Dutch furniture designer Pepe Heykoop recently unveiled a new line that recycles remnant leather scraps and old furniture into provocative new pieces. Appropriately named “Skin,” the collection features office and dining chairs, tables and vanities that have been custom fit with patchworks of butter-soft leather scraps, in muted and neutral colors. The Skin collection is not only innovative and sensuous, but it is also made of completely recycled waste materials.
As a furniture designer, Heykoop was keenly aware of the leather furniture industry’s production of unusable leather waste scraps – which he cites to be around 25%. His Skin line transforms the garbage scraps into sinuous covers. Each piece is unique, as it is constructed from random shapes and sizes of leather. The scraps are stitched together in random patterns, but since each scrap is relatively small (otherwise it would have been reused by the industry), the resulting patterns resemble cellular structures, and even skin.
Heykoop’s use of muted colors — creams, off-blacks and pale greys — gives the collection even more of an organic look and feel. The original furniture is also 100% recycled – the designer finds pieces in second-hand stores or even in the garbage. The leather coverings not only update the furniture into high-end design pieces, but also provide support for old wood and structuring.
Heykoop is no stranger to recycling materials. Many of his collections feature cast-off furniture and materials. His line of leather lampshades also provides jobs to underprivileged women in India through the Tiny Miracles Foundation.
Images © Annemarijne Bax