Junk  Not !

Junk  Not !

Turning  Plastic  Waste  to  Furniture Designing  for  Good

Dr. Wilhelmina “Willie” S. Garcia
Junk Not! Founder

We design so we can help make a good impact on society. Junk not! envisions to help, in its small-scale way, solve two problems that our society is facing: (1) Waste Management and its Environmental Impact, and (2) Lack of Livelihood of the communities.

Dr. Wilhelmina “Willie” S. Garcia is the Founder, Principal Interior Designer and Green  Advocate of Junk Not! – an innovative enterprise that wants to help address two of the most pressing issues of our society: waste management along with its impact on the environment and lack of livelihood for the communities.

In 2007, she won the Grand Prize in the Interior Design Category “The Environment Shapes You” by Metrobank Arts and Design Excellence (MADE). She is an advocate of the environment and continues to create art pieces as her means to lessen wastes in different communities through her social enterprise Junk Not.

Her beautiful furniture pieces and accessories have been exhibited in different events in the Philippines and even abroad – Paris Design Week, Belgium, Germany and Japan. Last year she was selected as one of the 9 designers to exhibit her work at the “Social Design” exhibit of Paris Design Week, Paris France. In 2010 she attended social entrepreneurship at Youth Encounter Sustainability (YES) held in Armenia, Colombian and Artisan Residency in Sefrou Morocco in 2014.

Through Junk not! we find creative ways to transform regular plastic waste into functional furniture pieces while providing livelihood to a community and protecting the environment.

This interior design firm transforms plastic waste into original, colorful furniture – and provides a source of income for local communities.

This interior design firm transforms plastic waste into original, colorful furniture – and provides a source of income for local communities.

According to the WWF, and based on a 2015 study by the NGO The Ocean Conservancy, the Philippines is one of the world’s five biggest contributors to plastic marine pollution.

Wanting to tackle the issue, and at the same time empower local communities, in 2009 Wilhelmina Garcia, a young interior designer, founded Junk Not!, an interior design firm.

Passionate about recycling and determined to make her country greener, the young woman uses design to serve the environment and society. “Junk Not! is my way of getting the idea across that there is no such thing as waste, only resources that have not yet found a use,” says Wilhelmina Garcia.

The products sold by Junk Not! – mainly chairs and stools – are handmade in small communities in the province of Laguna. The women collect plastic waste (shopping bags, packaging, etc.) before cleaning it and rolling it to make a fine cord.

The cord is the basic mate-rial in Wilhelmina Garcia’s pretty “upcycled” chairs. Along with pieces of wood recovered from old houses that are used to make frames or legs, it is handwoven to give life to the characteristic Junk Not! seats and backs.

The company buys them from the communities, paying them 5% of sales. It doesn’t just provide them with a livelihood either. Junk Not! aims to develop independence and create opportunities within local communities – for example by transferring knowledge about plastic waste recovery techniques. And in addition, it means local communities have a positive impact on their environment, are aware of pollution and learn how to sort their waste more efficiently.

Written by Village Connect

In a world where free quarterly print and online publications rule, Concept and Beyond Publishing (formerly, Tesmarias Publishing) a publisher of Village Connect (VC) stands out as a pillar and a trailblazer, raising the bar for complimentary magazines with quality reads that are tailored to discriminating Filipino urbanites.

As a print and digital publication, VC strives to provide readers an insightful glimpse into the ever-changing business landscape through relevant dialogue and inclusive coverage of trending news, information, and lifestyle tidbits within (and outside) the metropolis.

On a bigger scale, VC identifies and promotes Philippine innovations in various industries and connects them with Manila’s young and upbeat populace.

Since its founding in 2011, VC emerged as a household and business name, with a monthly circulation of 50,000 copies distributed FREE in Metro Manila, VC is targeted toward select villages, multi-dwelling outfits (condominiums, serviced apartments), banks, and lifestyle facilities including salons, wellness institutes, and beauty and fitness centers. It is also exclusively carried by Figaro Coffee Shops in Metro Manila – truly living up to its goal of connecting villages and businesses.

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