Waste Pickers

15 million waste pickers worldwide collect, sort and process recyclable materials in cities in developing nations. They make up some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities, living in dire poverty.


3D Filament

The market for 3D printer filament is growing rapidly. In fact At the consumer level alone, as much as 1.5 million kilos of filament could be sold per annum by the end of 2014.


The Unifying Idea

Filament sourced directly from waste picker groups in developing countries and produced ethically on a ‘fair trade’ basis, from recycled waste.


Announcing the launch of The Ethical Filament Foundation

A not for profit member-owned organisation to promote and develop ethical and fair trade filament for 3D printing

Our Vision

We believe that there is an opportunity to create an environmentally friendly and ethically produced filament alternative to meet the needs of the rapidly growing 3D Printing market. We also believe that by doing this we could potentially open up a new market for value added products that can be produced by waste picker groups in low income countries.

Find out how you can get involved

The Ethical Filament Foundation aims to:

  • Brand an ethical filament production standard and a certification process that guarantees the quality and ethical value of any certified filament to a third party consumer. Certification is process independent and only focuses on the quality of the final product and the social benefit generated in the process.
  • Advertise and market the Ethical Filament Standard and certification process.
  • Promote the concept of recycling to produce Ethical 3D Printing Filament that is sold to improve the livelihoods of waste pickers and their communities worldwide.
  • Sponsor research and development to improve the process for waste recycling at the grass root level for use in 3D printing. All such research will be released to the Public Domain for use on an unrestricted basis by social benefit organizations.
  • Create an information repository to make public domain information regarding current research easily available to individuals or organizations.
Find out about the Ethical Filament Standard

Launch Supporters

michigan tech lab for substainable technology