Paris Design Week is the go-to event in France to see the latest trends in fashion, furniture, product design, and even food.
That said, we were thrilled to find out that a Filipina interior and furniture designer (and one of Real Living’s 25 Creatives to Watch in 2014) Willie Garcia made it to the roster of handpicked designers at the fair’s Social Design exhibit last September 12 to 16.
No surprise there, because Willie, who won the Metrobank Arts and Design Excellence (MADE) award in 2007, is the founder of JunkNot! Eco Creatives, which produces furniture, décor, and lifestyle accessories made out of recycled consumer waste, most of which Willie produces in her own backyard shop. The designer also employs underprivileged women in the community to produce these items and also trains youths for various NGOs.
The Social Design exhibition at Paris Design Week showcased the works of the Design Zero Waste competition, as well as those of nine other designers who created products through socially responsible methods. Of all nine exhibitors, Willie was the sole foreigner. “They all come from different provinces of France, ako lang ang alien,” she says with a chuckle.
Willie’s entry to the exhibit was Ikaw at Ako, which was composed of two chairs made out of looped plastic waste on recycled industrial steel bar frames. “Four kilograms of plastic waste has been used/saved for each chair,” the designer explains. “All plastic waste are properly collected by a partner community, cleaned, and twined by hand.”
Aside from the fair, Willie also visited the Rue Rangoli “upcycling design” store in Paris (above), which carries her pieces, such as her tray-stool made out of woven junkfood packs. “The owner carries products by up-cyclers from different countries whom she believes in and supports,” Willie explains.
Follow JunkNot! Eco Creatives on their Facebook page.
*This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.