It is no secret that we are big fans of up-cycling and recycling. Take just one quick look around the café and you’ll notice a number of vintage and antique pieces, many with a funny or interesting story (just ask us!). Of course, these elements lend to the aesthetics of our space, and help to give Bangbelly it’s eclectic style. Importantly, these pieces also help to reduce the amount of waste going needlessly into landfills and help to disrupt the process of mass production that out-of-the-box-new items require.
The vast majority of our dishware has been collected over time from vintage shops, and second-hand stores. The beauty of this approach is that not only do we get to interact with a variety of unique items every day, but the inevitable breakage that occurs in restaurants will never necessitate a large-scale replacement of our service wares.
Much of the fabrics used to upholster our soft-seating were also acquired second-hand from antique shops. We love the one-of-a-kind effect of these fabrics, and are always happy to find a use for upcycled materials.
One item in particular that is interacted with multiple times a day is our pastry case. Plug ‘commercial pastry case’ into your favourite search engine and you will immediately realize two things: firstly, aesthetics are hardly a feature that they can boast, and secondly… plastic. They utilize so much plastic.
Our workaround came during a trip to one of our favourite antique stores, when we uncovered a hidden gem. Amidst the jumble of of odds-and-ends, we found one part of an old, modular, glass-fronted bookcase. By building our own custom shelving and providing a little TLC, we were able to re-purpose the piece into something functional and beautiful, with a story.
Curious to learn more about up-cycling and how to disrupt the ‘cradle to grave’ manufacturing process? We highly recommend the visionary book Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart.