Carsten Van Der Leek
At Waltic we craft wrist watches made of 100% recycled plastic bags retrieved from nature.
I'm Federico Baroni, designer and hobbyist sailor. Since I was a child, I had seen plastic bags floating in rivers, being aware of the impact that plastic has on marine life I decided to start a research to check if it's possible to craft a complex item like a watch recycling low density plastics like a plastic bag or plastic foils. With a large team of volunteers, we retrieve plastics from rivers and nature, then we process the material using extruders to after make 100% recycled plastic pellets to then inject them into our molds, having an unique wrist watch as result. The machines and the techniques we apply makes an incredible marbled effect, in this way every item is unique. All the watch components are put it together without any glue. An important aspect of our production layout is that we developed it in a way we're able to work with disabled people, we designed our watch taking in count the worker's sight, an inclusive one.
recycle, circular business, up cycling, plastic bag, marine conservation,
- Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?
The project is focused on teaching people about sustainable development, from volunteers until people working at our facilities have to understand the importance of what we do and commit to the cause. We work a lot with people in South America who are not familiarized with circularity or sustainability so through the project we explain to them how plastic pollution affects them in order to take action and improve their communities by a positive change.
- Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?
We use 100% recycled plastic in our processes, also 100% recyclable. Our watches have specific instructions on how to recycle them to keep the plastic into the circular system, also we're developing a "Swap" program so people could exchange our items.
- Does your design use principles of distribution and open source?
Yes, our goal is to set a minimum production layout with specific machines in order to replicate our techniques so entrepreneurs, impact makers and designers around the world could produce our items and redistribute them in a close area in order to be efficient in terms of Co2 emissions.
- Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?
We got a really strong communication line focused on creating awareness of responsible consumption. We believe that people actually don't take climate action not because they don't want to but because they don't know about the effects of massive consumption, fast fashion and more, so we decided to show them the truth.
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