While implementing project‘s „EU4Business: Connecting Companies“ mobility scheme one more couple of entrepreneurs from Lithuania and Georgia had a successful exchange. Sophia Lapiashvili (outgoing partner from Georgia) was impressed with the platform „DĖK‘ui“ of sharing of unused things. Young entrepreneur produces shoes from unused textile products. She mentioned that there are a lot of beautiful fabrics that won‘t be wearing anymore and are throwing out like regular garbage. Together with her colleague they started creating brand „Usuli“ which offers handmade shoes and accessories that are produced from the textile scarps as well as exclusive use of fabrics such as wool covers. However, most of their customers buy shoes and accessories because they like the design, not because of environmental aspects. In Georgia, this topic is still unusual. People’s understanding of waste reuse, circular economy, and environmental protection is relatively low. All household waste is thrown into one bin.
Sophia noticed that in Lithuania unused things have more opportunities to be repaired, renovated, recycled, handed over to others not for charity, but for environmental purposes. Her hosting partner Milda Paukštė from the „Denim diaries“ studio from Vilnius shared her experience in the reuse different thing of the textile sector. As well she helped to find useful places for developing and learning from. Sophia visited shopping center „Europa“ where she found a newly opened platform of second-hand textile products, accepting good-quality clothes from citizens and helping them to gain a part of their expenses. The impression was stunning, it is almost the same like the new clothes offering shop. In Lithuania there are a lot of textile containers and in Georgia this initiative is not developed yet. So Sophia has a hope that in the nearest future all the new ideas she saw in Lithuania will appear in Georgia as well. Sophia understands that for the development of her business she needs to follow regular business rules. Significant changed are not happening instantly. That‘s why when looking for trade partners abroad, she does not limit herself to shops that offer recycled products. It is much better when sustainable products are integrated into the consumer’s usual offer.
Both participants of mobility scheme had beneficial collaboration. And they have a dream to implement some joint projects in the nearest future.