Today is the 51st Earth Day and the theme for 2021 is ‘Restore Our Earth’. It focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.
We are currently so inspired by Laura Zabo, who was our very first seller at Beyond Bamboo! We thought it only right to give her a call to chat about her current passions and projects as she is so enthusiastic and generous with her craft. Laura’s upcycling journey began five years ago while she was exploring the beautiful country of Tanzania. She was captivated by the wild open spaces, the vibrant colours, and the warm generous people. The moment which changed her life was when she caught sight of some handmade brightly-painted sandals at a Maasai market. Those innovative sandals were made entirely out of repurposed car tires!
“I immediately fell in love with the idea that functional products could be created out of trash, and I knew that I simply had to share this brilliant idea with the world”.
Laura tells us that she is ultimately inspired by all the beautiful things in nature. She believes that finding our way to happiness collectively would be easier if we got ourselves away from the TV more often and tried our hands at being creative and artistic. She says “We need as a society to consume less and produce more!” When she witnessed the beautiful and functional items that the Tanzanian people could create from what so many people would consider rubbish she was so inspired and she’s been committed to creating a brand and community around it that inspires others to do the same.
She explains that tires are a crazy and tough material to work with, considered ugly and dirty, and almost one quarter of scrap tires ending up in landfills each year (landfilling scrap tires can cause problems due to their uneven settlement and tendency to rise to the surface, which can harm landfill covers)!
“If I can create beautiful fashionable products out of used tired – this crazy and tough material – then I can inspire others to make new interesting creations from other materials classed as junk, such as plastics, scrap metal, wood and foils. New items that will go on to be cherished and loved”.
It’s ultimately about mindset says Laura. Do we look around in our world and see a rubbish dump? Or do we see opportunities to get creative and inspire the younger generation to not only do better for our environment but understand that by using our imaginations we can create a more beautiful world without the need to further deplete our finite resources or damage nature. Together we can create a more beautiful world, move away from ugliness and towards more beauty and happiness.
Laura has recently been working on two new projects which you can learn all about on her You Tube channel and Instagram – she is creating an online community of fellow up-cyclers helping to bring awareness to this important restoring and rejuvenating process, whilst also supporting up-and-coming talents. Shining a light on the importance of shopping local and supporting artisan businesses, whilst being more conscious when we shop – promoting less mindless buying from large wasteful and often unethical factories.
“I want to raise the consciousness of this amazing restorative process of upcycling and help support others to succeed”
Laura has also recently started her own social media campaign with the hashtag #litterpicking to encourage people to clear away rubbish they find on the streets and in natural spaces and instead of sending them straight to landfill consider whether they can be recycled or even better upcycled to something new and useful or one step further – into something beautiful!
Laura Zabo was featured on The BBC One Show last year where Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom were impressed by some of her creations! Watch the clip at the link below…