Brighton-based sustainable design studio Gomi have created portable speakers using plastic waste that is not normally recycled by local councils in the UK. The studio won funding from the Environment Now Programme to kickstart the project last year with the aim is to introduce consumer electronic products made from waste materials that are otherwise destined for landfill.
Gomi was co-founded by sustainable designer maker Tom Meades. ‘The concept behind Gomi started as a third-year degree project while I was studying 3D Design & Craft BA (Hons) at the University of Brighton.’ Tom tells the Peep, ‘I wanted to explore alternative sustainable ways of designing and manufacturing high-end functional technology products. I worked with plastics that were not currently being recycled in the UK, and discovered flexible plastic waste is a huge issue, with 150 billion kilos being produced each year worldwide, and 99% of this still not being recycled.’
Tom chose to produce Bluetooth speakers as they are one of the most popular electronic products purchased globally every year. ‘I knew it was necessary to design something that was relevant and not too abstract – to prove that sustainable design can exist in society without having the ‘recycled / low-end’ finish. I wanted to design something fun, portable, but would also look great on a Pinterest shelf interior.’
To make the speakers, the studio takes plastic waste from local companies who can’t use this waste and would normally have no other option but to send it to landfill. This is then cleaned, melted down, and hand marbled into intricate patterns and colour palettes, that make the basis of the Gomi Speakers. ‘We press this molten material in between our moulds, and wait for it to cool. Each speaker is then numbered, and signed, so we can keep track of every one that we’ve made. We then send the boxes to our audio and electronics team who fit the neat components, and seal it to make sure it’s finished to a high standard. Each speaker is then posted online, for our lovely online community to choose their preferred colour/design. Once purchased, the speakers are packaged up in our fully recycled packaging and delivered to the buyer.’ Tom adds.
All photographs from Gomi Design – Brighton, UK