Chairs made from an innovative ocean plastic textile by Carmen Machado

Cockpit Arts is a London-based business incubator for craftspeople at the start of their careers. At this year’s London Design Fair, they presented the Debris Chair by Carmen V Machado. As part of her MA project at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Carmen created an ocean plastic textile that highlights the problem of over-fishing and the harmful discarded nets that get ingested by marine life. She says:

“The use of many unregulated and invasive practices like trawling, long line fishing and seine nets, not only strip marine organisms of any chance of survival but harm non-target species as well. The actual netting, fishing line, traps and equipment have become another issue through improper discarding which ends up back in the ocean and continues to “ghost fish” and/or be ingested by marine animals and birds.”

Detail of ocean waste textile by Carmen V Machado

Carmen retrieved ghost netting (nets that have been abandoned at sea by fishermen) from the UK coast and the beaches of Puerto Rico, attending beach clean ups with the Marine Conservation Society. She then revitalised the found fragments of ocean plastic textile by turning them into a new fabric, suitable for outdoors.

Laid out into a grid format, the strands of rope look like artefacts displayed in an exhibition case, whilst a unique pattern and colour palette emerges. A beautiful design with a great ethos.

Debris Chair made from ocean plastic textile by Carmen Machado


See also – Eco chic recycled plastic garden furniture designs and the wildest upcycled chairs made from reclaimed materials

Photos © Carmen V Machado

Author: Antonia Edwards

Antonia is the founding editor of Upcyclist. Based in the UK, she is the author of two books: 'Upcyclist: Reclaimed and Remade Furniture, Lighting and Interiors' (Prestel 2015) and 'Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes' (Prestel 2017).