A Plastic Bottle, an Abaya and a Thobe: Designing Products for the Longer Term

By Alia M. Khairat.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Clean, pristine and wrinkle free, the abaya and the thobe constitute the national dress of Qatar. They are worn, daily, by the local population as well as some expatriates. Both garments are made of a polyester blend. This paper proposes the use of 100% post consumer recycled polyester, often known as RPET (Recycled PET) to manufacture the abaya and thobe thus reusing one of Qatar’s resources, the plastic bottle. The paper will look into closed-loop recycling systems and means to maintain a pure recycling stream, highlighting possible methods to design the bottle and the abaya and the thobe for disassembly. Identifying viable technologies that would enable the recycled abaya and thobe to compete in the Qatari market are also explored. Relevant life cycle models specifically McDonough and Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle™ (C2C®) and TEIJIN’s ECOCIRCLE will be highlighted. Research utilizes available online data, physical market research and an online survey (Abaya-Thobe Survey). Results of this survey will be discussed, with corresponding subject matter, throughout the paper.

Keywords: Recycled PET, Closed-loop, Qatar, Cradle to Cradle (C2C), Abaya, Thobe, ECOCIRCLE, Design for Disassembly

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.193-210. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.167MB).

Alia M. Khairat

MFA Student, Masters Program, Virginia Commonwealth University, Doha, Qatar

After Graduating in 1992 with a BFA in Book Illustration from Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt, Alia went on to work as a freelance children’s book illustrator for Hoopoe Publishing in Cairo. Several years later she started a career in fashion design, a field she had long been passionate about. In 2005 she moved to Doha, Qatar with her family. She is currently working as a Student Services Officer in charge of Recruiting, PR and Marketing at Qatar Foundation’s Academic Bridge Program and studying for an MFA in Design Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. Once she graduates she hopes to resume her work as an illustrator and designer and continue in the field of Design Research.


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