British designer Tonya O’Hara’s love for jewelry-making was cemented during her studies at Loughborough University and the School of Jewellery in Birmingham. Fresh out of college, she wanted to start her own line, but first she had to raise the money. After eight years of teaching at secondary schools, and feverous saving, O’Hara founded PET:cell in 2010.
PET:cell’s nature-inspired jewelry is individually handmade from recycled PET plastic bottles.
Her first collection features nature-inspired rings, earrings and bangles—all made from recycled PET plastic. “It has very much been an amalgamation of the many things in life that excite me,” O’Hara tells Ecouterre. “I have had for many years a fascination with transparency and microscopic organisms but also a desire to create something very precious out of something very ordinary.”
Available at London’s Junky Styling and in PET:cell’s online shop, the arresting baubles have a haunting fragility that echo the state of our planet. O’Hara is already formulating ideas for her next collection. “I’m developing a new range which will focus further on transparency and texture; necklaces and headpieces will also be introduced,” she says. With nearly 4,000 plastic-bottle collection banks in the United Kingdom, she’ll never be in want of supplies. Should we be happy or sad about that?