2015 with Darni. As she began to learn more complicated skills in her sewing classes, she had difficulty seeing small details. I told her to go get her eyes checked. New eyeglass frames are very expensive, but it just so happened that Noto, Darni’s husband, had found a pair of glasses …

Donated Eyeglass Frames – Changing LivesRead More »