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Brief Published: 29 Oct 2019

Craftsmanship Transforms Waste into Luxury Products

Bram van Breda

At this year’s London Design Festival (September 14-22), a wave of designers married scrap materials with finely-honed craftsmanship to create the next generation of luxury goods. Here are three inspiring examples highlighting the value of waste.

As part of online design gallery Adorno’s Crossovers exhibition, Danish designer Jonas Edvard showed The Relic Chair, a piece made from a speckled composite developed from various waste streams. Wood, metal and stone waste is ground down into a fine dust before being moulded into the amorphous form. 

Also at Adorno, Belgian designer Bram van Breda presented part of his rug series Gathering, a hand-finished collection made of sisal. The collection is the result of a working partnership with Belgian natural-carpet manufacturer Tasibel, where Breda repurposes its waste materials into his work.

His unique rugs are created from the scrap ends of woven warps – the sections where old and new projects are knotted together, creating a graphic and disordered seam. Once removed from the loom, instead of being discarded, these pieces are joined together using interweaving and stitch techniques.

Meanwhile, at the Designing in Turbulent Times exhibition, Central Saint Martins’ graduate Benjamin Benmoyal presented couture apparel in fabrics created from obsolete videotape (sourced from the BBC’s archive) and surplus yarns. The textiles were developed with French weaving studio Malhia Kent and are reminiscent of the Chanel tweeds – for which the studio is best known. Beyond the material itself, the silhouettes are regal and structured, bringing grand opulence to waste materials. See Material Direction: Elevating Textiles for more examples of repurposed textile industry waste.

Read The Wealth in Waste for further examples of how waste and low-value materials are being used to redefine luxury goods.

Jonas Edvard
Benjamin Benmoyal