The Re-Circle jewelry collection by Regenesi only looks like mother of pearl. The lustrous, inner-shell-like pieces are actually made from a potpourri of recycled plastics, including repurposed buttons, eyeglasses, bag handles, car-warning triangles, and bicycle reflectors. Designed by Finland’s Kaisli Kiuru for the burgeoning Italian design house, the line of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets is sartorial subterfuge at its cleverest.
The ersatz nacre is a patented material known as Alicrite (also known as polymethylmetaacrilate), a recycled and recyclable plastic normally used as surface cladding. Comprising 90 percent post-consumer recycled components, the polymethylmetaacrilate scrap is shredded, poured into steel molds, and placed in methane-fired kilns. Coloring agents are later added to produce the iridescent mother-of-pearl-like finish.
The ersatz nacre is known as Alicrite, a recycled and recyclable plastic normally used as surface cladding.
Before Kiuru, the use of Alicrite in fashion was unprecedented. Her designs link asymmetric ellipses of the material with thin circles of recycled copper-plated brass (plundered from electrical wires and cables, pipes, and electronics). “It’s great to see that there’s an increasing interest in post-consumer objects,” she says. “With research and availability of new materials we can create a whole range of products that respect the canons of fashion and beauty.”