One person's trash is this woman's quilt. See this successful business made out of scraps.

People called her a mad woman — until they saw what she was creating.

In Nigeria, Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale has built a business by creating beautiful products — out of trash.


All images via Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale, used with permission.


What is this? It's a quilt!


A quilt made from scraps of discarded fabric.

Olutosin's inventive quilts, shopping bags, and more are crafted from colorful fabric scraps that tailors have thrown away.

The beautiful products are carefully handmade by women who have survived abuse — who, like the fabric scraps, have been cast aside by society.

She told Upworthy, "I am a survivor of domestic violence [so] when I became emancipated, I decided to help willing women to transform their lives too. That's why I started 'Tosin's Turn Trash to Treasure'; [to] turn abused women to assets."


Olutosin's belief in the resourcefulness of Nigerian women and her outlook on life — finding treasure in what others consider trash — are creating positive waves across Nigeria.

Through Facebook, Olutosin has met people from across the globe who agree with her that these discarded scraps from local tailors really are treasure, not trash. The organization World Pulse, a social networking platform connecting women worldwide for change, has launched Olutosin into an online community full of support, business opportunities, and love.

"Facebook has help[ed] me to showcase our products, advertising to potential customers and connected me to more than thousands global sisters who love and support my dream," she shared with Upworthy in an email.

When it comes to the circumstances of the women she employs, the impact goes beyond the women themselves, she said — it's helping their whole families.

She said of the women working with her: "They can make healthy choices now. They can create alternative avenues for finances and they can lead their own daughters aright too."

Olutosin recognized that a workspace of their own would be necessary. "We realized that we needed our own space when many women who love to join our training do not have accommodation [in] Lagos," she said.

The success of Olutosin’s business led to her meeting Sharon, who lives in the U.K., through Facebook. Sharon bought some property in the riverside community of Ibasa, Nigeria, and gave it to Olutosin. Olutosin has never met her, but Sharon's generosity is making a huge difference by making a space for women to work, learn, and mobilize a reality.


It may seem like one woman's business creating quilts from scraps. But Olutosin has bigger dreams for the work coming out of her enterprise.

She wants to sew a new reality for women.

"I wish to build a Treasure Women Town. A paradise for women and girls. Where violence against women will be a thing unheard of. Where gender equality will be the normal way of life."

And with dreams like that and a proven ability to make things happen, who wouldn't cheer her on?

More
True
Facebook #SheMeansBusiness
The Guardian / YouTube

Earlier this month, a beluga whale caught the world's attention by playing fetch with a rugby ball thrown by South African researchers off the waters of Norway.

The adorable video has been watched over 20 million times, promoting people across the globe to wonder how the whale became so comfortable around humans.

It's believed that the whale, known as Hvaldimir, was at some point, trained by the Russian military and was either released or escaped.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / Katie Sturino

Plus-size women are in the majority. In America, 68% of women wear a size 14 or higher. Yet many plus-sized are ignored by the fashion industry. Plus-sized clothing is a $21 billion industry, however only one-fifth of clothing sales are plus-sized. On top of that, plus-sized women are often body shamed, further reinforcing that bigger body types are not mainstream despite the fact that it is common.

Plus-size fashion blogger Katie Sturino recently called out her body shamers. Sturino runs the blog, The 12ish Style, showing that plus-sized fashion isn't – and shouldn't be – limited to clothes that hide the body.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular