Dirty Rags at Elisava Design School. Image Credit: Vicente Zambrano
What can you do with 1.285 bright green used uniforms? This was the brief the design students at Elisava school in Barcelona received by Urbaser, a local waste collection and urban cleaning company. Not only were they asked to design useful products for the company's employees out of their old uniforms, they also had to come up with designs that would use all of the pieces of the uniforms; leaving nothing behind.The Elisava students presented their work in an exhibition called "Dirty rags?: from uniform to object" within the activities of the European Week for Waste Reduction, taking place in over 30 regions of Europe this week.Because Urbaser changed their loco recently, the current uniforms bearing the old graphics, became obsolete. But rather than throw them out, here is what you can turn them into using as much of the material as possible. A big part of the project was the understanding of the disassembly of the garments in order to turn them into new, long-lasting products, using everything from the different fabrics, zippers and buttons. It would have been nice to see some consideration for the end of life of these products, making sure that the new designs could be easily recycled again at the end of their useful life.
Objects designed to meet the workers' needs
Petate, a multifuncional object to use at home. Image credit: Elisava workshop students
Micro-architectures: facilities for cultural events
Tent for kids and decoration for street parties. Image credit: Elisava workshop students
Costumes for children
Dragon costume. Image credit: Elisava workshop students
All the products were made by Ravaltex, a local workshop that helps people to reintegrate into society. "Dirty rags" is a social as well as eco-friendly project that explores solutions to a specific waste problem (in this case, discarded uniforms) and creates a collaboration between design students and the industry. The show is open until december 22nd at Elisava Design School in Barcelona.