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Eto Eto: Sustainable studio Breathing Life Into Broken Things

Sylvia Davies saves broken umbrellas during Storm Dennis from being incinerated giving them new life.

Eto Eto has its place in the sustainable studio where Sylvia makes sustainable products

Broken umbrellas are collected by Eto Eto a sustainable business to be reused and made into usable products in Cardiff

‘Storm Dennis’ left behind broken umbrellas, which is found and taken to be stitched and reused by Sylvia Davies independent owner of Eto Eto, who creates and sells the products locally.

“Eto Eto in Welsh means, again and again, reusing broken items to make something new,” said Davies an entrepreneur who started the business fuelled by her passion for mending broken umbrellas and inner tubes from tires to make wallets, purses, laptop bags and more.

She bought her sewing machine in September to start the process of fixing things from tossed out waste materials. “There’s a woman I like who is making stuff in Chile. I’m a big fan of her work” said Davies, talking about her inspiration to start her own sustainable company.

Davies uses a heavy-duty machine to stitch the intricate material to make wallets, bags, and more.

Davies runs the independent company from collecting all the broken materials to sewing them herself with the help of an industrial machine she bought. “I didn’t know what I was doing, but I worked hard seven days a week with no sleep before Christmas markets,” said Davies.

With the help from people around her which she calls the ‘sustainable community’, she began to start a network that reused the battered and broken items. She depends on people like waste collectors and event organisers who collect the broken items on her behalf, which mutually benefits them as they don’t pay to discard the unused umbrellas.

“It is the same types of communities that provide me with the raw materials and who I then create for, they are also my customers. So it is creating an eco-conscious community in that respect,” said Davies.

She uses special broken umbrellas with different patterns to create certain items.

When she’s not using umbrellas, she uses inner tubes from tires. The smooth material used for bags and wallets provides the inner lining, holding the shape of the item while making it durable. During spring, Davies plans to rely on broken and abandoned tents used during festivals to make her products.

Her goal is to reduce carbon footprint and make her products sustainable. That means creating and selling eco-friendly items within the UK, reducing the environmental impact of selling the goods abroad.

There are different kinds of inner tube material which Davies segregates before stitching them together.

When she’s not using umbrellas, she uses inner tubes from tires. The smooth material used for bags and wallets provides the inner lining, holding the shape of the item while making it durable. During spring, Davies plans to rely on broken and abandoned tents used during festivals to make her products.

Her goal is to reduce carbon footprint and make her products sustainable. That means creating and selling eco-friendly items within the UK, reducing the environmental impact of selling the goods abroad.