Saharan Refugees Recycle Plastic into Gold Jewelry

June 13, 2011 / No Comments

The term ‘plastic gold’ might seem to be paradoxical. However, paradoxes are destined to be true at times!

Saharan Refugees Recycle Plastic Bottles Into Amazing “Gold” Jewelry Saharan Refugees Recycle Plastic into Gold Jewelry

A student from Royal College of Art named Florie Salnot undertook the task of collecting old plastic bottles from the refugee camp and repurposed into remarkable faux-gold jewelry that reflects their local traditions. Salnot collaborated with Sandblast, a London-based nonprofit that works with the Saharawis of Algeria to make it happen. The best part of the news is that the endeavor was part of an attempt to create awareness about their cultural displacement! Let’s check how.

All you need to convert plastic into ‘gold’ is some amount of hot sand, a nail board and paint. The first step is to carefully paint plastic bottles the desired color and allow them to dry. Next, the bottles are cut into long, thin strips and woven around intricately arranged nails that have been hammered into a wooden board. Once the strips are secure, the board is submerged in hot sand, which shrinks the plastic around the nail board’s pattern. When they are finally removed, the plastic strips have transformed into delicate, labyrinthine designs that are ready for sale.

Saharan Refugees Recycle 1Plastic Bottles Into Amazing “Gold” Jewelry Saharan Refugees Recycle Plastic into Gold Jewelry

In a way, it is a struggle to reshape a community by giving them the tools they need to attain economic self-sufficiency. The brand new innovation has given a new meaning for fashion altogether.

Strange are the ways from which a craft gets a spark, isn’t it?

(via Ecouterre)