Beer bottles are an abundant resource in my house. We drink a lot of beer, and our city doesn’t pick up glass for recycling, so there’s always at least a couple dozen empties amassed by the backdoor. Try as I might, I can never think of anything to do with them. So to me, what Pepe Heykoop has done here is a little like alchemy.
With one of the Dutch designer’s simple paper sleeves, you can turn any bottle into a lovely little vase. It arrives in the form of an envelope. Unfold it, slip a bottle inside, and roll up the top to size. Crumple its creased triangular pattern into any form you like (so long as it’s vaguely bottle-shaped). Transformation complete. You’ve turned one man’s trash into another man’s treasure. It’s even better than that, actually, because you’re both of those men.
The sleeves, which took home an Interior Innovation Award at IMM Cologne 2013, are produced by underprivileged women in Mumbai as part of a collaboration with Tiny Miracles Foundation, a charity that provides work and health care for impoverished women in the area. So it’s not just a clever product; it’s a noble one, too.
But in solving my empty beer bottle problem, another one arises. Where am I going to get all these flowers?