Seeing the value in waste: 6 inspiring finds across home accessories and fashion

For this week's 6 pack we wanted to share our favourite finds from those who see value in waste. These are brands who have circularity and sustainability at their core and demonstrate aesthetics need not be sacrificed.

We first discovered Handle when featured alongside them in an article in the FT and what a find. They take used beauty packaging and create a range of handles and very beautiful ones at that. Think toothbrushes, razors, hair brushes. Given 120 billion pieces of beauty packaging is used every year we are excited to discover a brand who sees the value in this waste. They collect waste from salons, barbers, beauty brands and stores and there are various drop off points for you to return your items to in exchange for a voucher to spend with them. Like the modern day bottle exchange.

Whilst we have to admire this one from afar, Memoir Studio is a good example of the added specialness and uniqueness that can come from working with repurposing materials. Maxine Midtbo is the creator and maker, a multidisciplinary artist based in Ohio. We love the look of these bespoke phone cases, you can even send in an old one to be given a serious makeover. We keep our eye on A New Tribe the UK stockist she collaborates with on repurposing some of their broken ceramics.

Our KANKAN Near perfect starter sets. This was never an intended part of our product offer but as we quickly learned, an amount of waste/imperfect stock is an inevitable part of manufacturing. We produce in small batches and with great suppliers so our quantities of ‘near perfect’ stock is only relatively small. However given our business ambitions, it just didn’t feel right for these to be destined for recycling. Instead, to encourage these to go on to have a long life of refilling, we have been selling them at a 20% discount. The print imperfections are only ever so slight and ones that can’t be noticed unless you look really close up. In fact we challenge our customers to be even able to spot the difference.

The London based designer Bethany Williams first caught our attention for her creative use of upcycled materials, using everything from knitwear to bedding, but on learning more we are so inspired at how she is truly using fashion as a force for good. Through her work she supports various charities and initiatives and the community is clearly at the heart of what she does. This season she will be donating 20% of profits once again to the Magpie Project, an East London based charity that helps mothers and young children in temporary accommodation. Also she works with social manufacturing initiatives such as ‘Making for Change’ at Poplar Works. Here is some work currently in production using upcycled Adidas. 

 

Crackpacs is a business inspired by outdoor adventure and minimising waste. They create retro backpacks and bags from repurposed tents, climbing ropes and old adventure gear. All handmade in their Sheffield studio so you are able to customise your bag too. Another reason we love this movement, no one bag will ever be the same as another. A truly unique item with its own story and character.

We love these colourful bum bags made from tents saved from landfill and imagining what adventures those tents have had in their previous life.

As you may know, creating new denim can be resource intensive. E.L.V Denim (East London Vintage) Denim take unwanted denim, otherwise destined for landfill and then rework into modern new styles. The entire collection is manufactured locally in East London and takes only 7L of water to create a pair of jeans vs 7000 for your average new pair.  We love their designs but admire even more the transparency they share across all steps of their process. You quickly get a sense of all the people, love and care involved and what also happens to some of the unavoidable waste that is left at the end of this process and is often not talked about. You can take a read  here