designer's own words:Sustainability is an issue I find important. Two aspects of this topic have kept me busy when develloping this project. First of all: how can I make something that becomes a completely different product after recycling, directed towards a total new target group? Secondly: how can I use the structures and codes of the mass-media to make this product visible in 'life-style' / 'human-interest'-glossies, usually not interested in this 'recycling' topic. Basically: HOW TO MAKE THE OLD SEEM NEW? I have develloped products wich I call 'Vintage Characters'. Vintage because they are all used and found secondhand, Characters because they are all 100% unique and individual. Now what are Vintage Characters? Vintage Characters are (second hand) pluche animals. Teddybears, Rabbits and other furry childrens' former companions, thrown away after years of most intimate relations. The pluche animals I collect are turned INSIDE OUT by me. Nothing more. Nothing less. This is the very first time a product comes to consumers in three differnt times. Firstly, the product is sold in a toy-shop. Secondly, the product is sold on a flea-market, a garage-sale or Salvation Army-shop. Finally (after transformation) this same product enters the shelves of high-end designshops, as a novelty for design-loving adults. VINTAGE CHARACTERS are the proof that a product - with small alterations - can find it's way to the consumer in three differnt stages. Additional, the new shape and meaning will guarantee an idea of the 'new' for the mass-media, without actually added something to this planet. Apart from not adding waste, and apart from giving designers hope by illustrating one-and-the-same product can find it's way to the consumer more than once, I would like to note a deeper meaning for those interested. Vintage Characters, too me, are also a metafor for today's unhappy people, searching DEEP ON THE INSIDE for happiness. New-age therapies, pshychological counseling and motivation-plans seem to make individuals reach only WITHIN for happiness. In my opinion people would become more happy if they stopped digging on the inside so much, but would reach out to other people instead. When I compare my Vintage Characters to those 'unhappy inside-focus individuals' I see some resemblance. The smile disappears, the true colours dissapear, and the ability to listen to others seems gone. (most vintage characters lost their ears in the transformation process). What a waste.