Can we use recycled plastics to create a futuristic craft?
Inspired by Japanese paper lamps, we've created a range of cactus-shaped lamps that are made entirely from plastic waste collected 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.
Alongside an artisan family in Tijuana, we collaborated closely on the artistic and R&D process for over a year to develop these lamps. We start by collecting clear plastic bags (like grocery shopping bags or packaging waste) in San Diego that would otherwise end up in the landfill, or our 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 Canyon — a barrio in Tijuana where plastic accumulates in the channeled river. Using harder plastics found in this neighborhood, such as shampoo bottles tops 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 encourage customers to fill the base of their lamp with locally foraged natural objects like sand, seashells, rocks, or dirt.