Chairs made from ocean waste textile

Chairs made out of ocean waste texile by Carmen V 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 marvellous Debris Chair by Carmen V Machado. As part of her MA project at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Carmen highlighted 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 a chair made out of ocean waste texile by Carmen V Machado

Carmen retrieved ghost netting (nets 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 waste 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. I love the pattern and colour palette that emerges and wonder what other everyday items this material could be applied to. A superb design with a great ethos behind it.

Chair made from ocean waste texile by Carmen V Machado

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).