More and more, designers are thinking about the environmental impact of their work. From the use of recycled materials in furniture to low-VOC paints, the industry has made leaps and bounds in the last few years. But there is a long way to go: a staggering 1.6 million tonnes of furniture and bulky waste still ends up in landfill in the UK every year. Here to raise awareness, funds and provide a solution to the problem is The Crossover Project.
Set up this year by design journalist Roddy Clarke and Aurélia Islimye, founder of avant-garde art gallery Bleur, The Crossover Project is designed to fight waste by using art as a force for change. The initiative’s strategy is simple, but effective: to harness the waste produced by design and fashion brands, then ask emerging artists to rework these unfamiliar materials and transform them from potential landfill into bespoke artworks.
Clarke and Islimye have hand-picked a roster of exciting artists represented by Bleur and tasked them with creating pieces from a collection of surplus materials donated by design brands, furniture designers and fashion houses. Best of all, the resulting works are all available as part of an online auction until 29 July – so you can buy a unique piece of design history while contributing to a world-saving concept at the same time.
The pieces range from a discarded jacket, painted and redesigned by Emmanuel Unaji, to Sophie Rawlingson’s intricately mosaiced wood and the mixed media collages of Beth Fraser, which use wood shavings and linoleum from Grain, found papers, Elephant magazines and Graphenstone surplus paint.
All the pieces were shown in an exhibition at The Royal Exchange in London. A portion of the profits from the auction will be donated to support the work of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, dedicated to building a circular economy.