Brussels, Apr 24 (EFE).- Geoffrey Abras, who worked at a recycling plant for two decades, has founded a cooperative that turns the waste produced in the southern Belgian city of Namur into art.
The items are up for sale at “Namufacture”, his shop which opened in mid-February, where customers can browse upcycled decorations, some of which are secondhand while others are repaired in house by the workshop’s employees to promote a new kind of sustainable consumption.
“This wooden bench is made with metal shelves that we welded together to create a structure. Then we put wood on it, which we painted and transformed to give it a finish and make it look like new,” Abras tells Efe at his workshop.
Every day, he collects waste from Namur-based companies for the craftsmen who deliver finished household items to be sold at the store.
The result is “unique” pieces compared to the factory-made ones which are all “the same and all people’s interiors all look alike,” he says.
This business model also provides jobs to locals “on equal terms”, something that mass production does not, he explains.
It also offers an alternative to a business model and products that “exploit the Earth’s resources,” he adds.
He believes that the pandemic has made people reflect on wasteful, consumerist lifestyles of chasing new products and technologies that don’t necessarily increase their happiness.
“I think people should take their time and stop running to earn money and buy things that they don’t really need,” Abras said. EFE