Sustainable Social Swiss Design

These belt buckles are made out of old bike license plates. They are part of an amazing collection of wearable and home accessories made by long-term unemployed persons. The Social Department of The City of Zurich has launched a program called “Werkmal”. Its goal is to reintegrate people on welfare into the job market.
This is a great example of the very practical objects they create: a trivet made out of bike chains.

The participants learn technical skills by using various techniques and materials. They also get a chance to develop their creativity and realize their own ideas. The products are manufactured in small editions and sold both in their showroom and in a few stores in Zurich.

What I love about this program is its unique combination of sustainability and social commitment. This is actually the first time I’ve seen objects designed by “up-cycling” individual bike parts.

I particularly love the lights, made out of bike lamps, reflectors, and gears. Look at this amazing chandelier!