How Many Uses Can you Think of For a Belt? | Home Design Find

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How Many Uses Can you Think of For a Belt?

beltflooring green

A Royal College of Art graduate has started a business recycling leather belts into, among other things, flooring material. This modular flooring uses recycled leather belts. The belts are cut and arranged onto a backing and glued with a water based adhesive.

This floor could turn out to be very durable. Leather weathers well. Walking on it would feel luxurious. The floor looks lovely; like old weathered wood.

It is good to see such well thought-out recycling in the garment industry. Having come out of Art School myself to spend almost 30 years in the fashion industry, I have personally seen how much waste there is in that industry.

One wrong move, one outlandish style that goes from being the hot new thing and then suddenly stops selling. One botched fax to a manufacturer that leads to the wrong holes being punched in thousands of belts, and wrecked items pour off sewing factory assembly lines, until all the Ross stores in the world are not enough to take care of the problem.

There’s little recycling.

Innovation by itself yields much waste. By its nature fashion is wasteful, because it is about innovation; it is not uniform. Unlike manufacturing ballpoint pens, say, which will never have to be thrown away for not looking right from one year to the next, fashion creates waste by its very innovation-based nature.

Yet we are innovation junkies. That’s why we read sites like this. That’s why designers make things.

So it is nice to see that Inghua Ting has started her business recycling leather belts into, among other things, flooring material.  She has leveraged these inherent problems in design (innovation=waste) and started her first business out of Art School devising a new use for creating a product out of all that waste that ex-art students like us are guilty of adding to the world. She is using those divergent thinking skills that the design industry needs, but using that to find a serious use for real waste.

Divergent thinking – as in How many uses can you think of for a brick? is the opposite of convergent thinking. Design students are far more likely to excel at divergent thinking than convergent thinking. Convergent is converging on the one right answer: 2 + 2 = 4. Edward de Bono’s divergent thinking kids classic The Dog Exercising Machine has many examples of divergent thinking.

This divergent thinking of designers can go a bit far, become ridiculous: a lot of supposedly sustainable re-purposed items are just not that green.

And this recycled leather floor might or might not prove to be be durable over the long term.

She will have to test that and see, over time. It might; after all, leather was used to make the soles of shoes until well into the middle ages, so centuries-worth of people have walked on leather, under the soles of their feet (although we can’t ask them how often they had to resole those shoes).

That’s R&D that’s worth doing for truly useful recycling.

Via GreenUpgrader

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2 Comments so far to “How Many Uses Can you Think of For a Belt?”
  1. Diseño de pavimentos modulares con cinturones reciclados - DecoraHOY Says:

    […] Vía| homedesignfind […]

  2. Kathy Says:

    Weave belts or neckties into a chair seat.

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