Kenya | Products

Millions of people around the world currently lack access to affordable, functional and sustainable healthcare products. In Kenya, Circleg is answering this call by producing innovative and modular lower-limb prosthetics. Circleg’s prosthetic was developed specifically for the needs of amputees and technicians in low- and middle-income countries and was co-created with their support. Among other things, this means that it is designed for repairability: its parts are easily fixed and fully customisable to each individual, using only basic tools and minimal effort. Local production further improves the maintenance and repair of used parts, saving beneficiaries both time and money. To further minimise waste, the social enterprise also collects used components to be recycled and reinserted into the supply chain.

Photo: Henry Robinson.

Pimp My Carroça

Brazil | Communications

In Brazil, garbage collectors play an essential role in waste management, collecting approximately 90% of all recyclable materials. Despite this, they are often overlooked by society and underrecognised for their work. Pimp My Carroça is a movement dedicated to removing waste-pickers from invisibility — and increasing their income — through the use of art, education and technology. Inspired by the television series ‘Pimp My Ride, which transforms scrap metal cans into turbocharged cars, the project supports waste-pickers by giving them the tools they need to decorate and upgrade their wagons (or carroças). In this way, they hope to bring attention to the value of recycling and the very people who make it possible. In 2017, the project also launched Cataki: a mobile app bringing waste collectors and generators together on the same platform.
Photo: Júlia Nale for Pimp My Carroça.

Club de Reparadores

Argentina | Systems & Services

In many urban communities, repair is a dying skill. Club de Reparadores is an Argentinian initiative that hopes to change that — by providing people with the skills and resources they need to repair everything from clothes to home appliances and electronics. Besides hosting live fix-it workshops across cities in Latin America, the club also runs a digital platform that connects users with local cobblers and repair shops. While this makes it easier for people to share tools and save money, the main goal of the project is really about promoting a culture of care and educating people about the right-to-repair. In terms of impact, it is a triple threat: extending the life of objects, offering employment opportunities for skilled tradespeople and building more resilient communities.
Photo: Club de Reparadores.


Belgium | Materials

Hoping to drive change in the fashion industry is Resortecs: a start-up that develops solutions for textile disassembly and recycling. Their innovative materials allow fashion producers to minimise their resource use, while enabling recyclers to process higher volumes of premium-quality material. One of their most exciting products is Smart Stitch, a heat-dissolvable stitching thread with different melting points, which enables clothing producers to make their designs recyclable from the manufacturing stage. At the end of their useful lives, these garments can be returned to Resortecs for disassembly, where they will be pulled apart using a patented process that is low-emission and causes little to no material damage, allowing fabrics to be used over and over again.
Photo: Resortecs.

Lúdica Teia

Brazil | Spaces

Lúdica Teia is a design project that rescues fallen trees in the city of São Paulo and transforms them into public furniture. Led by designer Hugo França, the studio adopts an artistic approach to production, working with the natural patterns of wood to create beautiful objects and spaces. The project also offers workshops and schooling in the craft of tree-carving, promoting sustainable skills in the community.

This case is related to two issues of great relevance in Brazil: the first is the increasing frequency of heavy rains and other natural disasters, which are causing many native plants and trees to suffer. The second issue is the lack of interactive spaces in inner cities. Here, Lúdica Teia acts as a provocation to rethink the way we treat natural resources and urban wood waste.

Photo: Atelier Hugo França.

About this page

In preparation for the Redesign Everything Challenge, we worked together with partners in five cities to develop a series of digital zines about key climate urgencies and opportunities. Each issue offers a deep dive into a different aspect of the circular transition and the strategies for change that designers should consider. This one focuses on compelling cases for recycle and repair. See the next issue here.

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