Recolored is a project that seeks to offer a new way of recycling.
As the title suggests, the transformative process is led by an interest in colour, and one that stems from a very deliberate intention to bring aesthetics to the fore of recycling. The project is led by Dutch designer Jessica den Hartog who describes herself as “a designer of interconnection; by working together with other disciplines and employing each other’s knowledge and talent, new perspectives can be gained and development can take place.”
Recolored is a research-led endeavor that grew out of a frustration with the current status quo; one where the recycling industry typically mixes all colours of HDPE together, the result of which is a neutral and limiting shade of grey.
Seeing the untapped possibilities within this, den Hartog set about selecting specific colours of plastic and tested combining them with others. Each new experiment threw up an exciting new colour combination along with shifts in material properties such as hardness and flexibility.
Her ongoing research serves as a library of new colours and materials with endless possibilities, as her samples are merged and transformed further amongst themselves.
It’s a tantalizing prospect and one that could see covetable new colours, and with it, products appear out of waste, rather than disappear into a grey amalgamate.
As den Hartog herself explains, “colour will be determined by materials of products that already exist. They won’t be completely pure anymore but come into existence because they are endlessly mixed to new colors. This new way of producing will cause that new color systems have to be created and that every material/product is unique again and carries a story along of how it is made.”