Tea Waste Transformed Into Elegant Home Accessories

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A range of beautiful home accessories made from tea waste.

Pioneered by young, talented designers, sustainable design offers an eco-friendly take on traditional materials. For example, a chair made from reclaimed wood and plastic, products made from reclaimed construction cement, or a furniture and lighting series crafted from seaweed. Designers Michael McManus and Matthew Grant used a similarly creative approach to develop their new collection. In true British fashion, they turned to tea for inspiration. More specifically, tea waste that has a beautiful range of natural colors and textures.

Developed and designed by their own studio, Dust London, this collection of homeware is sculptural and organic. To create the elegant objects, the designers developed a special process that involves creating molds using a sheet of paper and traditional origami techniques. The process includes folding the paper, balancing the tension between facets, and reinforcing the material before creating silicone molds. The designers then select the tea waste from used tea bags and mix it with a non-toxic binder.

The collection includes three products: a vase, planter, and coasters. All of them feature smooth surfaces as well as clean geometric forms that showcase the origami folding technique. Depending on the type of tea waste, the handcrafted objects have green, yellow, brown, or even black hues. Every item comes in 5 tea variations: chamomile, English breakfast, black tea, peppermint, and rooibos. More than just an elegant homeware range, the Dust London collection also starts a conversation about sustainable design and its potential. The design studio has successfully launched the line on Kickstarter. You can find the products now on the studio’s site, or you can pick them up from the Tate Modern shop, later this year. Photographs© Dust London.

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