By Arwa Lodi
While most people just pop their old plastic bottles in the recycling bin, the boys at Souda had a better idea: why not turn this trash to treasure?
The minds of the three founders of Souda (which roughly translates into ‘Oh Yeah!’ in Japanese) are sharply creative. Friedman-Heiman, Shaun Kasperbauer, and Luft Tanaka are all graduates of the prestigious Parsons School of Design, and created their company in 2012. Since then, they’ve manufactured a selection of household objects with quirky character.
Take the Bubble Chandelier, for example. Originally inspired by the cell-like shape of soap bubbles, this modern pendant is made from post-consumer PET bottles that have been cleaned, cut, and riveted together. To create it, Souda collaborated with Sure We Can, a Brooklyn based non-profit that runs the only homeless-friendly can redemption center in New York City. A portion of the proceed from each light sold will be donated directly to Sure We Can to help improve the conditions of their facility.
The Souda boys encourage local employment and production by combining in-house production with components produced by local machinists, woodworkers, and metal shops. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of Souda, and also leads to the creation of more beautifully produced household designs, such as their Kawa pendant lights. Produced in slip-cast porcelain, the pendants take on the texture of the reusable, rough leather from which they are cast, resulting in an organic, durable finish.
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