Since 2006, Waste for Life, an organization of all different types of scientists, artists, designers, engineers, architects, educators and co-operatives, has helped some of Argentina’s poorest populations survive while dually promoting environmental awareness and waste prevention, by employing workers to collect plastic waste for recycle and upcycle. Sounds right up our alley!
Their recent partnership with RISD was to was to make a hot press to turn the plastic bags collected by the workers in to a synthetic plastic “textile”, then develop products based on that material which hopefully could be returned to the workers to manufacture and make a profit.
These plastic boots by New Jersey based Industrial Design student, Louie Rigano, was one of the products selected for production primarily due to it’s simple construction, utilitarian and functional nature. The plastic material, when fused with cheesecloth, is waterproof, rugged and requires very little material to produce, making it not only a great product that helps the Earth and the less fortunate people of Argentina, but also is very profitable and, in my opinion, quite stylish.
Sexy Upcycling? Most definitely.
I’m starting to think we will all have a pair of upcycled plastic bag shoes in our closets someday. Would you wear them?