Falling in love with industrial wastes

Industrial wastes at Clerkenwell ©Sophie_Mutevelian238A6422

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The overarching theme at Clerkenwell Design Week is ‘sustainability’. The concern for our environment and the challenges of preserving nature and the Earth is rising. As manufacturers we are aware that we contribute to the mounting piles of landfill and industrial wastes even though ultra-modern production methods are used. Industrial wastes 18s956AAs a company and with many sustainability-minded employees, we have been thinking about ways to lower and ultimately eliminate industrial wastes. Since 2010, a small team in Kohler, Wisconsin, USA, has been experimenting and considering creative ways to re-use materials that are destined for these landfills. The end goal is to use 100% of the materials to produce new products such as tiles that can be marketed. Industrial wastes 56s887AThe team has come a long way since then: Theresa Millard, a certified biomimicry professional, ceramic artist, and head of the team, and a small group of associates have opened an experimental lab in July 2017 to develop sustainable products from waste materials and to further raise the awareness of using waste products within the company and the community.  Industrial wastes 46s587ACurrently, the lab associates are delivering 100 square foot of tiles for internal projects. They are documenting and researching the outcomes for color and quality variances. Progress is being made by the hour to create something beautiful and valuable with material that discarded and disregarded far too long.Industrial wastes 53s763ATheresa thought: What would be an even better and create a bigger impact? How can we share the insights of this journey internationally? Together with the Kohler team in the UK, Theresa set up an interactive workshop on 24 June 2018 at 11.30 a.m. at the Kohler Experience Center (KEC) in London. Industrial wastes IMG_0122 KECThe KEC, located in Clerkenwell, is in the middle of the events at Clerkenwell Design Week where a record number of architects and designers are browsing the showrooms for new, innovative ideas and inspirations. Architects probably know that industrial wastes from vitreous and cast-iron manufacturing operations have been used for road and other outdoor construction in the past but applying dust and waste scraps in new ways is probably news.  Industrial Wastes at Clerkenwell ©Sophie_Mutevelian238A6651Theresa, who has been focusing full-time on sustainability since 2011, will take the 25 participants on a tactile and sensory trip into the world of industrial wastes and demonstrate how the perceived wastes are actually valuable resources and can be used similar to virgin materials. She will show the audience how foundry dust processed differently becomes a sort of terracotta clay. Later this dust is transformed into unique, one-of-a-kind tiles. And if all goes well and all the tests and analysis hold up, the first ‘dust’ tiles go to market at our Ann Sacks’s stores in 2019. Industrial wastes 33s066A waste dust tilesThe workshop is interspersed with hands-on activities, examples from the Waste Lab, and a great platform for discussion on the circular economy, environment, and sustainability.

Source: some photos for industrial wastes are courtesy of Clerkenwell Design Week

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