© Charles Duffy, William Gubbins, Billy Turvey - Duffy/Gubbins/Turvey 2014

Everything You Buy is Rubbish

Posted on 14 October 2015.

Three young artists have crafted a pair of shoes from the trash littering English beaches. An approach that illustrates the potential of upcycling.

Everything you buy is waste, or at least will eventually become waste. This is the message Charles Duffy, William Gubbins and Billy Turvey want to convey in their "Everything You Buy is Rubbish" project. In 2014, three students from Goldsmiths, University of London, walked English beaches and the banks of the Thames in search of raw material for their project - waste. A really easy treasure hunt; they just bent down and picked up the fruit of our (over) consumption society. Plastic bottles, food packaging, old shoes... there was plenty to fill the garbage bags! Once collected, the waste was sorted, cleaned, melted, pressed, cut, molded and sewn to make an upcycled pair of sneakers (upcycling consists of transforming waste or recovered materials into high quality products - such as designer furniture or works of art). These colorful shoes, with slogans that establish a direct link between consumerism and waste, play the leading role in a satirical ad campaign being shown on the Internet.