It is one thing to talk about how we should be implementing circular economy principles and it’s another thing to put it in action. Here are some firms which are not only managing this but doing it in a creative way.
What is the circular economy and how can we adopt a system that encourages the continuous reuse of resources? Lidia looks into the subject after attending a series of talks on the subject.
How can we beat plastic pollution and foster a better relationship with this troublesome material in our lives? We explore the role of plastics in our lives and in digital media to better understand what alternatives will lead to solutions.
Let’s explore the idea that nothing is waste until we decide to waste it. Materials and products that have served their purpose do not need to be wasted, if only we can give them new life - these companies have successfully done so and it’s inspiring!
Now that I've got your attention ;)
I recently posted about being given some leather to experiment with, to test the feasibility of using scraps of leather from the automotive industry to make new products with. You can read all about that here. Now I'm answering that question: yes, it is feasible. In fact, it worked perfectly for homewares.
Once I got over my initial repulsion to the leather (because I've mostly given up leather unless I previously owned it, it is not aligned with my values), I quickly got into the rhythm of quite enjoying working with it. Initially I was attempting to make a rug... and while I still love the idea of it, my crafts skills just didn't live up to the challenge. So I turned directions, and created the three products in this post instead.
They are all made from scrap leather off-cuts, and to best make use of the material properties of leather I decided to make the kind of products that I hope you guys will love and want to keep for a really long time.
First up are drinks coasters, by far the easiest and therefore most affordable items that we're launching. They'll be up on the shop as soon as there are a few more sets finished, and I'm looking to potentially collaborate with a lettering artist who can customize them. (If you know of anyone London based who might be interested, let me know!)
Second on the list, beautiful and dainty leather bags for the home. These are made from long yet relatively narrow off-cuts sewn together. What I really enjoy about these bags is just how adaptable they are: you can turn them inside out, fold a cuff to show both sides of the leather, use them for just about anything from keeping frequently used items to displaying your favourite plants in. Amazing feedback has already been coming in on these, which will be made on request for the time being.
The third and more expensive item on the list is the leather cushion. It has leather on one side and swede on the other, it is incredibly hard wearing and much comfier than I expected. It beautifully displays the material. It really does have the feel of a luxurious product. I've only made one so far - and that is because my cute little home-sewing-machine is just not strong enough for me to be sewing through 3 layers of leather... So, again, if you know a skilled leather worker who might be interested in partnering up for this product, let me know!
So, what do you think? Would you buy them? Do you know of potential retailers?
This is my first time creating and launching homewares with Be For Change, so any advice and feedback will be most appreciated!
PS: backdrop and beautiful cocktails kindly provided by Qbic Hotel
What can we do with leather off-cuts? The leather industry has a large environmental footprint and throwing away leather is a waste of resources, so we explore what to do with it.
A zero waste lifestyle. What does that mean, exactly? It’s a tricky one to explain as the name itself can be quite misleading. I still produce waste. I still buy (some) items in packaging.
Essentially, Zero Waste is the goal - the elusive carrot that dangles just out of reach. It means I take a considered approach to my life. I live in alignment with my values and at the same time, I have dramatically reduced the amount of waste I send to landfill.