Reduce, reuse, recycle: check out these clever products that make treasure out of trash.

It is, by now, commonly accepted that collectively we must not only learn to tread more lightly on the earth, but to reverse the damage (or that which we can) left by our heavier footprints until now. Mercifully, many of us are doing our bit by attempting to reuse and reduce our waste, and by recycling when the other two options are not possible.

A clutch of very clever brands, however, have gone one step further by reusing plastic (or otherwise) waste to create entirely new, and often ultra-stylish, products. Not only that, but you’d have a hard time figuring out that they had ever even been near a plastic bottle, let alone that they are made of them. Whether you fancy a spree for yourself that won’t compromise your eco values, or you’re looking for stylish Christmas presents that will not only not add to the landfill mountain, but actively reduce that pile, these are the products made from recycled materials that make our list.


The ReNew Transit Backpack, £71


Everlane


Everlane does an excellent line in recycled products – from shoes to puffer jackets – under its ‘ReNew’ collection. We especially love the Transit Backpack, which is made from 100 per cent recycled polyester, ‘diverting waste from landfills and lessening dependency on fossil fuels.’ In addition to its eco cred, it has functionality and style in spades too. It features a laptop pocket and handy compartments for passports and travel documents, as well as two water bottle holders. In short, it’s the ideal weekend companion for travellers. Buy it here and explore the whole excellent ReNew collection here.


Navy Herringbone Blanket, £50


Weaver Green


When cider-maker Tasha Green and her flooring specialist husband Barney were travelling in Asia, they came across a boat tethered using a fishing rope constructed entirely from unravelled plastic bottles. It transpired to be a eureka moment; could they, too, transform some of the mountain of plastic waste that goes to landfill into products that people could love, and that might just last a lifetime? The answer was yes, and thus Weaver Green was born. It took them seven years to perfect the art of translating hard plastic into soft textiles that apes the look and feel of wool, but once they did it, there was no stopping them. And the collection of rugs, blankets, cushions, footstalls and ottomans are instant classics. We love this Navy Herringbone blanket, which is made from 300 plastic bottles that would otherwise currently be in the toxic process of decomposition. Plus, they’re practical too, thanks to being both stain- and moth-resistant. Buy it here and do also explore the whole collection here.


Kama Sneakers, £78.48


Vivaia Collection


Vivaia’s factory sources discarded plastic and then transforms them into threads from which to make new shoes. Using 3D technology, they then set in train a zero-waste system to create stylish knitted shoes, from classic flats to boots to trainers. We like these simple sneakers with rainbow piping, which keep the whole affair classic with a twist. Clever, no? Buy them here and explore the whole collection here.


111 Navy Chair, £464


Emeco


What do you get when you cross American furniture manufacturer, Emeco, with Coca Cola, its most famous drinks manufacturer? A recycled chair, as it turns out – and an especially stylish one at that. The Navy chair is, after all a classic, and so named for having first been created in aluminium for the US Navy in 1944. Back in 2006, Coca Cola saw an opportunity to be part of that story; wanting to give its used bottles a new lease of life, it collaborated with Emeco to produce a recycled plastic version of the iconic chair. In its first five years alone, production of the chair saved some 15 million bottles from landfill. A win-win, if ever there was one. Buy it here.


KUNGSBACKA Corner Base Cabinet Set, £39


Ikea


On the one hand, IKEA is emblematic of fast, throwaway retail. And yet, for a few years now, it has been figuring out ways to make its production more sustainable and, as a retail giant, leading the way for others to follow. One example is this clean, matte black kitchen front, made from recycled wood and plastic. Style and substance. Buy it here.


Catamaran Indoor & Outdoor Cushion | Navy & White Stripe, £70


Nisi Living


Oh, how we love a nautical stripe. And this one, happily, is both nautical and nice, having been made from 100 per cent recycled plastic and ethically produced by fair trade artisans. Designed to be used inside and out, it is weather- and UV-resistant; there is, however, no way that we wouldn’t bring it inside to enjoy through the winter months too. Buy it here.


Bower Ocean Bottle in Forest Green, £39.99


Bower Collective


Most of us are, by now, on board with the concept of reusable water bottles, given that 80 per cent of plastic bottles end up in landfill, where they leak harmful chemicals as they decompose. Bower, however, goes one step further. Its bottle not only saves you from grabbing a single-use alternative, but is actually made from recycled materials too, meaning that it reduces landfill at both ends. Meanwhile, its vacuum stainless-steel insulation ensures that the things you want to be hot remain so; and the contents you want to stay cold does that also. It’s free from BPA and parabens too. Genius. Buy it here.


By Nancy Alsop
October 2021

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Nancy Alsop

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Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.

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