More and more, I’m loving the idea of things having a second, third or many lives. An Inspiration Carousel if you will.
There is a certain magic in discovering an item and being inspired to create something new. The thought of multiple unknown stories layered into the life of an object is quite romantic to me.
Every year JAK Creative holds an annual Garage Sale to give new life to objects that have had one (very brief life), or many lives of bringing joy to our event designs. We generate so much happiness from seeing the sparkle in someones eye and sharing their excitement as they embrace an object with a big idea for a project.
Not only is a sustainable outlook, positive for a whole range of reasons it’s also great for the soul (it’s science you know). But for now, all you need to understand is re-purposing used things is cool. So cool in-fact that entire industries of creatives are establishing businesses based around ‘Upcycling’ all over the world.
Let’s take a tour now around the world to visit some of our favourites!
I firmly believe that you can develop love for some materials and objects. I find that we throw away lots of items without even thinking how much has cost to create it -effort and resources- and which is the story behind it: that’s why upcycling was born. In some way, we try to pay homage to these little materials and objects that we use everyday, that although we do not think of them, they bring implicit memories, sensations and characteristics that make them deserve a better destiny than a dump.
If you’re in the mood, give the article a read, it’s super inspirational and dives into her ideas, inspiration and process. She also introduces us to this amazing business…
Here we are now in London with Elvis & Kresse
Elvis & Kresse rescue raw materials, transforming them into luxury lifestyle accessories.
They say cool and powerful things like:
‘The future of luxury is sustainable, ethical , reclaimed, open, generous and kind’.
In 2005 they had a chance encounter with the London Fire Brigade. Learning that London’s damaged decommissioned hoses were headed to landfill they mounted a rescue and set up Elvis & Kresse to save them. Imagine these fire-hoses, that had saved thousands of lives and fought uncountable fires, that were made of such noble and resistant materials, ending up in landfill? For over a decade, none of London’s fire-hose has gone to landfill and over 200 tons of material has been reclaimed and turned into luxury accessories: bags, belts, purses, wallets. Moreover, the 50% of their benefits goes directly to the Fire Fighters Charity, as a way of returning the favour for donating this wonderful material.
In 2017 the Burberry Foundation partnered with Elvis & Kresse to tackle the even greater global problem of leather waste. This Five-year partnership will see at least 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts from Burberry recrafted into new luxury items, designed and sold by Elvis & Kresse.
Since they started, they have not stopped: now they work parachute silk, printing blankets, leather pieces, coffee and tea sacks and more!
While we can’t visit everyone in the world who is doing incredible things, I couldn’t end this article without giving a special mention to a good friend of mine and Local Hero Mario Milici of Upshop Industries.
UpShop Industries repurposes materials and objects to extend their life span. Mario’s Industrial Design background inspires him to see beauty and new life in otherwise abandoned industrial items. Mario’s business aims to connect creatives, upcyclers and manufacturers to reduce waste and its impact on the environment. We love Mario and so does the earth 🙂
Other inspiring places to visit:
Facebook Page for JAK Garage Sale
Sarah Heeringa – Sustainable interior inspiration