2017: A Great Year for Reflow
Here at Reflow we’re starting to get into the festive season. This will be our last newsletter before we break for the holidays, so we thought we’d share some last stocking fillers with you before we go go go.
Impact and Indida
Two weeks ago, founders Lyndsey and Rahul travelled to Delhi with a clear mission. Rahul went home to work with Varun in our facility there on a whole host of tech and product areas from filament diameter consistency measurement to packaging.
Meanwhile, Lyndsey set out to cement Reflow’s commitment to impact and waste collector communities. She met with Chitra and Rajat of Chintan, an India NGO addressing the issues of sustainable consumption, environmental and social justice.
The organisation works with hundreds of thousands of informal waste recyclers with the goal of bringing justice to every link in the chain, from collectors and buyers to reprocessors. They provide training for waste collectors, research on issues of environmental justice, and advocacy on environmental governance, including the inclusion or the urban poor in policy. Crucially for us, they provide free education to the children of waste collectors to phase them out of waste collecting and get them an education.
After a really fruitful conversation, we have found two key areas of common ground. Firstly, we are going to work together to bring transparency to our plastic supply chain in India. Secondly, Reflow will commit a percentage of our profits to the Chintan education program, which aims to get children out of waste collecting and back into schools. We’re incredibly confident that we have found such a competent and passionate partner in this area. There will be much more to come on this in 2018.
Lyndsey and Rahul also visited the landfill at Bhalswa to talk directly to some of the individuals who make their living in this informal sector. They met Saisa, a former waste collector turned lead for the waste collector association Safai Sena (Cleaners Army). They also met Sher, a boy who is now in school full time. He took them up the literal mountain of garbage at the landfill and introduced them to many others working there.
All of them were passionate about the same point, how the general population don’t comprehend the value that they provide and how much of a mess the city would be if this significant community of labourers weren’t doing their job. Meeting these individuals and beginning to understand the ecosystem in which they live and work is crucial to our goal of building a genuinely impactful social business.
Strike a Pose: From Waste to High Street Fashion
Reflow has recently had the rather unique pleasure of co-creating an entire 3D printed flagship store on Regent Street in London. The project was conceived and brought to life by Bottletop, a luxury fashion brand focused on sustainable manufacturing, ethical design, technical innovation and cross-cultural collaboration.
We are providing the material for this innovative project and get to work with the paradigm shifting design team AI-Build, who are using a variety of industrial-sized 3D-printing robotic arms from the robotics manufacturer Kuka. This is an ongoing project that will, by the time its finished, have used the equivalent of 60,000 plastic water bottles to print walls, roof and furniture within the location.
We’re honoured to be involved and are fully aware of what an amazing opportunity it is to highlight both sustainability, but also the incredible potential of 3D printing to a broader audience. We’re also chuffed to be featured in some rather interesting publications, some of whom you’d not necessarily associate with 3D printing.
3D Designer Spotlight: Biens Communs
Over the past few months, we’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with some of the best 3D designers around. In part, this is to showcase the quality and potential of recycled materials, but it’s also to form unique collaborations that can flourish. We’re confident that the future of sustainable 3D design is bright in a variety of design categories and we’re looking forward to helping bring it to life.
One such group is Bien Communs 3D, an innovative Montreal based design studio led by product designer and 3D printing ninja, Guy Snover. Sustainability is central to this work, which combines 3D printing technology with traditional manufacturing techniques and sustainable materials.
We love the work he is creating and over the past few weeks have been test printing these two beautiful interior design products of his in transparent, recycled PET. What do you think of this vase and hanging lamp? We’d love to get your thoughts on these products and understand if you might want to see them in your home or space. . Please get in touch here.
Founder, Father, Sith Lord
Our founder Jasper has had a crazy few months! Not only has he seen Reflow move to its own office here in Amsterdam, he’s watched our ideas become a reality with a quality product and exciting projects, not to mention, he’s also welcomed a new daughter into the world.
We’d like to take this moment as a team to thank him for his vision and for bringing us all together around such a unique (if at times complex) idea. We’re lucky to have him, even if at times he does have a peculiar fascination with the theory that Jar Jar Binks is actually a Sith Lord (read up here).
That’s all from us folks. Thanks for all of your input, ideas and questions over the past few months. We’re incredibly excited to bring Reflow to the next level in 2018, but before that, it’s time to enjoy some much overdue quality time by the fire with our families and our expanding waistlines. Have a great break where ever you are. See you in the new year!