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Çöp(m)adam

Author: Delphi Jarrett
Published Date: 18 October 2010

Cöp(m)adam is a Turkish project aiming to address issues of women’s employment and the importance of recycling rubbish.


Cop(m)adam was created to address two important problems plaguing Turkey. Firstly, 3 out of 4 women in Turkey are currently unemployed, lack sufficient social security and are dependent, financially and physically, on their husbands, fathers and sons. Secondly, 70 tonnes of trash are produced in Istanbul every ten minutes and a very small rate is being recycled/reused due to insufficient infrastructure and low levels of awareness. Two individuals, Tara and Melih, consequently created Cop(m)adam in 2008 as an experimental project in Western Turkey. The name, which translates as "garbage ladies", stands as a symbol of taking garbage and turning it into something useful, fashionable and fun. With assistance from Sabanci University and Unilever Turkey, the foundation has helped 250 less fortunate women in Ayvalik, Diyarbakir and Istanbul to earn a wage for the first time in their lives. These women have produced 3000 'wrapper bags' sold in more than 20 shops.