My upcycling journey began two years ago while I was exploring the beautiful country of Tanzania. I was captivated by the wild open spaces, the vibrant colours, and the warm generous people. The moment which changed my life was when I caught sight of some handmade brightly-painted sandals at a Maasai market. These innovative sandals were made entirely out of repurposed car tyres. I immediately fell in love with the idea that functional products could be created out of trash, and I knew that I simply had to share this brilliant idea with the world.
Scrap tyres are a rapidly growing problem on this planet, with over 3 billion tyres dumped globally every year. They take decades to break down and often pile up on landfill sites, taking up valuable space and clogging up our planet. We need to find imaginative and creative eco-solutions for the increasing amount of waste on our planet and transform it into useful and sustainable treasure. From the moment I saw those car tyre sandals, I knew that this had to be my mission in life.
After returning from Africa I was inspired to begin crafting tyre belts at home, going on to sell my handmade fashion accessories at the London markets. As my ideas and techniques developed, so did my business and I began creating even more items such as inner tube jewellery and dog accessories. German tyre manufacturer, Schwalbe, donated approximately 5000 rejected tyres to me saved from a future in landfill, which I upcycled into an eclectic range of belts, jewellery, guitar straps, dog leads - and much more.
In collaboration with music and film production company, Cadiz Music, I moved my expanding business to the Cadiz Gallery, Greenwich - a suitably avant-garde glass building and a wonderful hub of creative energy. I certainly have come a long way since I began my journey thousands of miles away in Africa!
I am delighted that upcycled tyres are taking the world by storm and that more and more people are becoming eco-conscious, choosing sustainable, ethical and vegan products. I simply can not wait to come up with even more wild ideas for my beloved tyres and hopefully inspire others to think big, create, and change the world!