Meet Chloe Edwards the designer repurposing wine crates into multi-purpose, visually-interesting storage solutions. WGSN Senior Editor Carlene Thomas-Bailey reports
At first glance you might think that there is only one good use for a wine crate, to carry your favourite Merlot. However, fine art graduate Chloe Edwards has a different idea. What started as a birthday present for her boyfriend has become a furniture design business, as she transforms wine crates into stylish storage solutions.
“I made the first customised crate at the end of 2011. I lived in Mile End and I used to go to Broadway Market where there was a wine shop that used to leave the crates outside. My boyfriend had just come back from travelling in Africa, with these amazing prints, so I transformed this crate into a gift for him,” says Edwards.
The item created such a buzz that in 2012 she started seriously creating a range of these storage solutions, picking up crates wherever she found them.
“I think London is rife with street treasure at any corner, it’s often left aside and disregarded, but I always think I can fix it, so I end up dragging it around, taking it on the tube home and transforming it,” says Edwards.
Originally she used given or found fabrics to decorate the crates, before teaming up with a textile designer to work on a range. That evolved even further to her creating her own screen prints for the products to give them her own personal unique stamp.
Edwards admits that her upcycling designs stem more from a love of design rather than just sustainability.
“I like things to be efficient in their use, I like changing the intention of things, seeing the potential in objects to be used in new ways to prolong their life,” she says.
Because each crate is a different size and shape, and comes from a different place, each one is truly unique.
“I’ve definitely had some happy accidents with the designs I have created, the prints and colours. But I love it because the finished result is always lots of different stories, ideas and colour brought together in one piece of furniture. Some of the crates have travelled from France, others from restaurants or wineries, so they come with their own history,” adds Edwards.
Selling the crates on Etsy, each storage solution also fills a must-need service for the consumer. “Some people tell me they are moving house soon, so they need the boxes, other customers just need a stylish place to hide their magazines.”
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