Any child of the 80s will be familiar with cassette tapes. Now with analogue items disappearing completely, that means a whole heap of cassette tapes are filling up landfills. But there’s where Singapore-based Jessica Chuan Yi Xin has intersected and created an innovative new textile made from cassette tapes – MusicCloth®.
Jessica Chuan Yi Xin has made use of a traditional basket weaving pattern to create the handwoven textile made from upcycled magnetic tapes.
The fashion design graduate gave birth to the idea following a decluttering exercise at home, when she stumbled upon an old stash of cassette tapes.
A keen environmentalist, Jessica Chuan Yi Xin did not want to add to e-waste filling up landfills. So instead, she got together with her mother and devised a way of reusing the tape – a delicate polyester film with metallic coating – using a needle and a traditional basket weaving pattern to create MusicCloth.
Since creating the fabric two years ago, Jessica Chuan Yi Xin’s company Rehyphen have created tote bags and city map posters, following successful Kickstarter campaigns, from the material. They have also produced notebooks in collaboration with Acasa Project from Indonesia.
With worldwide buzz around Rehyphen and its innovative MusicCloth, people and businesses have also been donating cassette tapes.
Earlier this year, Rehyphen launched a new product, using the empty cassette cases, recycling them with short and meaningful quotes to inspire.
Jessica Chuan Yi Xin, who considers herself to be a craftivist, says: “We [Rehyphen] hope to encourage people to see waste with fresh perspective, and get curious about how things are made. We throw things away for they are broken, no longer useful or having lost their charm. We, however, elevate everyday objects to a work of art, and to show that up-cycling art is not an environment movement but instead is a reminder that observing the other side of existence is the essence of art.
“Music is a universal language that ties people together. It has the power to change the world and even address our global e-waste issues by transforming it into another form that will inspire a global community.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea