I 100% Need This Sofa Made From Recycled Phone Cases

Brought to you by CASETiFY

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How many phone cases do you have at home stashed away in that one desk drawer you never open? If you’re anything like me, a shameful amount but that’s okay because CASETiFY and Eva are on it: they’ve just teamed up to create a one-off sofa made up of 16,000 phone cases. 

Yes, 16,000 phone cases. All of which would’ve otherwise ended up in landfill. And then there’s the 430,000+ phone cases that Re/CASETiFY’s recycling program has already removed from landfill — the equivalent weight of a literal humpback whale. That’s a lot of phone cases. 

I feel a bit silly that I never really thought about the environmental impact of phone cases before.  I’m usually too busy considering two things: if a case saves my phone from smashing into a million pieces (again) and if said case looks pretty. (Both of which CASETiFY achieves, too, by the way.) But now the phone case sofa, sweetly named Re/Treat, has got me thinking about how much more conscious we have to be of the waste we create. And more importantly still, how there are so many creative ways to prevent our junk from ending up in landfill. 

casetify recycled phone cases

CASETiFY have saved thousands of phone cases from ending up in landfill (Image supplied).

Even though it’s a one-off (devastating news for me personally; I want one!) the Re/Treat sofa is such a smart way to share the power of sustainable furniture the chicest of all interior design choices. My favourite part of moving was being able to fill my apartment with environmentally conscious furniture. Whether it be sourcing one-of-a-kind vintage, secondhand pieces from someone’s garage sale or sustainably made furniture from companies like Eva. 

To help with bringing the Re/Treat sofa to life, CASETiFY tapped Dr Anita Vandyke. Dr Anita is an aerospace engineer — yes, a real-life rocket scientist — a zero waste expert and an advocate for sustainability. (In other words: put her on the $5 note!) I caught up with Dr Anita to find out more about the Re/Treat and bless us with her wisdom on how each of us can live more sustainability. 

Ky Stewart, Junkee: Tell us about the collaboration between  CASETiFY and Eva to create a sustainable sofa made from recycled phone cases?

Dr Anita Vandyke: The CASETiFY collaboration with Eva is incredibly important as it brings to life [the idea] that creativity and sustainability can go hand in hand. Redirecting materials that would have otherwise been sent to landfill shows how you can repurpose unexpected materials and make it into something new again — such as furniture! 

I love the way CASETiFY is working with artists and designers all over the world to inspire us to be more creative with our sustainable efforts. 

How much waste do phone cases actually contribute?

Through the Re/CASETiFY program and their global recycling efforts, over 84,000kg of plastic has been spared from landfills and given a second life through upcycling and repurposing into new accessories and even furniture. 

What was it like being the campaign’s Zero Waste Expert?

It was a great way to show people that zero waste living can be stylish and creative. It allows people to think outside the box and know that companies can create new products from old waste materials and these initiatives have real impact on the planet. 

The CASETiFY Impact Report 2024 confirmed that it has contributed to planting 463,406 trees back into nature. That translates to an equivalent of 22,243,488 pounds of carbon emissions removed from the atmosphere. 

CASETiFY work with artists and designers around the world to create art pieces like Andy Singleton’s fish sculpture made from recycled phone cases (Image supplied).

How does your career as a rocket scientist inform your passion for zero waste?

As an aerospace engineer (rocket scientist), I’ve been able to understand materials engineering and the importance of good design. This has translated to my efforts in sustainability to be able to design and create zero waste switches for everyday life. 

How can people be more aware of the waste they are contributing to/producing? 

Do a rubbish bin audit! Go home and do an audit of all the waste you are sending directly to landfill and assess how you can make changes by making switches in your grocery shopping or your lifestyle. 

Most people think about waste in terms of clothing or food, but how can we be more mindful of minimising waste in our furniture? 

Firstly, buy the best you can afford and choose quality over quantity. Buy items that would stand the test of time, rather than poorly made furniture which will inevitably be sent to landfill in a few months or years. Secondly, consider the material of the product. You can buy items secondhand, or items that have been upcycled, repurposed or recycled to lower your environmental footprint. 

What are some simple tips/ways we can better improve our lifestyles to be more sustainable? 

Firstly, vote with your dollar and support businesses and brands that are trying to be more sustainable through innovative design or recycled materials. Secondly, embrace small changes. Whether it be bringing your own drink bottle, choosing package-free foods or buying items made from repurposed materials, all these small changes can make a big cumulative difference. 

How can brands make sustainability a cool thing to do?

Brands can make it accessible, creative and fun! Sustainability is sexy! 

Why is it important to have innovative ideas like the recycled phone case sofa when it comes to sustainability?

Through the Re/CASETiFY program, giving a second life through upcycling and repurposing into new accessories, is a creative and fun way to showcase how businesses can merge sustainability with creativity. By diverting these items from landfill, businesses can reduce their overall ecological footprint, leading the way in design and environmental awareness 

You can check out Re/Treat for yourself now at CASETiFY’s STUDiO in Sydney Arcade Shop. Find out more about Re/CASETiFY here. 

Image: Supplied