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How designer Hamzeh Alfarahneh refashions his kitchen’s plastic waste

by | Jul 3, 2020

Designer Hamzeh Alfarahneh did several experiments with house-hold waste plastics before settling on a product for the Refashion Plastic project. The result: a credit card lanyard that facilitates touch-free payment at grocery stores, coffee shops, or booksellers, designed with Covid-19 in mind.

“One of the alarming conclusions of this project was realising the amount of plastic waste that my household is responsible for producing,” says the founder of Not Just A Comb. “Refashion Plastic has opened my eyes to the potential of using plastic waste as components for design.”

For this year’s #PlasticFreeMzansi campaign, Twyg, The Beach Co-op and Biru Experiments collaborated with five designers who have made garments and accessories from plastic waste. Waste is a design flaw, and should be designed out of systems. Illustrating how this can be done beauitfully, designers VIVIERS Studio, Our Workshop, One I AM, Crystal Birch and Not Just a Comb have given plastic the value it deserves. These items are now in a surprise basket travelling to five personalities who will re-wear and style these garments as they wish.

Listen to Hamzeh Alfarahneh on Twyg Instagram Live at 1.30pm on Friday 3 July

Hamzeh says the aim of his design process was to understand the composition of ‘waste’ and find innovative and economical ways to scale production and manufacturing processes.

 

Hamzeh explains:

Using the plastic’s ability to bond under heat and pressure to form airtight seams and unraveling mesh produce bags to use as beading threads, this object invites us to rethink our relationship with plastic waste.

Another key variable in the design process was studying human behaviour during and post the COVID era. The new norm of minimised contact with public-facing objects, tools, and materials combined with the materials’ properties mentioned above gave birth to the idea for a credit card lanyard that facilitates a touch-free payment system in public spaces such as grocery stores, coffee shops, or booksellers.

Following Not Just A Comb’s tradition of naming its objects, the lanyard carries the name ‘A Little Bit of Sunshine’. It features a tableau of floating daisies in a sea of night. The daisies symbolise new beginnings, as per the goddess Freya of the Nordics , and the foreground of darkness reflects on the world’s current state of affairs, reminding us that there is always a little glimpse of hope. It further recognises this moment as an opportunity for meaningful disruption and mass adoption of wiser practices for the environment.

The choice of using beadwork is to keep in line with Not Just A Comb’s visual language and DNA of spreading fun, colour, and creativity through the marriage of contemporary culture and craft. The object is an amalgamation of common house-hold plastic waste from The Beach Co-op’s The Dirty Dozen list. Fragments from see-through food packaging, crisp packaging, plastic bags, and mesh produce bags have come together to create A Little Bit of Sunshine.

About

What
A credit card lanyard, called A Little Bit of Sunshine.

Make up
House-hold plastic waste chosen from The Dirty Dozen, a list The Beach Co-op has compiled of the most commonly found beach plastic litter. Fragments from see-through food packaging, crisp packaging, plastic bags, and mesh produce bags have come together to create A Little Bit of Sunshine. Beading is glass, but thread is unraveled plastic mesh.

Function
Wear it when you go shopping. It facilitates a touch-free payment system in public spaces such as grocery stores, coffee shops, or booksellers.

Images: Portrait by Ashleigh-Kavanagh and supplied 

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