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Reclaim To Fame: Twice Used

Posted by Mark Godsell-Fletcher on

Welcome to the first installment of our new semi-regular feature, Reclaim To Fame,  in which we'll be taking a look at companies using reclaimed materials in interesting and innovative ways in the realm of interior design. As regular visitors to our blog will have gathered, we're quite big fans of using materials that otherwise would have been destined for the rubbish heap to fashion wondrous creations from. That's why we thought it time to turn the spotlight on others out there doing the same, such are both ours and the firms we feature here's noble (and eco-friendly) intentions. Well, that and the fact that some of the stuff being designed is pretty cool and well worth checking out. The focus of our inaugural feature is Twice Used - a US company doing interesting things in the world of housewares: Who? Founded earlier this year with the help of investment from backers found via crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter, Alabama-based Twice Used is actually the off-shoot of a mobile phone repair company, Phone Restore. After setting up a second business focusing on the recycling of broken smartphone display units off the back of the success of Phone Restore, serial entrepreneur Chris Koerner had a brainwave and realised that mobile technology components could be upcycled in different ways, not just reused as part of new mobile devices, and Twice Used was born. iPhone_Clock_ESLWhat it does As we already alluded to, this small company looks at interesting ways to reuse  elements of smartphones and other mobile devices as parts of interior decor pieces. The firms main output comes in the form of clocks, ornaments, kitchen ware and jewellery, but it has also been known to knock out the odd piece of furniture including coffee tables and countertops. iPhone_Coaster_ESLHow it does it As you can see from the images accompanying this piece, the answer is; 'in a variety of intriguing ways'. iPhone facias taken from devices beyond repair have been fashioned into the bezel of a wall clock, tactile 'Home' buttons from Apple's iconic mobile have been turned into jewellery by way of earrings and bracelets, and cracked 'toughened' glass back panels used to make photo frames. iPhone_Earring_ESL It's the creations that utilise unsalvageable LCD screens that are the most sought after though, and also the reason that Twice Used came into existence. Speaking in an interview with tech site CNET, company founder Chris Koerner said that out of every four iPhones that came into his Phone Restorer business, one couldn't be rescued and ended up in a pile in his warehouse: "There are three parts to an iPhone screen: the LCD; the digitizer, which is the touch recogniser; and then there is the glass," Koerner explained. "As long as the LCD is working, it can be recycled. But you can't fix a broken LCD." After being inspired by an artist friend creating a work that used shattered iPhone glass glued to a canvass, Koerner and his employees set about creating similar artworks for each of Phone Restore's three retail outlets. Soon after, the foundations of Twice Used were in place and the team began looking at ways to "expand that to items that can be sold both for their functional purpose and as an ironic twist on the utility of broken phone screens." iPhone_Cofee_Table_ESLSo where next then? Well, Twice Used has been going from strength to strength in the short time it has been in business, so much so that it has expanded its warehouse space to 2,000 sq ft and plans to hire more employees to the nine it currently has. Koerner was at pains to point out the need to gain more backing from the Kickstarter campaign: "We don't need to buy the glass, obviously. We do need other material like cork, and a milling machine to make stainless steel." According to the man himself, Twice Used currently has around 20,000 bits of whole or partial devices to be working their artistic magic on but hope to partner with other repair centres in the future to make use of their unrepairable devices and save thousands of tonnes of eWaste from needlessly going to landfill. If you know of any other firms doing a similar thing that we should know of, let us know in the comments or hit us up on our social media channels.


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