When I travel I usually meet interesting people with impressive stories. In Chile I stayed in the hostel Escalera in Valparaiso. Gabriel, the host, a very nice and helpful guy told me his story about his passion. He is originally Chilean, grew up in Miami, USA and came back to Chile 6 years ago. He fell in love with Valparaiso and started his hostel Escalera. Then he stated that his favorite place and its beaches turned more and more into polluted places, overloaded with rubbish, a lot of plastic bottles and containers strand at the beaches. This was his motivation to start recycling those plastic bottles. When I write recycling those bottles what is behind it? He collects them and then melts them in an oven. He developed a certain technique to combine various sorts and colours of plastic, so that they smoothly flow together without creating bubbles with air. „It takes time “ he says, „but it is worth it. Like this I achieve a nice surface without bubbles and colorful patterns „. His plan is to build furniture. Therefore, the material needs to be resistant, smooth and flexibel in terms of colour variety. „You could customize the furniture you would like to have for your bathroom, living room or any other interior element you would like to have built. “
Finally, Gabriel is doing two things at the same time: collecting plastic bottles and recycling them by giving them a second life.
I think this is an admirable approach to build up business and I was quite impressed by his attitude.
Just wandering around the fairgrounds of Tendence in Frankfurt I also visited the area Ecostyle, so anything which is being produced and designed under fair conditions. One small booth attracted my attention: it was showing jewelry all in black. When getting closer I saw that it was made out of rubber material in combination with metal and immediately recognized it: all jewelry was manufactured of recycled bike tubes.
I spoke to Jaime de Vizcaya, the designer, who introduced his brand „2. ELÄMÄ“ to me. It is all about Upcycling – giving a 2nd life to worn out products, still keeping addicted to nice designs. And it is about responsibility towards environment – sustainable materials. Bike tubes are made of rubber and very elastic. Therefore, a fine and flexible material usable for various things – in this case especially for jewelry. The brand originally is from Finland. Frankfurt is their platform to expand 2. ELÄMÄ on international level.
This article will be in English as I met quite a few international designer and sales people coming from Finland, the Netherlands and France. Just a few words to introduce the fair „Tendence“. It is located in the centre of Frankfurt presenting the areas Giving and Living. In the Living section you will find interior design and decorative elements like. At that time of the year you see there Christmas decoration. The Giving section is all about gifts, especially for the next Christmas season. Frankly said, quite a challenge with 30 degrees outside.
Apart of typical gifts there is another area Carat for jewellery, but also personal accessories like bags, scarves and more.
In fact I only managed to see parts of hall 9, the section for Giving and especially here the Carat for jewellery, Ecostyle and talents area.
Ecostyle covers sustainable consumer goods and designer products. Most of them do have a „green“ certificate, which means that the products had been produced under social and ecological fair conditions.
The talents area is a specific section where young designers and professionals could present their ideas respectively products to potential buyers. It provides access to new sales channels and could give valuable feedback. This program is being sponsored. So a good chance for newcomers.
I will introduce some of the newcomers within the next blogposts.