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Brief Published: 29 Jul 2015

Collezione 25%: Recycling Industry Waste

Sebastiano Tonelli

Italian product designer Sebastiano Tonelli has created a range of insulated food storage containers from recycled industry waste.

Tonelli uses waste sandwich panels of polyurethane and aluminium from a company in Rovereto, Italy called STA, which uses it to build air ducts. However, the material's thermal insulation properties make it perfect for food storage as well. The range includes wine coolers, picnic boxes and insulated holders for ovenproof dishes.

After a wooden veneer is applied to one side of the panels, a series of incisions are made to transform the two-dimensional plane into a flexible sheet that is used to create the 3D forms. The unusual construction process adds grooved details to the final products that reveal the bright blue highlights of the industrial material beneath the veneer. The collection also references Tonelli's heritage by taking influence from traditional Italian basketry.

As identified in Designing Out Waste: Sustainable Production, the repurposing of factory offcuts is becoming increasingly common as designers use innovative methods of cutting and tessellation to transform waste materials. Unwanted and new materials are combined to create balanced and durable products that challenge expectations of recycling.

For more on elevating sustainable materials through innovative manufacturing methods, see our A/W 16-17 Design Direction, Layer.