Waste not Want not

by Eve Hollands on

I love materials. I love materials in any shape or form, no matter what colour or texture. I am fascinated by where they come from, how they are made, and what they are used for. I love raw materials, and transformed materials, but recently have been especially intrigued by recycled materials. A few days ago I was at the Somerset House, and I saw their exhibition Scarcity Waste and it got me thinking. There is so much beauty in materials and in the products we make from them, but this beauty is somehow tainted when you consider how we are emptying the earth out of its natural resources to obtain the materials and that we only filling her up with waste once we have discarded the products.

Sudipto Das, ‘Illegal Sand Mining’

West Bengal, India, 2010Planet Under Pressure · ScarcityWaste · SYNGENTA PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD

Pedro Armestre, ‘Neumaticos’

Seseña, Toledo, Spain, 2009

Our Footprint · ScarcityWaste · SYNGENTA PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD

Things need to change. I decided to do a little investigation and find out what initiatives are out there looking for innovative ways to turn waste in opportunities. This is one incredible project I discovered.

Looptworks is one of the pioneers in ending waste.

“We rescue high-quality, unused material and turn it into limited edition, hand-numbered goods.”

This project was founded by Scott Hamlin and Gary Peck, when they realized that 40 million pounds of unused materials went to waste each year in manufacturing alone. They set out to make a difference. By changing the approach towards the manufacturing process they have manage to offer unique, high quality products and support partners such as Patagonia or Toyota in reducing their carbon footprint.

This is how they explain it:

When Southwest Airlines began a large-scale redesign of cabins, they donated the leather from 80,000 seats to Looptworks. And they set out to create the Luv Seat Collection, a limited-edition range of totes, duffel bags and rucksacks. Each bag has its own unique characteristics and by using repurposed leather it actually conserves over 4,000 gallons of water and avoids 72% of CO2 emissions!

The Weekender Duffle. Photo: Courtesy of Looptworks

Learn more about their amazing project here.

What projects do you know that reuse our waste?

More information:

Scarcity Waste

Second edition of the Syngenta Photography Award.

11 March – 10 April 2015

Daily 10.00-18.00 (last entry 17.15), until 18.30 (last entry 17.45) on 11 March

East Wing Galleries, East Wing

Free admission



332 NE San Rafael Street

Portland, OR 97212 USA