Rethinking Waste | Upcycled Jewellery Made From Household Items

Nov 19, 2021by Olivia - F&F

We’ve come across a beautiful new line of Upcycled Jewellery that transforms common household waste — like aluminium cans and shampoo bottles — into stunning earrings, necklaces and rings! The talented artist, Carol Barreto, creates jewellery inspired by the native wonders of Brazil for the sustainable style brand, Akili Australia.

Jewellery Made From Aluminium Cans, Shampoo Bottles & X-Ray Plates

When you look at an aluminium can or a shampoo bottle, you probably don’t see a whole lot of potential — apart from its recyclability. But, for jewellery designer Carol Barreto, the possibilities for these household waste items are endless.

Carol's created a stunning range of upcycled jewellery for Akili — inspired by the colours and shapes of Brazil’s wildlife, as well as vibrant fruits and the bustling sceneries of Rio de Janeiro. To create each piece, Barreto collects and upcycles PET bottles, aluminium cans — and even x-ray plates —  to create modern and environmentally-friendly eco jewellery. “I noticed the amount of resistant, beautiful and colourful materials people discarded after only one use. I realised I could create beautiful pieces with these materials,” said Carol.

Gothas Sustainable NecklaceGothas Sustainable Necklace

Rethinking Waste To Create Something Beautiful

Carol's designs for Akili are based on the idea of rethinking what ‘waste’ actually is! An aluminium can, for example, can be infinitely recycled without losing its features, colour or shine. Likewise, the thick plastic used for shampoo/conditioner bottles is colourful, flexible, and incredibly durable. 

It makes us think — why do these materials (most often) end up in landfill? But, as we can see in Carol's designs, these materials can be utilised in so many different ways.

According to Akili, “sustainability drives not only her creative design, but is also an inherent part of her production processes. Carol aims to make us re-think our concept of waste by treating discarded, colourful materials as precious jewels in all of her timeless eco-friendly, ethical creations”.

Designs Inspired By Brazilian Wildlife

We’re obsessed with these gorgeous designs! Each piece is inspired by the vibrant sights of Brazil. The Guaraná Handmade Statement Earrings are inspired by Guaraná; a native Brazilian plant that is typically harvested for energy drinks. To create these eye-catching earrings, Barreto used upcycled plastic and x-ray plates! The Guará Handmade Statement Earring mimics the scarlet-red feathers of the Guará; a Brazilian bird that’s sadly almost extinct. 

The Gothas Silver Sustainable Necklace is made using upcycled PET bottles! The Lapa Handmade Drop Earrings, are also made from upcycled PET bottles and aluminium cans. These silver and white earrings are inspired by the Palm trees in a suburb called Lapa in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Tatty Devine Colour Swatch EarringsTatty Devine Colour Swatch Earrings

Upcycled Jewellery Made From Paint Chips!

Tatty Devine is a London-based jewellery brand that’s all about art, colour and fun! Founded in 1999 by Harriet and Rosie, Tatty Devine jewellery is all designed and handmade in-house.

We’re particularly fond of the Colour Swatch Necklace and Colour Swatch Earrings. All pieces in the Colour Swatch Line are made from 100% recycled acrylic, which includes brooches and keyrings, too. Each colourful piece — resembling paint chips commonly used for sampling — is named after an art movement from the twentieth century, such as “Post Modern Red” and “Pop Art Yellow”. Each piece features laser-cut, etched and hand-inked details.

We think this is such an awesome and creative way to repurpose a common item into one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces!

These unique, handcrafted jewellery pieces show the infinite potential of common ‘waste’ items around the home! We also love that the pieces are inspired by the vibrant sights of Brazil, including some of its unique wildlife. Make sure you take a look at the entire range of Upcycled Jewellery by Carol Barreto at Akili Australia, plus our very own Jewellery at Flora & Fauna.

For more upcycled inspiration, check out the blogs below!

Colourful & Recycled Paint Chip Jewellery

Upcycled Products We Love!

Top 10 Upcycling Ideas

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