Running circles around the Covid lockdown

By Tanya Waterworth Time of article published Nov 14, 2020

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RE-IMAGINED, re-invented, recycled or upcycled – with the spotlight on local.

That has been one of the major trends coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic where communities have turned towards each other, while sustainable production using recycled materials has become a byword.

This year's Buzzart20 at the KZN Society of Arts (KZNSA), one of Durban's biggest Christmas Fairs, has some unique gifts for the festive season, embracing the sustainable trend, and sales will boost a local economy hard-hit by the pandemic.

The event will be launched on Thursday, November 19.

This week, creative director, Angela Shaw, said they had a treasure trove of goods waiting to be snapped up for Christmas, in line with the move towards a circular economy, .

A linear economy is where goods are produced, used once and then sent to landfill.

"Circular systems support re-use, repair, refurbishment and recycling to create a closed loop of consumption. This reduces inputs of resources and accumulation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions," Shaw said.

Next week will see the main exhibition hall transformed into the Christmas Fair, with many local artists submitting products that have been re-purposed to create new works or creative repairs.

A wire basket which is part of the Buzzart annual Christmas Fair at the KZNSA Gallery.

Shaw gave an example of re-purposing by a group of students who collected old plastic bottles. These were melted down and, using a 3D printer, were made into new combs and plastic cutlery.

"There is another project where used plastic bags are ironed together into a thicker material from which beautiful bags were being made."

“These are also environmentally friendly and also cost effective. They are taking waste and making products and making money. And it's not going to landfill," she said.

Beadwork jewlery which is part of the Buzzart annual Christmas Fair at the KZNSA Gallery.

Shaw said many people who had lost jobs during the pandemic were turning to more innovative ways of making money, which was also pushing the new economy.

Apart from re-purposing, Shaw said the circular economy included previously loved second-hand items, which can be valuable vintage goods, to repair and renovation, such as clothes darning, shoe repair and furniture re-fitting.

"So whether it's from thrift or being completely re-engineered, goods are going to a secondary or even a tertiary economy," she said.

This was a call-out for artists, creatives and entrepreneurs to submit their goods.

Having a quick look around, for the discerning buyer, woven bags and rugs made in Rorke's Drift from 100% Namibian wool are bound to catch the eye with their rich texture and colours.

There is also homeware and decor products, including some hand-made bronzes from Benin (West Africa), and some other exciting vintage items, as well as art.

Shaw said as a fund-raising initiative, there would also be a pop-up charity store. She welcomed people’s donations of unwanted clothes, shoes or homeware. Drop-offs of donations are welcome.

"We are staying away from mass production, it's all about local. And it's going to be curated in a beautiful way," said Shaw.

Buzzart20 will run from Thursday to January 17, with the official opening on Thursday evening at 5.30pm and the public are welcome.

KZNSA is at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood. For more information, email: [email protected]

The Independent on Saturday

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