Rubber is a familiar product in everyday life, used in car manufacturing, building, agriculture and clothing. An alternative to discarding tires in landfill is through reprocessing by transforming tires into useful products.
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Fashionable Rubber Recycling Female: In the last series of Hands On, we met Julie McDowner who was making bags out of discarded inner tubes. In Holland, two sisters are also making the most out of rubber. Their exclusive range of handmade clothes and accessories is certainly not everyday wear but thanks to the internet, these eye catching designs are grabbing attention around the world. The people of Harderwijk in Holland love their two-wheel transport. Bicycles and motors railroad with a lane set asides specifically for them. The Dutch love affair with two wheels means a constant supply of raw materials. This is Christa and Krijne Leeuw Van Weenen. Christa: Usually he calls us to say that he’s got something for us. This is enough for now I guess. Krijne: Yes. Female: Back at Krijne’s flat, the sisters can start transforming the inner tubes into that other worldly creations. Christa: Well in ’96 when I went to a rubber symposium and there were all kinds of artists doing all kinds of things with rubber and that’s why I fell in love with the material. It looks so beautiful. So, I went to my bike store and I just started to try and make itself in a skirt and everybody says oh! That’s great and that she said, “Oh, can I join?” So, we start doing it together. Female: With no training in fashion, the sisters have note their own brand Zuss and the style in spark largely by the material itself. Krijne: I’m not cutting it straight but I’m cutting it. So, I’m getting these curls. And it’s also nice because these stripes-- Christa: We really like the idea of recycling and making something nice and beautiful from waste, from something people throw away. Female: The sisters used the characteristics of different tiers to make anything from shorts to bikini tops. Christa: This is another piece of multi bike. Female: They admit their creations weren't appealing to everyone. Christa: Yeah we have called it the wizard because its’ some wizard head. Female: This wearable art is more at home in a dance floor or the stage than on the high street. Despite the complexity of their work, the only real investments are a washing machine to clean the rubber and time. Christa: Yeah, it's very simple because we just use a pair of scissors and a pincher and that’s about it. If you are creative, then I think you can do all kinds of things with waste and also with the tube. Female: And by selling their garments through a website, that’s also their own work. Christa and Krijne can reach a global market for their unusual handmade party clothes. The cottage industries like this with nice products, the internet makes it possible to build an international market from home. Christa: You can use put yourself on the internet and then everybody can see you and can search for you and for now we almost have 400,000 unique visitors on our website. Female: Which is just as well because their hometown of Harderwijk might not yet be ready for those effect. Christa: Once when people try it on, then they feel different because it’s kind of wild and weird, the clothes you’re wearing and then suddenly you feel free to do wild and weird things like that.

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