Slide background
Empowering Our Communities To Redesign

Arts, fashion and zero waste

The world of arts and fashion maintains a very stimulating dialogue with the world of waste. Artists, eco-designers, and handcrafts professionals have found in waste materials a source of inspiration, a thrilling challenge to their creativity and even a conceptual pillar to build a whole new vision of arts, fashion and sustainability.

Eco ballerina compostable5
Eco ballerina by Katell Gelabert, made of discarded textiles
Eco ballerina compostable4
Eco ballerina by Katell Gelabert, made of discarded jeans


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Likewise, redesign and substantial doses of creativity are key ingredients in our path to zero waste. This is both to Redesign all those specifically problematic, toxic, non-recyclable/non-reusable items, but also to Redesign our economy so that we can Reduce the size of our waste-bin, Reuse as much as possible and Recycle what is left. The R to Redesign waste out of the system has indeed been recognized as paramount within the zero waste world.

 

Katell Gelebart is an example of this wave of artists looking at waste as a treasure. A French independent, Katell is an eco-designer using arts and fashion to raise awareness about waste.

abric groc
Katell Gelebart with her coat made of discarded packaging

 

“My creations are born in different cultural environments around the globe, with whatever waste and unwanted material there is already there that can act as a social trigger to inspire and raise awareness amongst communities in their social and environmental choices”, says Katell.

 

Katell founded her workshop, shop and brand Art d’Eco & Design in Amsterdam in 1998 in a groundbreaking initiative in the world of ecodesign. Passionate about waste and giving a new lifecycle to any material, she is a pioneer in developing design articles from unwanted and waste materials: stationery, fashion accessories, women garment, toys, and home furnishing. In 2012, Gelebart was awarded the Kairos Prize for her special contribution to European culture, rewarding her “creative vision to revisit what’s already there”.

 

Apart from her redesign work in her Amsterdam base, Katell has been sharing her current knowledge on upcycling, recycling and ecodesign in lectures and presentations in various fashion institutes and design academies, as well as in primary and high schools. In short, her philosophy and vision around creativity and sustainability is introducing many different audiences into what she calls New Thinking for New Times.

 

taller
Katell Gelebart in one of her workshops

Perhaps one of the most exciting experiences for the creative minds is her ecodesign workshops, in which participants experience a “hands on material” time. Participants themselves collect the waste and raw materials in their local environment, and learn to transform them with crafts techniques and low-tech means. Essentially, the workshop guides participants to explore the potential of any material to be given a second life, transforming it to another design item with the minimal intervention.

 

Gelebart’s current main concerns focus on big fashion company’s corporate responsibility.According to Hasmik Matevosyan in her book Paradigm shift in Fashion, the production of a clothes collection wastes up to 30% of the textile materials, which will never be retailed,” says Katell. “This seems to me like a huge amount of raw material wasted that it has been processed for nothing.”

 

Gelebart is thriving to pursue a dialogue on this issue and support organizations and companies in rethinking their production systems to achieve zero waste. In other words, lots of residual waste items are waiting out there to be on Karell’s hands and be transformed into beautiful and useful solutions. Redesign, arts and creativity may be indeed, one of the most mind-blowing responses to our wasteful, throw-away society. Nothing less than lots of fun and truly sustainable change for us and the future generations.

 

low tech toys
Low-tech toys, by Karell Gelebart
low tech toys 2
Low-tech toys, by Karell Gelebart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karell Gelebart’s upcoming book Trash is Treasure: ecodesign and conscious living will be published shortly.


New case study: The story of Contarina shows 85% recycling is possible!

This case study proves that high recycling targets are not only feasible, they also save money and create jobs

Zero Waste Europe publishes today a new case study showing that in less than 15 years it is possible to reach more than 80% in separate collection whilst reducing costs and creating jobs.

Contarina is responsible for the management of waste in most of the province of Treviso where they serve 554,000 inhabitants and reaching average levels of source separation of 85% whilst generating only 53kg of non-recyclable waste per inhabitant and year. In contrast, the EU average level of source separation is 42% and a 285kg per inhabitant and year of residual waste.

Contarina Zero Waste goals

It’s not only these impressive rates that make Contarina a zero waste champion, but its commitment to continuously improve its performance and advance towards zero waste. Good proof of this is the goal to recycle 96,7% of the waste by 2022 and reduce the residual fraction to 10kg per inhabitant and year.

“This experience proves that the targets set in the circular economy package, which VP Timmermans plans to withdraw, are not only realistic but they are the right way to stimulate the economy; creating jobs and increasing resource efficiency” said Joan Marc Simon, Director of Zero Waste Europe

Today, these case studies show that, in contrast with the outdated idea of burning or burying our waste, preventing, reusing and recycling it create jobs and resilience, save money, and protect the environment and public health.

You can download the case study here

 

ENDS

 

Contact:

Joan Marc Simon

info@zerowasteeurope.eu

+32 486832576

Picture recycling, jobs and costs Contarina

Zero Waste Europe was created to empower communities to rethink their relationship with resources. In a growing number of regions, local groups of individuals, businesses and city officials are taking significant steps towards eliminating waste in our society. Read more about us here.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Follow us in FacebookTwitter and Linkedin

Visit our Youtube channel

 

This is the last of 4 case studies published by Zero Waste Europe. If you want to learn about these amazing practices download the case studies of Capannori (Italy), Argentona (Spain) and Vhrnika (Slovenia), and review the stories of their successes to date, providing an analysis of the key elements that allowed such impressive transition.