How old is your company? Give a brief description of business.
My company is only a few months old, but I began crafting tyres around a year ago after my visit to Tanzania. While I was exploring the country I came across some brightly painted sandals made from reused tyres and instantly fell in love with the innovative idea. The notion that something considered “trash” could be transformed into treasure had to be an idea worth sharing, so I began crafting tyre belts at home, going on to sell them at the London markets. Today, I upcycle scrap bicycle tyres into all kinds of fashion accessories, including belts, guitar straps, jewellery, handbags, hairbands, dog leads and much more.
How do your products contribute to an ethical and eco-friendly fashion industry?
Tyres are becoming a huge problem for the planet with over 1 billion waste tyres generated every year. By choosing to use scrap tyres, I do not use up the Earth's precious resources, instead opting to make use of a waste material, whilst simultaneously reducing tyre pollution. Since I began my upcycling journey, I have repurposed approximately 6000 tyres, saving them from a future in landfill.
Where are your products made? What is your company's relationship with the businesses and other artisans you work with?
I am in partnership with successful music and film production company Cadiz Music, so my workshop, headquarters and pop-up shop are located at the Cadiz Gallery, on the trendy Greenwich-Deptford border in London. All my accessories are handmade on-site by myself or my assistants. I have recently enjoyed collaborating with other upcyclers, including Terracotta Row, on a range of tyre-handled tote bags, and with Sylk Design on a range of stunning Swarovski crystal adorned tyre belts. I look forward to embarking upon even more artistic collaborations this year!
What natural materials do you use to make your products? How does this add to their quality?
As all of my accessories are handmade out of scrap tyres and inner tubes, they are all totally one-of a kind; no two items are identical. Furthermore, since not many people are willing to take on the task of upcycling such a challenging material, my collection is something new and different to the market. Tyre is such a robust yet versatile material with so much creative potential - there are virtually no limits to what you can make out of a tyre. My products are also 100% eco-friendly, 100% ethical and 100% vegan. As I like to put it; tyre is the new leather!
What kind of woman do you imagine wearing your products?
There really is something for everyone in my eclectic collection, as I create accessories for women and men of all fashion styles. However, I imagine a really unique and funky eco-fashionista wearing my creations, as the products themselves are totally unusual and avant-garde.
How does nature inspire your collections?
Nature is the inspiration behind my collection because the dream of a cleaner and more natural world motivates me to create totally sustainable, ethical and cruelty-free products - without skimping on style! I hope that my collection raises eco-consciousness in others and inspires people to look for innovative ways of creating high-quality sustainable products which are kind to the planet.
How much of your product production can be considered handmade?
The original materials I work with are scrap bicycle tyres and inner tubes. I upcycle them all individually by hand, with the utmost care. I carefully clean, cut and sometimes even paint the tyres, fashioning them into anything I can dream of. I put my passion for helping the planet into everything I create, and I think that is reflected in each accessory in my collection. When you purchase a Zabo product you can rest assured that no harm has come to any living creature or the planet in the making of my products!