De-brand Recycled Clothes

Make good use of your designer label clothing by recycling them at de-brand, the latest social conscious aware enterprise to open in Vancouver.

Most people toss their used clothing into the garbage, some may give to some sort of charity, while others leave them collect dust in the cupboard, but most of them are not going to turn into collectors items. So why not recycle them?

With backing from a whole range of well known Canadian businesses, such as Lulemon, London Drugs, RBC (Royal Bank of Canada), ScotiaBank, Nature’s Path, local government and others, de-brand offers safe and secure garment recycling with a creative and environmentally responsible approach to textile and clothing disposal, even taking in used police uniforms.

de-brand is located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside which happens to be one of Canada’s poorest areas (and which sits next to the wealthy downtown business and commercial district). It is hoped that de-brand and other like-minded businesses will help revitalize and benefit the local community.

The processed fibers are reused in new products; reducing harmful textile waste that otherwise goes to landfills or incinerators, reducing pollution and helping create a cradle-to-cradle commodity process.

March 2, 2012

Upcycled Coffee Cup Art

New Yorkers consume a lot of coffee, just behind Chicago, so artist Gwyneth Leech’s disposable coffee cup art display is right at home in NY.

Since last September Leech has hand drawn on her used disposable coffee cups, collected over a number of years. Her work has been on display at the Flatiron Building, and her 800 hand-drawn cups drew a lot of attention, hopefully sending a message about recycling to those coffee-thirsty New Yorkers.

The coffee cup creations had abstract art through to city scenes, as well as a few portraits of passers. The cups themselves were strung up and gently moved as heated air rose inside the display space, and were illuminated at night.

Maybe Leech can artistically upcycle unused coffee-cups so that people can buy their favorite design, and perhaps then they will use them more than once, and afterwards recycle them.

February 22, 2012

Recycled Trash Park Art

American artist Gregory Euclide creates his stunning miniature ‘held within what hung open and made to lie without escape’ landscape installations from trash collected and recycled from local parks.

The installation includes a landscape painting that measures 7ft x 5ft (2.13m x 1.52m) with a running river, made from paper, that leaves the canvas and flows into a riverbed. Real park boulders provided mold shapes that became rock outcrops made from paper, and sliced-open plastic bottles, filled with sand, became a paper forest.

The recycled paper, plastic, foams, hair and rocks form dioramas that the artist sees as the ‘same kind of fake control over nature that allows us to be comfortable with the destruction of it’. Other materials used by Euclide included acrylic paints, acrylic caulk, eurocast, fern, goldenrod, hosta, lawn fertilizer, moss, pencil, and sponge.

February 16, 2012

Steampunk Smartphone

Richard Clarkson, an industrial design student at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, created his steampunk rotary dial version of the Smartphone to counter the omnipresent digital world we live in.

The phone has two brass dials options, a rotary or a button one. Electroplated copper and paint jazzes up (or down, dependent upon your tech perspective) the phone itself.

January 10, 2012

Green Rice Packaging

Just in time for Chinese New Year, Taiwanese-based company Green In Hand has designed a sustainable, low impact rice packaging for a New Year’s gift, called Together Rice.

Their packaging is made from recycled and recyclable craft paper, paper rattan and tissue paper, in a chemical-free process, using vegetable-based inks and water-based coatings and glue. The rice is from the Guan Shan Fan Taitung family, Yuli, Hualin County, Taiwan, grown under the watchful eye of organic rice farmer Tseng Kuo-chi.

Rice is a worldwide food source and tons of it gets delivered and eaten each day, so a sustainable packaging would be a great idea for larger rice packaging.

January 5, 2012

Solar Plastic Bottles Lights

The Liter of Light Project (Isang Litrong Liwanag), from Philippines-based NGO My Shelter Foundation, wants to bring low cost light to a million Philippine homes. Around 25,000 low-income homes in the Philippines have been lit up after the launch of a scheme to fit sunlight-powered “bulbs” made from old plastic bottles.
The bulbs are actually recycled plastic bottles that are fitted into the roof and filled with water containing bleach. The bleached water refracts 55W of the outside sunshine into the room during the day. Each bottle fitment costs about US$1 (€0.77). The idea is based upon a 2002 Alfredo Moser design, developed by MIT students specifically for the Philippines.

