What Russian designers and artists make from recycled plastic

Courtesy of Moscow Design Museum
The trend for making clothes from recycled materials arrived in Russia only a few years ago, but several brands have already gone green.

Go Authentic by Olga Glagoleva

Olga Glagoleva studied at Central Saint Martins London College of Art and Design, and launched her Go Authentic brand in 2014. It is seen as the first eco-oriented brand in Russia.

Olga buys up recycled plastic fabrics in China, since they are not yet produced in Russia. She also alters vintage clothing and spends many long hours on hand embroidery, a current trend in Russia.

Go Authentic promotes other eco-initiatives, too. For instance, give them five empty plastic bottles, and you get a 20% discount on their clothes.

Plasticdoom by Galina Larina

In creating accessories, garments, and interiors, Galina Larina’s Plasticdoom brand uses plastic bags.

Galina makes the items herself at home – the bags are melted (using an iron on top of tracing paper) and glued together. Larina is not only a designer (and illustrator), but also an eco-activist. The main aim of the brand is to advocate conscious consuming and a responsible attitude to natural resources.

Ekaterina Lukyanova

Ekaterina Lukyanova is already an established artist, with more than 120 exhibitions under her belt.

Having got interested in eco-culture in 2016, she created a line of jewelry from recycled plastic bottles. The result was a range of super-light, yet incredibly stylish transparent beads, brooches, and bracelets.

POLYARUS by Alexandra Polyarus

Everyone knows about collecting and recycling household waste, but few stop to think about the waste products of, say, the automotive or advertising industries. Seat belts, car/bicycle cameras, advertising banners, etc. are the raw materials for Alexandra’s bags and backpacks, which she has been making for more than five years. The brand motto is “Recycle your mind.”

After the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, 2,000 square meters of advertising banners were left over. Polyarus, in collaboration with Adidas, reworked them into fashionable shopping bags.

Bulyash Todaeva

Industrial designer Bulyash Todaev’s primary interest is the industrial aspect of recycling. For her final-year project at the Stroganov Academy of Art and Industry, she developed equipment for recycling plastic waste.

Bulyash went on to demonstrate a mockup of her system at various exhibitions, plus the results of experiments with recycled plastic, including stools, belts, caps, and sculptural installations.

 

Some of the brands in our list will take part in a large-scale exhibition organized by the Moscow Museum of Design in Nizhny Novgorod. The goal of the project is to change societal attitudes both to plastic and its reuse.

“Most designers see plastic as a material with near unlimited possibilities for a wide variety of products – from jewelry to art installations,” says Olga Druzhinina, development director of the Moscow Design Museum.

'The Fantastic Plastic' exhibition will run until Sept. 29, 2019, inside the Arsenal of the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, and from July 31 to Sept. 15 at PERMM museum in Perm.

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