Old items, new uses

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Upcycling is a chic way to reduce, reuse, and recycle
They say one man’s trash is another’s treasure, and that is truly the case at Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery. The shop holds a treasure trove of quirky objects that infuse a fun personality into a home.

There’s really nothing shabby about the chic way that the crafty proprietors Arlene Florendo Barbaza and Binggoy de Ocampo reimagined odds and ends that would have ended up at a landfill, transforming them into functional and decorative items meant to be cherished.

Keylatis, mirror made from piano keys

“Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery is a store that makes furniture, home accessories and art pieces using found objects and other old materials. It was around the time after Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 when we first thought of using scrap material to make furniture and accessories,” says Arlene.

Apart from helping reduce waste, there is a certain charm in being able to use and update old things to make them appealing to a wider audience, she adds.


Niche market
While they do have a brick-and- mortar store in Quezon City, they also harness the power of social media to market their items. Pop ups and art events are another way for them to reach out to the Titas and Millennials of Manila.

“Market response has been good. Many homeowners are open to the idea of buying pieces from repurposed materials. It seems like we’ve somehow educated people, especially our families,” she smiles.

Arlene admits that it’s still a growing endeavor, and they do understand that it’s a niche market.

“Our clients are those who value unique designs that have been incorporated into utilitarian items. They are those looking for conversation pieces. They go to our shop maybe because they are looking for pieces that have character, are unique and not mass-produced.”

They likewise take requests.

“We also cater to people who want to keep the furniture they inherited from their families, but not necessarily in their original form.”

She adds that contrary to what people may think, their upcycled items integrate themselves to most design aesthetics. “Our clients are the ones who value good design and are appreciative of unique, repurposed pieces.”

Some of their popular items are their chairs, the piano writing desk (harking from the time that most upper middle-class houses strove to have a piano in the living room), stools, benches, their keylatis, and their chest of drawers.

Since they get odds and ends, literally, to work on, she says they are encouraged to “think out of the box.”

“We look at a piece of material, then discuss and think of possibilities for it,” she says, describing the creative process.

With the earth looking more and more like a huge landfill as the years go by, it is important to remember the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).

A 2017 report by the National Solid Waste Management Commission estimates that the country generates 40,087 tons of trash daily, building up in garbage dumps and clogging waterways. As such, the entrepreneurs behind Resurrection try to spread the message in their own way, about how we can cut down on wastefulness.

As Arlene explains: “Whatever we redo, that’s one less thing that’s thrown into the trash. Changing the minds of people who are used to a throwaway culture is also an impact.”

Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery is located at 10A Alabama Street, Quezon City. For more information, call 0908 862 9300 or visit their official Facebook page.

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