Homeware Collection from Tea Curbs Waste
New UK studio Dust London creates a collection of home accessories made using tea waste. While the tea offers a beautiful natural dye and surface pattern, the project aims to encourage consumers to be mindful of the creative potential within everyday waste.
Dust London previously made concrete homeware and created the tea collection while looking for an alternative material that is more sustainable for the planet. The studio collects used tea bags from cafes, which they then sort by type, dry and blend into a fine dust. The tea is mixed with Jesmonite, which acts as a natural binding agent and adds structural strength to the pieces.
The collection, which includes vases, drink coasters and planters, is inspired by origami and each piece boasts sculptural geometric forms. To achieve this, Dust London handworks soft materials using Japanese folding techniques to create silicone moulds for the tea mixture.
The tea also offers a spectrum of natural pigments, textures and surface patterns. Pieces feature a palette of rooibos, peppermint, chamomile, English Breakfast and black tea, which translate into dusty shades of white, green and yellow.
The use of recycled and second-life materials not only reroutes waste, but also injects a positive narrative into products to elevate luxury status. In a nation of tea drinkers, Dust London hopes this collection will act as a relatable example to spark conversations on the value of resources and importance of upcycling.
The collection’s success is evident, as British art institution the Tate Modern is stocking pieces in its design store later this year.
For more on the commercial power of waste in the luxury sector, see The Wealth in Waste.