O2 has collaborated with designer Sean Miles to create fully functional phones using recycled handsets and vintage shoes. This upcycling project, called “Walkie Talkies,” is part of the communication company’s O2 Recycle campaign, which gives money to those who recycle their gadgets and aims to highlight what can happen when you recycle your old handset instead of send it to the landfill.
Miles created four designs using a Christian Louboutin heel, a classic men’s brogue, a Nike Air trainer, and a Hunter Welly. They contain old Nokia and LG handsets sent in by O2 Recycle customers. Each shoe phone, which doubles as a piece of art, can be used like a normal phone as a keypad has been incorporated into the sole.
The Walkie Talkies are the first in a range of products that Sean Miles is developing for The O2 Recycle Collection, including handbags and gloves. The complete set will be on display at an exhibition in March where visitors will be able to win all of the items. Miles said:
I wondered how I could make phones that people might be embarrassed to be seen with into something that would give them a new lease of life – which is what upcycling is all about. I hoped that, by turning them into Walkie Talkies, I would raise a smile and perhaps a laugh and create things that people wanted once again. I’ve been using them while out with friends and they never fail to start a conversation, even when I’m not using them as a phone! I hope that they can get more people talking about the need to recycle old gadgets rather than binning them.