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.
Am 5. und 6. September 2015 findet in Hennef wieder der Designmarkt statt. Hierfür wurde eine ganz besondere Location ausgewählt: die Klosterkirche in Hennef. Sie wurde vor einigen Jahren privatisiert und ist seitdem Dreh- und Angelpunkt für Veranstaltungen jeglicher Art: Hochzeiten, Konzerte, Betriebsfeiern, Geburtstage und eben Designmärkte. Ganz unterschiedliche Aussteller aus den Bereichen Inneneinrichtung, Dekoration, Kulinarisches, Lifestyle, Mode und Schmuck werden dabei sein. Ich werde ebenfalls dort sein mit STILGEWANDT und Ihnen Schals, Tücher und Schmuck aus recycelten Fahrradteilen zum Anfassen und Shoppen 😉 präsentieren.