The green brand turning waste into homewares
AS THE OVERUSE of plastic, and its effect on the planet, continues to dominate the news, companies providing innovative solutions to the issue are on the rise. One such example is the Dutch brand Vepa (vepa.nl), which has teamed up with social enterprise Plastic Whale to create furniture using plastic waste fished from Amsterdam’s canals. Its first collection is destined for the office, consisting of a boardroom table, chairs and a lamp, and it’s a promising start – plus, some of the proceeds will go towards funding initiatives around the world that tackle plastic pollution.
Closer to home (and designed for the home) is a collection by British brand Weaver Green, from husband-and-wife team Tasha and Barney Green. The couple came up with the idea while travelling in Asia, where they spotted a fishing rope made from water bottles. Noting how it was strong and waterproof, they hit on the idea of reusing plastic waste in a more aesthetic manner, and spent the next seven years developing a fabric from discarded bottles.
Their aim was to produce a material with the practicality of plastic – waterproof, washable and stain-resistant – but also the non-shiny, soft feel of wool, which they achieve by finely shredding the bottles into strips that are mechanically combed, spun and dyed to create a wool-like yarn. The idea is to lend used plastic ‘enough value to ensure it is collected and given new purpose’, says Tasha. ‘It’s an incredible material: practical, cleanable, lightweight and stable. The possibilities are endless.’
Based in Devon, the couple produce rugs that can be used inside and out, each made from up to 3,000 bottles, with designs ranging from geometrics in muted tones to rich, almost Uzbekstyle patterns. They have recently added cushion designs to the collection, along with blankets in soft, summery shades that are perfect for picnics. Prices start from £25, weavergreen.com
Weaver Green’s lightweight cobalt diamond cushion, £25