When old and discarded becomes the new sexy …

You know that feeling you get when you’re aware something good’s coming, and then you find out that it’s getting so close that soon you’ll be able to touch it? Got it now. Over a book. Yep, that’s right, a book. And not just any book … a book about reusing, recycling and upcycling ….

RETRASH the book: dirty, sexy, recycling

Now, I know I’ve just lost half my readership, but seriously, this book is going to be soooooo sexy – I can’t wait to handle it. As a woman who has saved more than 87 Milo tins, dozens of (now sadly empty) Johnnie Walker bottles, the best cores from EFTPOS tapes and other rolled products I can find, door keys, car keys and any other type of keyed opener, hundreds of unwanted CDs and DVDs, the silver foil inside lids from coffee tins and, naturally, Milo tins, and countless other ‘groupable’ items just so that I can, one day, make very clever or usable works of art from them, the release of the book RETRASH is going to send me into paroxisms of … well, I’ll leave that to your dirty little imaginations!

Let’s just say that if I wasn’t working as a publisher and editor, I’d want to be earning my keep as one of the artists in the RETRASH community – they are so inspirational. Their desire to save crap from filling holes in the ground and making it worth using again in a different, and sometimes much more beautiful, form, inspires me no end.

My friend Nathan 😀

So how do I know all this when the book hasn’t even been released yet? Well, my dirty little secret is that I’ve been lucky enough to have been asked for a bit of a helping hand with the editing process along the way. Probably because I’m also lucky enough to know Nathan Devine, the man behind the whole RETRASH community. And as a part of the editing process, I got to check out many of the contributing artists’ websites and see their works, and read about what they do and what inspires them, and, well, let’s just say it was hard to focus on the job at hand!

For instance, look at what Wim Delvoye does with old tyres:

Isn’t that beautiful? He also has the most awesome website at http://www.wimdelvoye.be/ – I could have played there for ages!
Next time you’re travelling through Germany, consider spending a night at Das Parkhotel, where the rooms are made from repurposed concrete pipes:

I don’t know if Das Parkhotel decorate their walls with art, but if they did, then they could do worse than using Mark Langan‘s works. Mark has inspired me to do things with some of the many pieces of cardboard I’ve squirreled away over the years. I knew there was a reason I kept it all!

The beauty of the RETRASH community is that the contributors come from all over the world, and they range from the highly artistic, to the highly industrial, to the downright sensible. Not everything needs great swathes of talent or expensive machinery to make. Check out this great way of reusing the clips from a dead three-ring binder by Upcycle Us:

Yep, I’m all motivated and excited again, simply from writing this blog post!

If you’re interested in the book, the community, and the ideas, you can pre-order your copy of the book now via the RETRASH Kickstarter campaign. It will be full-colour and printed (naturally) on 100% recycled papers.

If you’re not so keen on the book, but wish to support the philosophy, then a $5 donation to the Kickstarter campaign will be certainly be appreciated.

If you’re feeling particularly motivated, then grab 10 copies to give away to inspire others, or buy a slightly less expensive marketing package – great for businesses who are looking for ways to exercise their environmentally friendly reach.

Or if you’re feeling really generous – or guilty (and yes, I’m talking to those corporates out there who DON’T have any environmentally friendly products!) – pick up the tab to send a couple of your best clients to the RETRASH book launch.

Or just watch Nathan talk for a minute or two. Or just listen to the backing track:

As you have probably noticed, I don’t generally plug products on this site, but sometimes you come across something you believe in, and I believe in this – passionately.

So grab your dirty, sexy money and take a step towards making a difference in this increasingly unsexy, dirty world.

Now, please excuse me, I have a cupboard full of broken watches, clocks and calculators I wish to go play with …

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