Waste to wear

Discarded glass beer bottles were transformed into wearables and homeware.

As part of a new sustainability initiative from Heineken, the brand collaborated with local designers Deji Dada and Matthew Edwards on ‘Waste to Wear’ – a collection of limited-edition wearables and homeware items, produced from recycled Heineken bottles.


Heineken South Africa recently launched its ‘Fields Green with Grass, Not Glass’ initiative which has seen the brand embark on a sustainability and community development project. This includes the launch of its new returnable bottle, the ‘Green Zones Project’ transforming broken glass ‘hot spots’ into green zones, as well as the ‘Waste to Wear’ project.


Phase one has seen five green zones built in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban, covering more than 5 000 square metres with a mix of indigenous plants and grasses. These zones incorporate food gardens and inspiring art installations.


Further amplifying the ‘Fields Green with Grass, Not Glass’ mission, designer, brand architect and marketer Dada, and multi-disciplinary experimental designer Edwards, embarked on a project transforming discarded Heineken bottles collected from the former glass hot spots into wearables and homeware products, including 3 000 rings, 3 000 medallions, dinner sets and a hops-inspired pendant light. Each product is handmade, highlighting the unique quality of glassmaking where every piece is a one-of-a-kind creation.


Due to the limited access to smaller-scale glass recycling facilities in South Africa, Dada and Edwards collaborated with Ngwenya Glass, a renowned factory near Mbabane in Eswatini. This partnership was pivotal, combining Ngwenya’s expertise in artisanal glass products with innovative design concepts to create items Ngwenya Glass had never produced before.


Through the ‘Waste to Wear’ project, Dada and Edwards have successfully recycled close to 800 kg of glass. This initiative not only addresses environmental issues but also showcases the potential of sustainable design. By creating meaningful and beautiful products, ‘Waste to Wear’ aims to raise awareness for glass recycling and inspire further innovation in sustainable practices.


The ‘Waste To Wear’ project was awarded bronze at the 2024 New York Festivals International Advertising Awards, which celebrates the best in global interactive, TV/cinema, outdoor, design, print and radio advertising.



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