Has the global financial crisis finally hit some so hard in the hip pocket that they can no longer avoid recycling and reusing products in smarter, more unique ways than ever before? There’s no denying that the poorest people in the world have often been the most inventive with discarded items, usually as a result of sheer necessity. Or are we now just starting to become more and more aware of our world and the destruction we’re placing upon the environment with our wasteful, consumerist ways? Perhaps it’s a little of both.
Finding new ways to use discarded items and give them new life is imperative to the survival of mankind, helping them to avoid landfill and adding to the overall destruction of the planet. As such, this new wave of “designing with purpose” is being welcomed with open arms in so many fields. And why not? With so many items discarded every day, the trash is now becoming a treasure trove of previously unwanted products, which cuts costs and drives invention.Whatever is behind this new wave of intelligent product re-use, it is certainly propelling it into almost every facet of modern design, from fashion to art and even into construction and new product creation. In many examples, seen at events such as the recent Milan Design Week, what becomes evident is not only the opportunity to create something new from something old, but also the opportunity to create something truly unique.
In a crowded world, individualism reigns supreme. With everyone seeking a way to express their unique persona, the one-of-a-kind results from much of this alternative design are highly sought after, making it a lucrative endeavour.
But what is most refreshing is the simplicity of the concept. Taking discarded waste and turning it into practical, functional design is not only a unique way to express creativity; it’s the key to our planet’s future survival.