Can we use reclaimed plastics to create cultural vernacular?
Inspired by Japanese paper lamps, we are developing a range of cactus-shaped lamps that are made entirely from the plastic waste we collect in Tijuana & San Diego. We use upcycled plastic bags for the top and create a durable, one-of-a-kind base made of PP and HDPE plastic waste. The shape pays homage to the beautiful native cacti found across our landscape.
In collaboration with local artisans in Tijuana, we are working closely on the artistic and R&D process to develop these lamps. We collect clear plastics (like grocery shopping bags or packaging waste) in San Diego that would otherwise end up in the landfill, or worse, oceans. We use these to create leather-like sheets that are then cut and formed into our signature cactus shape.
We've also joined forces with a non-profit to help clean up waste in Los Laureles — a barrio in Tijuana where plastic accumulates in the riverways. Using harder plastics found in this neighborhood, such as shampoo bottles and soda bottle caps, we're able to create beautiful marble-like designs and form a sturdy base.
In the spirit of creating a local vernacular through functional art, we will encourage customers to fill the base of their lamp with locally foraged natural objects like sand, seashells, rocks, or dirt.
We are still in the R&D process and hope to launch these by Summer 2021.