In the summer of 2011, product designer Alvaro Catalan de Oco was given the opportunity to partake in a career defining challenge where the objective was to recycle plastic bottles made with Polyethylene Terephthalate (or PET). Working to protect the natural state of the Columbian Amazon, activist and psychologist Hélène Le Drogou invited De Oco to help with her mission by offering his expertise in design.
After seeing the detrimental long term effects of everyday plastic waste, De Oco decided to address the issue himself, with his own creative business. Enter PET Lamp. Turning his hand to textiles, the Spanish born designer suddenly had a lightbulb moment (excuse the pun!) when he decided to use the ancient tradition of using artisanal craftsmanship to upcycle old materials and transform them into lamps.
With the help of Coca-Cola and the Artisanias de Columbia, PET lamp has helped improve the lives of impoverished Columbians who’ve been displaced by Guerilla war. Of course, not forgetting the source of his inspiration, De Oco ensures that PET lamps are culturally distinctive to the aesthetics of native Columbia – full of texture, colour and immaculate detail.