Trash from Kenya becomes Nordic design

Swedish design-duo takes one man's trash and turns it into another man's treasure

Gothenburg-based designer duo Taste for Waste utilizes old bicycle hoses from Kenya and turns them into accessories and interior design products in Nordic design. With support from, among others, Sida and Chalmers, the duo has taken on the task of reducing Kenya's growing environmental problems and high unemployment.

- A designer must not only produce good and smart products for the consumer, we also have a responsibility to contribute to a better environment. Bicycle hoses are a big part of waste in Kenya and releases poisons in combustion. In addition, our design attracts Swedish consumers who, through their purchase, contribute to creating sustainable jobs for locals who otherwise would live under difficult economic conditions, says Pernilla Persson, designer at Taste for Waste.

The first collection from Taste for Waste includes necklaces, bowties, covers for tablets and saucepans. One requirement is that the products are to be produced from recycled material. In addition, they must be made using simple tools such as scissors and knives. Therefore, all products are made of used bicycle hoses that craftsmen can buy for as little as 1 SEK a piece and which is also a simple material to work with.

- We have had strict conditions to work within, but it is really cool that we now have products ready for the Swedish market. This gives hope for the future to Kenyan craftsmen and is also a step on the way to reducing Kenya's environmental problems, said Jenny Fingal, designer for Taste for Waste.

Taste for Waste already sees a lot of interest in the products that are now sold in Sweden. The intention is to invest all profits in continued cooperation with the craft organization Zingira Community Craft, which represents local craftsmen, thus creating even more sustainable jobs.

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