A collaboration between Madrid-based designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón and a group of artisans in the Colombian Amazonia and beyond, the PET Lamp collection is a vibrant, soulful project that transforms trash into treasure.
Each PET Lamp is one of a kind. The shades are created by hand from discarded plastic bottles that are cut into strips and interwoven with dyed and un-dyed palm tree fibers by artisans in South America. Then Catalán de Ocón assembles the electrical sockets and colorful fabric cords in his studio in Spain. This unique PET Lamp Chandelier brings together 21 individual pieces in a joyous celebration of craft and color—a true knockout. The look is fantastic, and the story behind it is even better.
Concerned about the accumulation of plastic waste choking the Colombian Amazon River, in 2011 psychologist-activist Hélène Le Drogou invited a diverse group of specialists to brainstorm solutions. As the representative designer, Catalán de Ocón was drawn to Colombia’s rich artisanal traditions and conceived a design that harnesses local weaving skills to find new life for discarded plastic bottles.
In 2012, Catalán de Ocón returned to Bogotá to create a workshop for weavers from Cauca who had been displaced by guerilla war, and went on to launch the Pet Lamp collection in 2013 at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Finding instant success, Catalán de Ocón has received countless invitations to exhibit and sell in design venues around the globe, as well as a number of prestigious awards, including a nomination for Product of the Year from the Design Museum in London. Now Catalán de Ocón is expanding the project to work with artisans in Chile.