Woman ‘upcycles’ stunning jewellery from plastic straws and carrier bags

Ever wondered what happens to your plastic once you recycle it? Worryingly, of the 8.3billion tonnes produced worldwide, only 9% has been recycled.

However, thanks to one artist, she is changing the narrative.

Say hello to the thrifty Lorelai Le Quilliec, who is make jewellery out of your waste.

The crafty creative encourages members of the public to send her plastics straws, carrier bags, broken cables and unwanted toys, so she can ‘upcycle’ them as wearable trinkets.

Her mission? Quite simply, to save as much precious plastic from landfill as possible.

Lorelai’s eco-friendly earrings and necklaces are pure eye candy, with inspiring handiwork coming hand-in-hand with a vintage flavour for those who love colourful accessories.

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Speaking exclusively to Uspire, Lorelai spoke about her innovative collections and how her arty genes kickstarted her crusade to help save the planet.

Lorelai said: “I’ve always had a creative streak and an eye for colour and pattern. I tried being a goth as a teen, but my favourite piece of clothing was a rainbow-striped skirt!

“Back then, I would collect toys and beads and other odds and ends to decorate my school bags; strangers would come up to give me Happy Meal toys to put on my bag.”

She continued: “I also used to use those bits and bobs to make jewellery for myself, my favourite was an earring with a fluorescent pink fish on, I wore it all the time.

“I have come full circle, working with waste plastics, I make earrings out of little toys and beads and other plastic knick-knacks in my business, with necklaces coming soon.”

Lorelai says that once she has an idea, she then translates it into reality by fully visualising it in her head before embarking on the creative process.

She uses trial and error methods to see what works best, with experimentation often sparking ideas down the line and even failed attempts proving positive learning curves.

The miracle maker also hopes to encourage people to recognise the powerful link between art and wellbeing, and how it can affect our personal identity.

Lorelai revealed: “I think art is the best way we have to express our identity as individuals, from the clothes we wear, the objects we wear, to the music we listen to, and the films we watch. All human beings are naturally creative, that is our super power.

“It breaks my heart that so many people think that they are not creative because they don’t have a specific talent. Cooking a beautiful meal is creative, the way you pick out your clothes and dress yourself is creative, the way you decorate your home is creative.

“To be human is to be creative; if we all explored our creative sides a little more, I believe this world would be a better place.”

Chatting about where she finds her influences, Lorelai says she seeks it in all sorts of unusual places whether inside or outside the house.

She said: “I find inspiration everywhere, I love clothes and dressing myself in raucous colours and clashing patterns, so I tend to gravitate towards fashion magazines and interiors accounts on Instagram to fill my creative well and trigger that next design idea.

“I collect interesting objects, patterned fabrics and all types of magazines, so inspiration is not far away, especially when I’m cooped up inside due to a pandemic.

“When I’m not stuck in my house, I love to visit art galleries and museums and explore new cities to gather images for my mood-boards. Interesting street art often sparks my imagination, but I have also been inspired by peeling paint where different textures and colours really shine through and even the shape of a sewer grate at the side of the road.”

Lorelai hopes to create a Domino effect with the vibrant pieces she masterminds then going on to inspire her customers.  

She concluded: “I really want people to see that plastic is a precious material made from a finite natural resource and not something to be used once and thrown away.

“Plastics can be repurposed and recycled into beautiful objects both to wear and decorate your home.

“I would love people to evolve out of this throwaway culture, realise that there is no ‘away’ and start to really notice the intrinsic value in resources we get from our planet.”

To grab a statement piece, click here: Lorelai Le Quilliec.

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Rainbow candy dangle earrings

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