The production of consumer goods constantly produces residual materials. Many companies have neither the ideas nor the means to process these recyclable materials in a meaningful way. As a result, vast amounts of resources are wasted every day. In order to counteract this and to transform residual materials into raw materials, the ZweckZwei-principle was brought to life. ZweckZwei rethinks the circular economy and transforms recurring residual materials from trade and industry into marketable products. These are manufactured by socio-economic enterprises in the region. More than 20 local industrial companies already supply their industrial residues to ZweckZwei, including Niceshops, A&R-Karton, BT Watzke, Wollsdorf Leder, Ringana, Vossen and Zotter. The goal is to intercept residual materials from industry before they are disposed of or undergo a costly recycling process. Awning remnants, twist locks, welding wire spools, aluminum reflectors and cardboard tubes can thus become starting material for new products – with minimal use of additional resources.
“For industrial companies, waste and scrap materials are just trash, but for us they are treasure – and source material for marketable products with minimal climate impact”, says Karl Steinwender, initiator of ZweckZwei.
In spring 2022, the ZweckZwei-DesignCamp was organized by ZweckZwei, Creative Industries Styria and the SelfSightSeeing Company. The goal was to develop prototypes for sustainable and high-quality products. Eleven designers – including the curators Io Tondolo and Itshe Petz (SelfSightSeeing Company) – from different fields worked together on new products for one weekend. After the experts from fields such as industrial design, fashion design and interior design were introduced to the materials and technical possibilities, they moved on to brainstorming and prototyping.
“This camp was just the beginning! It allows us to show what is possible in this field – first and foremost, the development of high-quality products from residual materials that are not in the classic eco-niche”, emphasize Itshe Petz and Io Tondolo.
The exhibition shows the transformation process “From Trash to Treasure” – in the spirit of the circular economy, the New European Bauhaus and a Green Transition – and the resulting prototypes – from acoustic panels to drawer handles and design elements to sun hats and lamps.