Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I Used To Be...

I think these products have been around for quite a few years, but are quirky, functional and raise awareness of the possibilities of recycling. The 'I used to be...' range from the UK-based company Remarkable, takes everyday items that we dispose of on a daily basis and turns them into other useful and usable items through the processes of recycling.

The company states 'by highlighting what an item was in its previous life, we feel we are showing what can be made with UK waste - that we are generating a positive interest in recycling and environmental issues. Using the fascination of what an item once was is a new and fun way of communicating the recycled message' (Remarkable) and I think this is a valid idea. I seem to remember seeing something similar when I was younger that claimed to be made out of a tyre and was intrigued as to how it could of possibly happened.

The products are a great way of raising awareness as to the possibilities of recycling, particularly with children, as they will be fascinated by the fact their notebook was made from a plastic cup. The company seem to of only pushed the idea in the direction of stationary items over the last ten years but I see potential for it to go much further; it would be interesting to see if there were any similar projects / companies working in areas such as furniture and product design or fashion for example. The idea of having something new made from something else is a great way to highlight the recycling process and it wouldnt neccessarily need to be stamped across the front of the product as it is here, a label in a piece of clothing or on furniture packaging may be all it needs - its the unique-ness of the product and intrigue as to how it was 'changed' that grabs peoples' attention. And whats more, design has advanced so much, there would be no need for items such as clothing or furniture to lose their aesthetic appeal - the use of more unusual materials.

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