Useful Waste
Vollebak Garbage Watch

Not so long ago it was much more common for people to have a ‘fix-it’ mentality, purely out of necessity. Nowadays, we often buy something new simply because the current item we own isn’t working as well as it used to, or because a newer model has been released. And while it’s tempting to own the newest version of every gadget with the latest technology and better functionality, our consumer habits are having some devastating consequences.

50 million tonnes of electronic waste is currently being generated each year; among this e-waste are precious metals such as silver, platinum, copper, nickel, cobalt, aluminium, zinc, and even 7% of the world’s gold. This shocking fact has inspired British brand Vollebak to develop the Garbage Watch, a product that reuses and gives e-waste a new purpose.

Founded by twin brothers Nick and Steve Tidball, Vollebak uses science and technology to create clothing items like no other. The Garbage Watch is their latest project and is a work in progress in collaboration with Wallpaper* magazine’s Re-Made project. It started with the idea that electronic waste is simply pre-assembled raw materials waiting to be reused for creating new things. The Garbage Watch demo shown in these images is built with an old computer motherboard, a smartphone microchip, wiring from a television, and more. Vollebak plans to spend a year developing the final product, sourcing components from sustainable e-waste recycling efforts before the Garbage Watch is set to launch in 2021.