PagaBags – Burkina Faso


The why-not woman
Long time involved in international cooperation, and committed to sustainable development, Meredyth Bowler Ailloud saw in fashion the potential to create a line of products respectful of the planet and of people who participate in the manufacturing. She decided to create a company in cooperation with women associations and to realize innovative creative handmade products and contribute to building the local economy while cleaning up the neighbourhood where we work. Having worked many years in Africa, she was well aware of the talent and know-how in the field of weaving and sewing.

Paga Bags is a social business that produces and markets handbags made of recycled plastic weaved with cotton by the association des tisseuses de Bogodogo based in Burkina Faso. Paga Bags not only recruits  women but also proposes  them  training essential to their professionalization and economic  self-development. By favoring the entrepreneurship of the weavers in a market oriented approach, PagaBags creates sustainable jobs, while improving the quality of life of the women and their family. By using recycled plastic bags in the weaving process, Paga Bags contributes to both cleaning up the neighborhood and to raising awareness on pollutions and health.

Why-Not Women and PagaBags
Our main objectives : widen her partners network and establish proper sales strategies.
Length : 1 month
Results : We have met partners, beneficiaries, institutions (Ministry of Environnement, Mairie of Bogodogo, the PNUD) and potential sponsors. we also established/wrote down :


  • 2 sponsorships applications

  • 1 application for Maison & Objet, paris 2015

  • 1 inventory and 1 Production book

  • 3 communication supports

  • 1 impact report (interviews, researches, statistical analysis)

  • 1 financial review

  • 1 short movie on PagaBags

  • 1 Hold-Up (creative event) for PagaBags

  • 1 research on savings and healthcare systems

  • participation in designing new products range

Meredyth’s testimony

« During the month of October, Mathilde and Berengère accompanied PagaBags in the field, meeting all our teams of suppliers. One of their mission assignments was to carry out an annual impact assessment of my work, observing the working conditions, interviewing the women and evaluating the social and environmental aims and achievements I have made in the past year. They also intervened, hand-on to really understand the difficulties involved in every day work. They also participated in a board meeting of the weavers association. Their superior listening skills and observations allowed me to make a number of decisions moving forward with more assurance. Also, their amenable personalities contributed to the confidence building that I have always done it best to create with the women suppliers, and also this despite cultural difference and language difficulty.

Mathilde and Berengère spent their days and nights thinking about PagaBags’ strategy and future development. They never stopped! And everyday they would come to me with helpful and creative comments. Moreover, they mobilized their network of students in a buzz of support, sometimes even collecting opinions on models and material being developed for new products. Finally, PagaBags participated in a HoldUP organized at the University 2IE by MakeSense. The HoldUP is a innovated method to carry out a meeting where the partiipants (called “gangsters”) provide perspective, in-put and concrete proposals concerning a problem that PagaBags is facing. The problem we addressed at this meeting was how to develop a PagaBags community on social networks. The HoldUP not only produced interesting results but also gave PagaBags a new perspective due to the contribution of Burkinabe people, all men! »

Meredyth Bowler-Ailloud

  Capture d’écran 2014-11-08 à 16.05.31

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