The Can Watch S is a unique approach to recycling. Instead of treating old soda cans as junk, these entrepreneurs have used them to create a watch that actually functions as a fashion accessory.
Alchemist Designs, the company behind the watch, is trying to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter to put it into production. The company wants to create a handcrafted product that will sell at a premium price (retail of about $136) and give jobs to underprivileged workers as well.
Alchemist Designs partners with Hong Kong sheltered workshop Christian Family Service Centre to provide well-paid opportunities for underprivileged workers in the area to build the watches. The goal is to keep the materials sustainable and also to provide some sustainability to the local economy as well. Though the two goals are measured separately, they stem from the same basic values.
In an email interview with Small Business Trends, Kat Ling, Creative Director at Alchemist Creations explained:
“All our works follow a simple motto, “Turn Neglect Into Shine.” We’d like to turn something which has its own specialty and character but is being neglected by the others, into something that we treasure.”
But the company’s first priority has to be the quality and design of its products. The initial concept came from the desire to mix sustainability and practicality. In 2012, the Alchemist Designs team began noticing more and more art pieces utilizing soda cans as a main material. But they had a difficult time coming up with a way to integrate the material into a mass quantity manufacturing process.
After some research, the team found that the bottom of the cans could be processed easily and could translate well into wristwatch dials.
The team collected soda cans daily and made hundreds of different prototypes to find a design that works. The cans still need to be hand picked, but Alchemist Designs eventually came up with a process and simplistic design that they hope will change the way people see design and sustainability.
“We think from the basic and design from the basic. We take readily available materials and we maximize the possibilities and make them design features.”