Craft by its very nature is a creative practice that is everchanging, adaptive and incredibly resourceful. Sparing none, materials ranging from metal to wood are bent, stretched, carved into breathtaking finishes. The ingenuity and resourcefulness of craft breathes new life into waste, transforming it into useful objects that have place and purpose in everyday life.
More than 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans globally, each year, adversely impacting ecosystems, biodiversity and potentially human health. Plastic pollution directly results in climate change as these small pieces end up in the sea, killing marine life and destroying the protective barrier of the ocean.
Recycling plastic and other items that end up in the trash in the craft industry is a move that several artisans and DIYers have been adapting to ease the pollution crisis.
This week, Entrepreneur Weekly dives into an eco-conscious trend that’s taking the craft industry by storm – recycling. In an era where sustainability is paramount, craft businesses are embracing recycling as not just a responsible choice but also a creative one.
Old magazines become colourful collages, worn-out clothing transforms into quilts, and broken jewellery pieces find new purpose as embellishments. Entrepreneurial crafters are also paying attention to their material sources. Many are choosing eco-friendly, recycled, or upcycled materials. This not only reduces their carbon footprint but also appeals to eco-conscious consumers who appreciate the effort to reduce waste.
DeSilva Hall Designs
One local craft producer, Belinda Hall, owner of DeSilva Hall Designs, uses recycled wine or rum bottles to create what she calls, “Lighted Bottles”. These top seller masterpieces are beautifully lit glass home pieces to elevate your space. Pistachio shells are also transformed into flowers. DeSilva Hall Designs uses only recycled items in their creative process, “I wanted to be unique, I didn’t want to use what everyone else was using so I started out with glass. At the same time, I am cleaning up Jamaica.”
Recycling in crafting isn’t just about the materials used; it’s also about what’s left behind. Craft businesses like DeSilva Hall Designs, are adopting zero-waste principles, minimising excess packaging, and finding ways to responsibly dispose of any waste produced during production. Some even collect and recycle scrap materials from their crafting projects.
Recycling in the craft industry isn’t just a noble endeavor; it’s also a smart business move. Consumers are increasingly seeking out eco-friendly products, and craft entrepreneurs who embrace recycling are well-positioned to meet this demand. Plus, it can lead to cost savings in material procurement.
As the craft industry evolves, it’s heartening to see entrepreneurs not only pursuing their creative passions but also doing so in an environmentally responsible way. Recycling in the craft industry isn’t just a trend; it’s a movement that aligns creativity with sustainability, proving that you can craft a better world one reused bead or upcycled fabric at a time.
The Craft Incubator at the JBDC Incubator & Resource Centre
Donna-Gay Uter, Product Development Specialist at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), says several artisans have been tapping into recycled products in their creative process. Items such as paper, glass bottles, newspapers, just to name a few, are being used in the trending DIY and home décor craft space.
Artisans who need to commercialise their creative practice have the opportunity to benefit from the use of the JBDC’s craft incubator, as well as training delivered by the team of experts. The craft incubator is equipped to accommodate clients who produce a variety of products including jewellery, leather goods including footwear (sandals), printed textiles, among others. The space is able to accommodate multiple users at a time and is equipped with tools such as tumblers, drills, polishing wheel, rolling mill, laser etching machine, and a variety of hand tools.
The incubator is also ideal for clients who want to experiment and develop new product concepts and prototypes. Book a visiting our website https://www.jbdc.net/services/incubators/.
JBDC Virtual Biz Zone
The JBDC is hosting the Craft Innovation series in its Virtual Biz Zone during August 2023. The sessions include The Business of Beads held on Tuesday, August 14, presented by Nigerian Cultural Diplomat to Jamaica, Alao Luqman Omotayo and Modernising Traditional Jamaican Craft held on Tuesday, August 29, presented by Senior Lecturer at the Edna Manley College, Ms. Laura Jones.
In case you missed these sessions, you may watch the replay on our YouTube channel @JBDCJamaica https://www.youtube.com/@jbdcjamaica.