Plastic pollution is an urgent global issue, as all of us know, but we try to ignore one plastic-consuming industry: toys. The reason may be because they are the little loves' favorites or because their life spans are very short. However, these cheap products make one of the biggest problems. Therefore, Belgian designers founded ecoBirdy, persisting the 100% use of recycled plastic for manufacturing their furnitures. Many people ask, 'But can the already-recycled furnitures get recycled again?' This company proudly nods and says, 'Yes, they can be recycled again.'
"Among the deluge of beautiful designs made by great masters, I was wondering what the meaning of "another chair" meant. For me, it indicated the best thing we could make in this age of climate change, especially at the height of our time," said Vanessa Yuan, a co-founder of ecoBirdy.
The sooner you form a habit of recycling, the better. This is the reason why the Belgian-based design studio VYDC (Vanbriel Yuan Design Company), which launched the ecoBirdy visited children's schools in April during the Milan International Furniture Fair. EcoBirdy is a children's upcycling furniture brand that collects and recycles old, unused plastic toys and turn into furniture. With each step heavily relied on social and environmental responsibility, this company introduced a school program.
Vanessa Yuan explained to the children the typical lifecycle of toys, educated them about plastic waste and recycling, and allowed them to donate their own toys that they no longer use, to make furniture. The battery and fabric parts toys collected at the school are removed from the local workshop by hand, sorted by type of plastic, and sent to Italian furniture manufacturing plants where they are cleaned and ground, and categorized in colors, then transformed into a single item. EcoBirdy's products ranging from lamps, chairs, tables, and storage boxes are priced at between 120 and 320 euros (about 150,000 to 420,000 won). They are designed not only elegantly but also kid-friendly. The smooth surface and rounded edges make them pleasant to touch.
Communication by e-mail to convey clear circulation news when the toys get a new life from furniture to the children who donated the materials and their parents is a part of the manufacturing process as well. Ultimately, ecoBirdy, aiming at up to 25,000kg of toy cycling, achieved a 55% achievement rate as of July 17th.
The co-founders- Vanessa Yuan and Joris Vanbriel- worked in the Milan fashion industry and interaction design, respectively. They have spent two years of researching into the recycling and up-cycling of plastic toys. Consequently, they have invented furniture that is made from only one kind of plastic and can be recycled 100% instead of using silicon, and it also earned a unique name called ecothylene®. Charlie Chair, EcoBuddy's flagship product, has been certified as safe children's furniture for use in French schools.
Check out Ecobirdy's website at https://www.ecobirdy.com/!