Today’s post isn’t about one upcycle design piece, not about one designer. No it’s about a project showing several products made by a group of creative people. Great thing about upcycling projects is that one plus one isn’t two, but it’s actually three. Why? Well normally upcycle design is about using discarded objects and materials to create new design. Thereby preventing waste going to waste, being benefit one. And creating unique design with a story, being benefit two.
And now about benefit three, in case we are dealing with an upcycling project located in a third world country. When upcycle design is created and sold by locals it stimulates the economy and improves the standard of living. This is a fantastic benefit which you’ll also recognize in the project Bottle-Up.
Glass waste turned into honest design
During my visit to the Dutch Design Week in 2015 I saw this great project. The first thing that caught my attention was these awesome lights hanging in mid air. They were kind of mesmerizing. When I searched for the name of these lamps I found out that they were called ‘Sky-Light‘ and were part of Bottle-Up. This project is an initiative by Hubert & Elisabeth van Doorne and Dutch Design Week. They teamed up with a group of Dutch designers and local craftsmen from Zanzibar.
More and more tourists have found their way to this tropical island on the coast of East Africa. And together with tourism came more waste. Especially glass waste, which Zanzibar can’t process yet, finds its way into natural surroundings.
But what if the tourism that caused this glass waste could also contribute to processing it? To find a solution for this problem, Bottle-Up was started.
The Dutch team worked together with local craftsmen. A combination of smart solutions and local techniques led to this first series of inspirational, honest and beautiful design products.
“Offering the products to tourists on the island completes the circle: the waste caused by tourism is transformed into beautiful, locally produced up-cycle products, whereby the tourists that buy the products directly finance the next step: the development of construction materials made from glass waste.”
Photos © Bottle-Up
Of course it needs no explanation that this product line is just the first step towards a cleaner island. Another goal is to process large amounts of glass waste into construction materials that can be used on the island.
Really hope that this fantastic project can continue for many years so it can fully succeed.