Made By Scavenger
Scavenger is a small design company based right here in Sheffield, creating products made from waste and recycled materials. By creating bags, belts and purses out of car seat belts, lorry tarpaulin and climbing gear, Scavenger takes ethical fashion to a whole new level. Exposed caught up with the brainchild of Scavenger Natalia Pearce to hear more about it.
Your business idea is very unique. When did you first come up with the idea for it?
I have always found it difficult to throw things away and found I was rapidly accumulating boxes of ’useful stuff that I might need one day’. This was starting to take up rather a lot of space so my solution was to create designs that turn this stuff into something useful. It’s hopefully to inspire people to reduce and reuse what is deemed as rubbish.
The idea for reusing old climbing gear occurred on a trip to the Foundry Climbing Centre, when I discovered a collection bin for retired climbing gear, set up by a company called Green Peak Gear. I contacted Green Peak Gear to see if I could get involved and they allowed me to experiment with the donations collected from the bins. Then the ‘Crag Swag’ range of products was born. ‘Crag Swag’ is what climbers call gear that they find that has been left behind at a crag.
Have you always been a savvy recycler?
Yes, I have always been a bit of a hoarder!
What type of item do you like to make?
I try to make functional/useful items, such as bags, belts, purses, wallets. I also take commissions, which is great fun. I even had the honour of making climbing harness for Mickey Mouse!
Before using recycled materials my first choice is to find an existing source of waste material that I can reuse. Where this isn’t possible I will look for 100% recycled materials. If I can’t re-use or recycle I will search for materials made in the UK from independent, local and ethical companies. For example, the belts that I make are old climbing rope, the thread is sourced from Woodseats Sewing Machines, and the buckles are made in Cheshire by an independent company called Abbey England.
Where do you source your materials?
I go to places where I think there will be interesting materials being thrown away, such as a carpet shop. Carpet shops have lots of big cardboard tubes, which I have a plan to turn into scratching poles for cats. Other things I have found are flour bags from the bakers and plastic banding from B&Q.
What piece are you the most proud of?
The first shoulder bag I made from climbing rope, using a karabiner as the clasp. I’ve kept it for myself and use it every day. It’s also a good advert, because lots of people give me nice comments about it.
Do you think Sheffield is becoming more involved in recycling waste products? Has Scavenger helped with this?
Yes, I see lots of great creative designs which re-use waste materials, and there are so many charity shops and vintage shops now. I think it’s more acceptable to re-use something. There’s Strip the Willow on Abbeydale Rd making pallet furniture with a craft shop upstairs showcasing many items made from recycled materials.
In Sheffield at Strip the Willow, (Abbeydale Rd), All Good Stuff (City Centre, Arundle St), The Famous Sheffield Shop, (Eccy Rd). A lot of the products are made to order through people contacting us directly.
How can folk get involved?
We’re looking for volunteers who would like to help with the making and marketing of the products- anyone creative and enthusiastic about saving waste.
See www.madebyscavenger.com for more
For general enquiries, to get involved or to order email firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate any materials, email email@example.com