Innovation That Matters

One of the main reasons that umbrellas are so wasteful is that they are not built to last | Photo source Anti

Umbrellas destined for landfill turned into beautiful home furnishings


This waste transformation business uses all parts of the umbrella for its desk and table lamps

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Spotted: Anti is a new design company created with a singular purpose. Every product that the business builds is upcycled from an item that is rarely, if ever, recycled. The first collection is a series of desk and table lamps made from discarded umbrellas. With more than one billion umbrellas thrown away worldwide each year, the volume of available material is vast.

One of the main reasons that umbrellas are so wasteful is that they are not built to last. As part of the throwaway culture that simply replaces rather than repairs items, hundreds of thousands of pounds of metal, plastic and nylon are wasted annually through the incineration or dumping of umbrellas as rubbish.

The team dissembles each umbrella into its separate materials. Plastic pieces are either reused as is or melted down for 3D printing into new shapes. The final designs echo the original shapes of the umbrellas yet are far stronger and are built to be repaired and used for many years. If a customer wants to discard a lamp, the company runs a take-back scheme that reintegrates the returned item back into the circular design process.

With plastic waste still a monumental global challenge, it is interesting to see larger-scale plastic upcycling and reuse projects beginning to take shape. Springwise recently spotted Heathrow airport’s trial of upcycling food packaging, plastic film and other waste products into terminal furniture, staff uniforms and jet fuel. In Madrid, an entire museum made from recycled plastic will itself be recycled at the end of the event.

Written by: Keely Khoury

Explore more: Sustainability Innovations | Retail Innovations



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