‘’Sustainability must be light, cheerful and above all pleasant’’; in conversation with Anne Marie of Urban Nature Culture Amsterdam.
Recycling tableware and giving it a completely new look, making it circular products. That is what Anne Marie and Wim from Urban Nature Culture Amsterdam have been busy with the recent years, among other things. And they did it! How? Anne Marie was asked a few questions for the Impact days and explains!
Can you tell us what you do?
I have been involved in everything that has to do with living for more than 20 years, but I started the Urban Nature Culture brand with my husband in 2016, because later I want to be able to look back on what I contributed to the world. I think we should have fun in our lives and surround ourselves with beautiful products, but if we do, let's think about how we do this? And that is why we market beautiful products that are also beautifully produced. Not only do we have recycled tableware, but we also have other products in our collection. These are for example made from banana leaf waste which is normally burned in India, or home decoration materials made from paper pulp, limestone and natural gum. So we don't have to use iron or dig mountains for ceramics. We work with sustainable materials, but the eventual product is the most important. You buy our tableware because it is beautiful, because the price is accessible and it is also 100% circular. Sustainability should be light, cheerful and above all pleasant, it is with that ideology that we started this brand.
Recycled tableware with a new look
When we started Urban Nature Culture, we also started to find out whether we could have tableware from the thrift store re-glazed. This technique is not new, but it is new to mass-produce and offer it affordably. To do this, we teamed up with Mineralz, part of Renewi, and studio Mixtura. They extract minerals from the ashes of incinerated household waste. Glaze for tableware also consists of minerals, so we went to see if we could make it so that the tableware could be glazed with it; then you have a 100% circular product. And this worked! We select the tableware ourselves at recycling organizations. We then check whether there are beautiful pieces that are suitable for re-glazing. This makes each piece in the collection unique. You can never have a table setting with all the same pieces, but that is what makes it so much fun: you can mix and match and it is the color that makes the connection.
Are these cups and plates that are also damaged or not?
Yes, we also use dishes with minimal damage. We must learn that imperfection is the new perfection.
You mentioned that you are working on your own factory. What are the plans for that?
We are looking for a place where we can produce, where people can buy tableware, return it to recycle and have a cup of coffee. It must become a place where everything happens and where people can actually see how our products are made. In addition, this must also be a place where we will color restaurant tableware. Restaurants, for example, have tableware with scratches from the cutting, while they are otherwise fine to use. We can then glaze these again. When a location has been found, we can start. As it looks now, that will be mid-2021.