The beauty brand contributed to a collection of upcycled furniture at NYCxDesign 2018, where the pieces constructed from used plastic bottles married sustainability and style while representing an exercise in design for circularity

Kim Markel’s background as a public policy expert isn’t what you’d expect to see on a designer’s resume. She’s made the transition from advocating to making, adopting an interesting approach to solving design problems. For NYCxDesign 2018 at Sight Unseen Offsite, Markel debuted her second furniture collection created from a waste stream.

Markel sent a DM to beauty brand Glossier through their Instagram account with an idea to repurpose their waste packaging into furniture. She was particularly interested in using the brand’s pink hued plastic. Glossier employees collected used bottles for months and delivered the empties to Markel.

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The resulting collection includes furniture ( cabinet, side tables, chairs) and accessories (series of hand mirrors) composed of Glossier’s waste bottles and other reclaimed plastics. Markel noted that over 50 Glossier jars are used in the molding of a single chair.

Considering an extended use for a product or material is a slowly growing idea within the design industry. Markel’s take looks for opportunities to reuse and elevate waste materials into objects of desire. The approach adds an extra layer to the traditional product design process of problem solving, designing and making by addressing the existence of a waste or reclaimed material first. For consumers, there’s the potential for interesting new guilt-free products with the use of fewer first-use resources. For manufacturers, this method could result in new revenue streams created from circularity-based products and reduced investment on raw materials for production.

Sight Unseen Offsite

Kim Markel’s background as a public policy expert isn’t what you’d expect to see on a designer’s resume. She’s made the transition from advocating to making, adopting an interesting approach to solving design problems. For NYCxDesign 2018 at Sight Unseen Offsite, Markel debuted her second furniture collection created from a waste stream.

Markel sent a DM to beauty brand Glossier through their Instagram account with an idea to repurpose their waste packaging into furniture. She was particularly interested in using the brand’s pink hued plastic. Glossier employees collected used bottles for months and delivered the empties to Markel.