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VHS tapes go back to TV – as footstool furniture

John Singano is helping create an environmentally friendly planet by repurposing old material through creative ideas.

The Re.Bag.Re.Use team crochets beautiful multifunctional items from VHS tape. Going a step further to use the entire VHS tape, the Re.Bag.Re.Use team has found a way to use the empty videotapes. VHS and cassette tapes are in most cases non-recyclable or not accepted by recyclers, so repurposing this material is the next best sustainable option.

“For quite some time I have been worrying about all the empty VHS video cases that we are generating” says Re.Bag.Re.Use founder Regine le Roux. “It’s one of those awful plastics that can’t be recycled and will potentially end up in landfill when they are not repurposed. Footstools is one of the solutions that we have come up with to repurpose empty VHS boxes.” 

John Singano, local upholsterer at Imizamo Yetho in Hout Bay, is the talent behind covering the footstools.

John Singano, local upholsterer in Imizamo Yetho

“When Regine first asked me for a quote to upholster the footstools made from VHS tapes, I was so excited,” he says. “Instead of throwing something away, we can turn it into something that people can love. 

“As an upholsterer, we are often left with a lot of material offcuts that are too small for other projects and the material gets thrown away. But now, we can use these offcuts to cover the VHS footstools. Nothing goes to waste.”

Re.Bag.Re.Use is an initiative that was born in Hout Bay, as a hobby, during the Covid-19 lockdown. The flagship product is a multifunctional bag, crocheted and repurposed from an empty bread bag. But, as the project is growing and building momentum, additional products are being added to the product range. 

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