Now the people and the children can work and play inside, in the safety of their homes, and created employment for the plastic bottle bulb makers and installers.

December 30, 2011

Modern Fish and Chip Bag

New Zealand-based creative designer Casey Ng has redesigned the fabled fish and chip wrapper into a BoxBag combo paper bag and stiffer dish-like base, with a perforated strip between the two. Ng’s BoxBag idea sprung from wanting to combine a more modern fish and chip wrapper, but one that can still be ripped open, with a newspaper flyer inside and be disposed of like the traditional newsprint wrapper.

Inside the BoxBag, a sheet of newspaper is printed with local information, for the fish and chip eater to read and learn something about the place where they have just bought the fish and chips. According to Ng’s website, New Zealand’s iconic fish and chip shops serve up about seven million servings of chips a week, or about 120,000 tonnes a year. So his BoxBag could be in high demand, as it offers the same grease absorbing features as traditional newsprint wrapping, better heat insulation, a handy rigid bowl to hold your scrumptious fish and chips, and some local news to boot.

Casey Ng’s BoxBag

The BoxBag comes flat packed and can be unfurled to the length needed to wrap your fish and chips, and does not have newsprint ink like the traditional wrapper which used to leave your greasy fingers blackened after enjoying your take-out meal.

November 25, 2011

Plastic Bottle Shelves

African recycled plastic laundry soap bottles are cut in half and made into useful shelves by Amandine. The shelves are supported by recycled cardboard.

Visit the Mamawax website to check out a host of amazing recycling innovations.

November 19, 2011

Fantastic Plastic Photos

In the talented hands of American photographer Tomaas, the ugly and ubiquitous plastic that chokes our landfills and oceans is transformed into something hauntingly beautiful.

The ethereal photography series Plastic Fantastic features stunning models covered in items such as plastic forks, bottles, bags, wrappers and straws.

November 17, 2011

Plastic Harvesting Ship

This is ingenious! Royal College of Art graduates Alexander Groves, Azusa Murakami and Kieren Jones have designed a plastic collecting ship utilizing an old fishing trawler that is re-engineered to scoop up plastic from the oceans and then sort the debris by size. A flotation tank separates out the denser materials.

If this wasn’t cool enough, The Sea Chair Project then transforms some of the harvested plastic directly into recycled chairs via an onboard chair-making factory.

The Sea Chair Project looks to address the problem of accumulating plastic in our oceans by raising awareness and removing plastic that will continue to circulate for thousands of years,” explain the designers. “Plastic waste doesn’t sink and takes thousands of years to degrade, remaining in the environment to be broken up into ever-smaller fragments by ocean currents. As our society’s consumption grows the concentration of this plastic soup increases.”

Part of the problem is that the plastic fragments include a large quantity of what is known in the industry as nurdles or ‘mermaids tears’ – the plastic pellets that are the virgin raw material for injection moulding. Unfortunately, these lethal nurdles can be found littered on almost every beach and shoreline in the world.

“These pellets are around 2mm (0.08inch) in diameter & represent an estimated 10% of all marine litter worldwide, their small size means they aren’t picked up by waste systems and being buoyant they will float on the sea surface, taking over a thousand years to biodegrade,” they explain. “The nurdles haven’t been injection moulded yet, but rather have been lost through spillage in transit and poor storage at factories.”

The United Nations (UN) states that roughly 13,000 nurdles are floating in every square mile (5000 per of the ocean. Resembling fish eggs, they enter the food chain and end up killing fish, sea creatures and birds. Biologists estimate that more than 100,000 marine animals and birds die each year from ingesting plastic or getting caught up in plastic and drowning.

The Sea Chair Project has been short listed for the Victoriana Time To Care Award.

November 5, 2011

Recycled iPhone Case

Well even if your iPhone isn’t very green – at least its carrying case can be. The iPhone 4 Case is made from 100% recycled trash.

Dubbed the RE-case, the iPhone 4 Case is the first in a line of products made from a new type of material called POLLIBER, a post-consumer thermoplastic and semi-carbonized waste fiber composite that is left over from rice farming by-products.

The post-process rice husks increase the mechanical properties of polypropylene, stopping it from breaking down in everyday use. At the end of its life it can be recycled.

October 25, 2011