Local

Strand Design makes products out of others' trash

Friday, November 16, 2012

They call it ''upcycling,'' when you find a new way to use a product that has outlived its original purpose. And you might be surprised to see what one Chicago company is doing with other people's trash.

In this Live Green with ABC 7 report, Hosea Sanders shows us how you can help them do even more.

Modern design is their specialty. Sustainability is their passion. They've found creative ways to use throw-away items, making exquisite things to help you live green.

Inside the walls of their West Loop studio, this design team is turning out some of the most chic and innovative home products and accessories on the market today. They are husband and wife. Their company is called Strand Design and everything they make started out as something else.

"We specialize in products that can be locally manufactured and made from sustainable materials, using sustainable manufacturing practices," said Strand Design's Sharon Burdett.

Sharon and her husband, fellow designer Ted, have come up with items ranging from furniture and lighting, to kitchen accessories and small hardware products, all utilizing reclaimed materials.

"We use lumber that come from the Chicagoland area that has been killed by insects or storms," said Strand Design's Ted Burdett. "We recycle truck and tire rubber. We use floorboards and building materials for the lamps that we produce."

The environmental community has taken notice. Sharon and Ted have now teamed up to make products for the Chicago non-profit Rebuilding Exchange, a group that promotes repurposing landfill materials into new items for the mass market.

"A very large percentage of materials that are in landfills are actually building materials like wood flooring, construction lumber," Sharon said. "We have been charged with coming up with products from things like that."

Just this week, Strand Design launched a campaign to try and finance this massive recycling effort by offering substantial discounts on their exclusive product line to people who pledge to help out the cause.

"Pledging to the campaign helps to support local designers and sustainable manufacturing," Ted said. "That's the goal."

The Strand Design products being offered come in all price ranges, from a few dollars up to a few thousand.

And there are special package deals available for donors, some of those include workshops and private parties.

To get more information about the company, the campaign and all their products, go to:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rxmade/designed-for-rx-made-upcycled-product-launch

www.stranddesign.org

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