A call for the recycling and reuse of all paper

A call for the recycling and reuse of all paper

A call for the recycling and reuse of all paper

I can see the new style of visual displays starting to take shape and it makes my heart content. I notice with pride that South African retailers are with the rest world in a stance to convert waste into reusable material. Stop for a second “.!.” and think about all the paper that we consume … newspapers, magazines, paperbacks, flyers, posters and the list goes on.  What happens to that newspaper that you read yesterday? That paperback or magazine that you could not put down? Those large format posters that an entire mall of retailers throw away after a 2 week mother’s day promotion period is over? Where does it all go?

YDE, a progressive local retailer, that has recently done a upcycle window display using shredded poster paper to create this fantastic window display. Look at how the layered clothing stands out in this display and how the mannequins are given a new attitude. Hair is a focussed trend in mannequin displays. YDE clearly differentiate themselves here by avoiding the traditional synthetic wig and by making punk hair styles from recycled poster paper. I love it, BRAVO to you. I am a big fan and I look forward to your future displays!


The inspirational Anthropologie has been using recycled material in window displays for the last 5 years. They have used plastic milk cartons, shredded paper, rolled-up newspaper, books and so much more.  They opened their first store in 1992, in Wayne, Pennsylvania and today there are over a hundred stores in America, Canada and the United Kingdom and have a following of fans from around the world. This is a true example of how a retailer listens and learns from a personal shopping experience. Have a look at a gallery of flickr photo’s of a few of their wonderfully unique and skilfully crafted window displays from 2006-2007. If you like what you see, there is more at the following link: The Worlds Best Photos of Anthropologie or this blogspot Craving Anthropologie.

On a recent prop sourcing project I visited a number of recycling depots looking for 2nd hand material and objects that can be used in a retail environment. I found tons of recycling depots on my adventures around the back streets of Cape Town. Here are a few of my favourites: Oasis AssociationHelp the Rural ChildLifelineSalvation ArmyTears and St Lukes Hospital. These depots offer such a wonderful opportunity for retailers, because not only does this help our community and those beautiful souls in need, but as a responsible retailer you can also help our environment.

Every single one of us needs to get involved in recycling and reusing paper. Here are some fantastic reuse idea’s to feed your inspiration.

Have a look at this wonderful idea for wall paper using pages from an old book. I love looking at this wall created by Wayne Durno in Lower Main Road, Observatory in his store Home Affairs Furniture.

Elle Decoration SA blogspot has some great ideas on bookart:

Here is a tutorial on how to fold books found on a 100% spectacular blogspot by a woman in KwaZulu Natal, Freshly Found – imagine a room filled with hanging paper lanterns!

This is a call to stop buying and manufacturing new items when we have so much waste material that we can use to re-create. When I was in my 20’s all I wanted to do was go to the Yucatán Peninsula a tropical rainforest in Mexico to save the trees from deforestation.. Well now, before it is too late, is our chance to take a stance by contributing to the effort!

2 thoughts on “A call for the recycling and reuse of all paper

  1. Tiffy

    I’m generally a fan of visual merchandising blogs, but I can’t help feeling that this one is all over the place and wish it would focus more on Cape Town displays rather than sourcing so many of the images and info from blogs like Journal des Vitrines or in this case Craving Anthropologie etc. (bad enough that so many blogs now rely on content from other blogs or websites). I would think that someone who works in the business of through-the-line advertising would show more of her own work or her own photographs. The idea of this post and many others is inspirational but that gets lost a little – e.g. a close up shot of the first window would have been great to actually see the recycled props in detail).

  2. Catherine Post author

    Hi Tiffy, thank you for your valuable comment, I appreciate your honesty. Your points are relevant and it is my aim to go out there and take as many photo’s as I can of Cape Town and SA retail design, display, in-store advertising and VM. Before I take photo’s of store interiors or windows I ask the retailer so that I can get the best pics possible. Please have a look at my local post on The Space, Mythology for a store review and of Canterbury for their window display. I use my own photo’s here. I will continue to source and use attributed pics from other blogspots so that next year I can look back and see what happened in that period. Having other bloggers pics on my same-theme blogpost allows me to keep that little bit of magic/inspiration that I found out there neatly together in one place, my treasure trove, my blogspot. Keep an eye out….there are going to be new and exciting developments as I learn and grow each day as a blogger.

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