More and more designers and brands are [finally] seeing the added value of upcycling and upcycle design. And one of those brands is Anti, a British circular design brand, that creates design out of a discarded and broken umbrella. Their mission is to breathe new life into discarded products, and create new, beautiful products from objects that are often wasted, for clients to love and cherish.
Founded by British designer Mark Howells, Mark’s first product line was inspired after time spent living in London and Tokyo exposed him to the mass linear negative impact of an everyday product – the umbrella.
Mark spent 3 years researching the issues surrounding umbrella waste in detail. He found that one billion umbrellas are produced every year but are not designed to last longer than 6 months. They get broken and discarded and often end up in landfills or incineration after use. They deserve to get a second chance.
Perception of waste
On a personal mission to eradicate the umbrella waste mountain, Mark put his energy into creating his first product line – an inspired range of upcycled desk and table lamps made from umbrellas that were originally destined for landfill.
“I have always believed that it’s our perception of what we deem as waste that needs to change.“
Mark says “The new items we purchase are made of the exact same materials we were throwing away; I have always believed that it’s our perception of what we deem as waste that needs to change. If you view any perceived waste item by its material type and form as opposed to its original utility and the stigma associated with something old or used, then It’s free to take on a new role. It’s down to the designers to unlock this potential.”
Disassembling made easier
The collected umbrellas are disassembled into their separate materials groups (e.g. plastics, metals, nylon) and are made into desk and table lamps. The new products are deemed easier to disassemble at end of life than the umbrella was in its original state.
Both lamp designs are 12v using efficient G4 LED bulbs to reduce energy consumption and the amount of virgin material used in G4 lamp holders and bulbs. Both lamps are operated by a switch on the cable. The desk lamp can be extended by pushing down at the back of the arm.
Making design repeatable
The umbrella is deemed problematic to recycle due to its complex construction and combination of different material types. A key challenge was making design repeatable. The design approach has been developed to be capable of replicating the core lamp designs whilst allowing for the many variations in umbrella designs.
Mark was keen to retain some of the technical functions of the umbrella. For example, the folding arms have been repurposed into an articulating arm of the lamp, the umbrella plastic runner repurposed into a lampholder, the nylon canopy repurposed into a fabric lampshade for the Table Lamp.
Design by Mark Howells | Anti
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