DEWA, the Design from Waste of Agriculture project, was initiated by the Department of International Trade Promotion in 2014, recognizing that as a top producer of agricultural products, Thailand often has a surplus of agricultural products.
The Department of International Trade Promotion invited expert product designers and representatives from agencies that promote innovation to research and develop how to transform agricultural products, natural vegetation, and other unwanted materials into new raw materials and creative lifestyle products and then to offer advice to entrepreneurs about how to utilize these materials in their products.
Examples include producing glazes for ceramic products made from wood and leaves leftover from the production of lye, using rubber in the manufacture of household products, and using recycled paper, rags, and used packaging to create modern jewellery.
In addition to product development, the program also emphasizes co-branding, which brings the advantages of two entrepreneurs working together to create new product development opportunities for them.
Examples include a joint venture between glass and lotus leaf manufacturers from Koh Kau in Lampang Province. They researched the use of lotus leaves and glass in decor and wall art, leading to the creation of mirrors with the texture of lotus leaves, reflecting a perfect combination of innovation and nature.