WOOF & WOW develops techniques for transforming plastic bottles into woven products to be used by arts & crafts people or industrial designers. The aim of WOOF & WOW is to include the world’s most disadvantaged communities in the process of design and production of products from waste, as they are moreover the ones that pick up the rest of the world’s trash.
“Putting power to marginalized Peruvian women by providing recycling tools”
Peru is currently undergoing fast-paced growth, which often does not come hand in hand with care for its rich environment. With growth also comes waste. Plastics are a predominant component of the Peruvian waste stream. Plastics remain in the environment forever, thereby threatening our environment and even posing risks for our health.
Little has been done in Peru to collect and recycle plastic waste, especially in impoverished urban settlements, where people live amidst their discarded plastics.
WOOF & WOW is a local solution to plastic pollution with special attention to the social-economical context of marginalized communities in Peru. The project aims to eventually develop a replicable model for the upcycling of plastic waste into hand-woven products made by local Peruvian communities, more specifically women. Through WOOF & WOW, these women will be able to independently provide income for their families while cleaning up their local environment from plastic waste.
The upcycling of plastic waste into products requires setting up a fair value-chain where recycling technology and production methods developed by WOOF & WOW form the incentive. The core success factor is that this technology is accessible and maintainable for the communities so that they are included in the first essential steps in the product value-chain.
WOOF & WOW does not design and sell the products themselves. Instead, they rely on local and international entrepreneurs to develop products based on the possibilities that are created by the combination of the technology and the local handicraft talent of communities in Peru. Therefore, an important part of the activities of WOOF & WOW is promoting the material, and to match designers with the production communities in Peru. As such, entrepreneurs are capable of manufacturing unique hand-made products that fit sustainable company policies and goals, while the wellbeing of these Peruvian communities and their local environments improve.
At Festival Ars Electronica 2016, WOOF & WOW will exhibit a stool that was designed by Icelandic designer Marta Sif in collaboration with an arts & crafts community in Peru. The exhibition will include the custom-made tools that were used to produce it, as well as a swing made from the same material.
This project is realized as part of the Summer Sessions network in a co-production of Loop and V2_, with support of the Creative Industries Fund NL.