This year Milan Design Week, now in its 56th year, ran from 4 April to 9 April in exhibitions and pavilions across the city.
Hosting more than 2,000 exhibitors and premiering thousands of new products, the fair sets an international benchmark for design shows and sees in excess of 372,000 visitors from as many as 165 countries descend on the city.
On display at Salone del Mobile.Milano 2017 were two companies pioneering recycling technology and leading the way in sustainable practices: Miniwiz and Bonotto.
Miniwiz was founded by architects and structural engineers Arthur Huang and Jarvis Liu. They based their company purpose on a mission to address the great disparity between sustainability, recycling and eco-consciousness and the bleak market reality around its lack of financially feasible applications.
In 2007, Miniwiz developed the its breakthrough project, the HYmini – a groundbreaking portable wind, solar and handcrank power generator made from recycled electronic waste plastic and post-consumer recycled paper. This device, a zero carbon footprint charging product, was the first in hundreds of Miniwiz projects to follow, which truly encapsulated all Miniwiz stands for –performance efficiency at zero carbon cost.
By 2015, the World Economic Forum had recognised Miniwiz as a Technology Pioneer in the category ‘Energy / Environment / Infrastructure’, highlighting the positive impact that the company’s activity has had upon the world’s environment and economic development.
Miniwiz is the creator of The Trash Lab, the world’s only laboratory dedicated exclusively to unlocking the upcycling potential of the abundant but deeply damaging resource of garbage. Miniwiz has made the circular economy a reality of everyday consumption. Beginning with the development and testing of scalable technologies for mass-manufacturing application and ending with the turnkey delivery of physical architectural and consumer solutions, Miniwiz turns recycled material into high-performance applications with functional and commercial value. Miniwiz applies its proprietary material and manufacturing capabilities to post-consumer plastic waste, packaging waste, food waste, electronic waste, and now, for the first time, fashion industry waste, creating recycled and re-recyclable raw materials, turnkey architecture and interiors, building modules, customisable consumer goods and luxury performance fabrics.
Current developments have seen Miniwiz team up with Italian company Bonotto to produce 100 percent recycled, single-material, luxury fashion. A century of sophisticated fashion manufacturing meets re-engineered garbage to create the first glimpse of what the future of fabrics might be in the collaboration ‘Gardening the Trash’.
“Gardening the Trash is an intense design dialogue between two large companies based in Europe and Asia, which combine technology, innovation and tradition,” says curator Cristiano Seganfreddo. “Their unique vision is to revolutionise the fashion industry by creating products made from scrap materials of a high aesthetic and technical nature. Beautiful is also good. This must be the new standard for the marketplace.”
Miniwiz’s Huang says, “Let’s start by ‘gardening our own trash’ with circular technology and pure human ingenuity.” The goal of Gardening the Trash is to lead the luxury fashion industry into the circular economy where nothing is wasted and everything is possible. Using human intellect to learn from nature how to manage its materials in an endless flow of creation and recreation, old textiles become a new resource and old resources can be preserved, all to be enjoyed.
The collaboration saw Miniwiz and Bonotto’s Gardening the Trash unveil two beautiful and colourful recycled tapestries at Milan Design Ween 2017.
Image copyright: gregorylee / 123RF Stock Photo