ReMade: Recycling for Retail

Core77 points out a great program coming out of Western Washington University called "ReMade," which put industrial design students up to discovering ways to turn industrial and commercial trash into a salable, retail products. The sushi roller from bike spokes is cute, but I especially love the Exacto knife holders from toothbrush handles. How great would it be to see products on the shelf that aren't all identical? Who needs "available in five exciting colors" when you could choose from handles made from every toothbrush design in existence? I'll say it again: landfill mining is the career of the future. It's like we've got a civilization's worth of LEGO bricks in a pile but can't be arsed to sort them into their proper bins. The students made 20 each of their products and will displaying and selling them through the end of the year in Seattle. ReMade @ Western Washington University []
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3 Responses to ReMade: Recycling for Retail

  1. Marshall says:

    Isn’t this how much of the world makes their products? Why is it that in Nairobi an illiterate metalworker on the street can come up with these concepts, but in the US it takes a highly educated college student. I guess this is a sign that the level of education in colleges in the US is going up – they’re now actually interested in doing practical work.

    You’re right, though. Garbage miners are going to be the robber barons of the mid-late 21st Century.

  2. Anonymous says:

    For an existing example:

    Terracycle makes organic fertilizer (worm poop tea, to be exact) packaged in used plastic soda bottles covered with shrink-wrap labels. A great example of a successful (afaik) product in re-purposed packaging.

  3. Felix Mitchell says:

    Reply to MARSHALL – “Why is it that in Nairobi an illiterate metalworker on the street can come up with these concepts, but in the US it takes a highly educated college student”

    I assume the college students’ proposals included how their designs could be mass produced. These aren’t opportunistic one-offs – they’re adding another layer to the food chain.

    Anyone can find a cool handle and attach it to something else. The important part is seeing how you could collect toothbrush handles of a standard design and consistently reuse them.

    To be honest, the most efficient method would be for all small, hand held tools to use the same handles, but there’s less money in that.

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