Here at Co2nscience.com we are passionate about the planet and innovation, so when we came up with the idea to re-use discarded plastic bottles and turn them into stunning wall art we knew we’d hit on something unique and exciting!
Stretcher Print is a world-first recycled wall print, like nothing else - we have so much to tell you, and we really hope you can be part of our exciting journey…
We’ve launched our project exclusively on kickstarter because we know you will totally get what we are trying to do. With your help, we can spread the word far and wide, and hopefully, in the not too distant future, create such a demand for the ubiquitous empty plastic bottle that will mean very few end up in landfill – so important as they can take 500 years to decompose!
Who would have thought that businesses could use prints made from recycled plastic bottles in their offices, that hotels could display them in their bedrooms and home-loving folk could use them to adorn their walls?! We think they have great acoustics properties, too, but more about that later…
We have actually completed our Research and Development phase, and already we have re-used 13,750 discarded plastic bottles into producing the test-phase component Stretcher material. This has all been used now, but with your help we’re hoping to reach our next target of re-using 140,000 bottles and transforming them into our beautiful Stretcher Print wall art. This is what our target of £12,000 can enable us to do; we chose 140,000 bottles because we want to make enough Stretcher material to cover an entire football pitch (this will make 10,851 medium Pioneer Stretcher Prints)!
Our ‘Stretcher Prints’ are a totally unique wall print product, manufactured from recycled plastic bottles. The fabric-like material creation, image printing, cutting and stitching is all done here in the UK. The Pioneer, The Explorer, The Adventurer and The Stargazer are our four signature Stretcher Print designs, and are unlike anything else you’ll find (we have successfully registered the designs/shapes at the Intellectual Property Office). Each print is made from 4 to 22 recycled 50cl plastic bottles, depending on size.
1st April 2014 - We think our new football shirt shaped Stretcher Print is going to be a winner - so we called it ‘The Winner’.
We wanted to make it easy for football fans to display their allegiance (whilst protecting the environment) and this initial set of Winner Prints featuring iconic Liverpool and Manchester United players sets the tone for the range that we are going to create (Arsenal & Chelsea players coming soon). Pledge £39 or £49 to grab one.
The lack of a wooden frame in the back, and the flexibility of the material, means that the prints can be displayed in any number of spaces and environments: even curved corridors or spiral staircases. And if they get a little grubby over time, they can be washed and ironed to make them look as good as new.
Our Stretcher Prints are currently being tested by an acoustics expert, Dr Amir Khan, at Bradford University, as we’re looking at developing an acoustic wall panel from our Stretcher material. If this project is successful, our Stretcher Prints could be used to reduce reverberant noise levels in buildings – an innovation that will be of value to restaurants, bars, hotels, conference centres and other businesses looking for a product that is both acoustically absorbent and aesthetically appealing.
We were keen to develop an off-the-shelf range for launch so we recently approached several very talented photographers to help us get this off the ground – we were blown away by the response we got and their desire to partner with us.
Our first partner photographers include Mark Denton, a Yorkshire-based panoramic photographer; Joolze Dymond, the UK’s premier female cycling photographer and Peter Spencer, a specialist in landscape and water photography, giving you a diverse array of style options for your print, ranging from stunning landscapes to evocative cityscapes, from striking portraiture to iconic landmarks. Our full off-the-shelf range can be seen here.
Transport for London were also very impressed by our Stretcher Print samples and they have just licensed us to reproduce their iconic collection of posters and tube map. So too have The National Archives, giving us the option to reproduce any of their stunning portfolio of historical British images spanning hundreds of years.
Of course, in addition to choosing prints from professionals, you can choose any of your own personal photographs to use for your Stretcher – why not make yourself the star of your own wall art! All you need to do is choose your style and size of print and send us your photo, and we can create custom Stretcher Prints - a great way to shape the special memories in your life.
As you would expect, even the eyelets on each corner of our Stretcher Prints are made from a fully recyclable plastic. These also make them really easy to hang or as we say, 'Just Stretch and Hang'. The wall stand-offs supplied hang the prints with a 20mm gap behind the print.
Because Co2nscience uses rPET (recycled polyester) to produce our Stretcher Prints, we actually use less energy than would be required if using virgin material. Research by the Stockholm Environment Institute states that the amount of energy needed to produce virgin polyester is 125 MJ per kilogram of fibre, compared to 66 for rPET. Based on conservative sales over the next three years, this would save approximately 451,763MJ of energy in raw material production. This equates to a saving of around 23,842kg of CO2 saved.
In addition, the choice of using feedstock made from post-consumer rPET is helping to keep bottles out of landfill. Using Defra’s Green House Gas conversion factor for company reporting, it has been possible to calculate the potential carbon saving impact that results from converting post-consumer PET bottles into our Stretcher Prints. Based on the same sales projections, we anticipate that over 13,017kgs of carbon dioxide will be saved through the diversion of PET from landfill alone.
We currently use 80% recycled and 20% virgin polyester. One day, though, the entire print will be 100% recycled.
If you'd like to be a part of our upcoming cyling-themed Guinness World Record attempt for the world's largest recycled print, then please upload your photo via the link on our Facebook site, here: https://www.facebook.com/co2nscience/app_451684954848385 This massive mosaic print will be displayed along the route of the Tour de France at the Grand Depart in Yorkshire this July.
TESTIMONIALS (from Sample Stretcher Prints that we've issued)
"The Stretcher Prints look stunning and feel amazing". Jade Price, Multimedia Writer, Photography Monthly & Professional Photographer.
"We feel that these Stretcher Prints could really enliven our offices in a unique and eye-catching way, but the fact that they’re made from recycled and sustainable materials means that we’re staying true to our aim of keeping our carbon footprint as low as possible”. Peter Hopkinson, Professor of Innovation & Environmental Strategy, University of Bradford.
IN THE PRESS
Exposure Guide http://www.exposureguide.com/inspiration/stretcher-print-the-planets-first-photographic-wall-art-made-from-recycled-plastic-bottles/
GET IN TOUCH...
We know there is a lot of information here, with quite a few different print options. We would love to hear from you so please comment on our kickstarter page or email us direct via hello@Co2nscience.com.
We wanted to mention that there are other alternatives to bottles going to landfill! Plastic bottles can be and are recycled to become another plastic bottle! This is where the material is clean and it can remain food-grade. Non-food grade recycled plastic can be used to make many useful items and substitute virgin materials.
Risks and challenges
Our research and development phase has been a rigorous process, from which we anticipate minimal issues.
There is an abundance of raw material available to us and we can produce hundreds of metres per day if needs be.
Currently the process of uploading images for personalised prints is a little manual. Ideally we would have more of an automated process, but in the early days we want to ensure customers get exactly what they want so we think human interaction is a positive thing.
Quality of images may also be a small challenge if customers upload low-res files. Again though, at this stage, we have elected to check each image manually which may add time to our manufacture process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)