Pentatonic: Upcycling specialists turning post-consumer waste into beautiful design classics

Upcycling specialists Pentatonic, who create beautiful, design classics from post-consumer waste, have opened a pop-up showroom and store in London’s Shoreditch.

The showroom and store, which is open until 12 October, has installations of how the new company turn trash into design products such as tables, chairs and glassware.

The Chance Street showroom also features products from Pentatonic’s launch collection, including glass cups made from upcycled smartphone screens; airtool chairs made from trash including shoe soles, food packaging, aluminium cans and plastic bottles; and airtool foil tables which are made of the same post-consumer trash as the chairs plus the addition of CDs and DVDs.

Pentatonic have made their furniture pieces modular, with each component made from one single material. What makes a product unfit for recycling, is that when materials are mixed together, it can be very difficult to extract one from the other.

The design company have made their furniture with recycling in mind, so that individual parts can be replaced when necessary. Any redundant components can then be sold back to Pentatonic where they are recycled and end up back in the supply chain, several times over. Nothing needs to end up in landfill.

Pentatonic, founded by Jamie Hall, a former Levi’s UK head of marketing, and Johann Boedecker, a German-born marketer, raised £4.3m ahead of launching its first collection last month. The investment will allow the homewares and furniture company to scale up its online presence in the UK and on the continent, as well as expand its existing product range.

On their website, the Pentatonic founders say: “At Pentatonic, we invent new materials using the world’s most abundant and dangerous resource – human trash – and we do so without compromising an inch on design, performance or function.

“Man has already produced enough plastic and glass to fulfil our needs forever – it’s all out there, it’s just a case of reincarnating rather than burying it. And with enough creativity, each incarnation  can be better than the last – with less impact. Waste doesn’t end up in the earth, the environment isn’t destroyed from resource extraction and recycled products have a lower carbon footprint than those from virgin materials.”

 

Pentatonic’s pop-up showroom in Shoreditch also showcases their recent collaboration with Starbucks. Pentatonic recreated the iconic Starbucks Bean Chair from upcycled textiles, made using only waste plastic. The upholstery, cushioning, frame and legs of these chairs were once plastic bottles and plastic cups.

A pop-up bar, at the showroom, is constructed entirely from its own waste materials – including a counter top and tables made from Starbucks recycled paper cups and a backdrop made up of 1,200 tiles made in London from plastic cups and coffee cup lids.

When the Pentatonic pop-up space closes on 12 October, all the materials used, and the Bean Chairs, will find new homes in Starbucks stores across Central London.

During London Design Week held last month, Pentatonic showcased their Trashpresso installation at the courtyard of Somerset House.

Trashpresso is the world’s first mobile off-grid, solar-powered recycling plant which transforms trash into new design materials for chairs, glassware, tables and other things.

The huge, recycling machine sits next to giant spheres filled with plastic waste. It creates furniture out of rubbish such as old smartphones, plastic bottles and food waste.

Pentatonic

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable lifestyle and living, wellbeing, and entertainments. Rosa also works as a psychic, counsellor, intuitive reader and spiritual life coach helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com

 

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