Baladi, a word that Israelis adopted from Arabic, means “national” or “of the country”. It is also the name that French-born Israeli designer, Brigitte Cartier, decided to give her design studio. Her Baladi Company for Ecological Progress takes our national garbage and transforms it into beautiful designs that we can all be proud of.
After studying art, design, and film in Paris, Cartier moved to Tel Aviv where she became a recycling force to be reckoned with. Armed with Israeli waste materials and a certain French je ne sais pas, she recycles without sacrificing style.
Cartier’s past projects include making raincoats out of plastic bags, light fixtures out of plastic containers, shelving units out of cardboard boxes, accessories, and most recently she designed the interior space at the Hiria garbage-dump-turned-nature-park outside Tel Aviv (check out the picture to the right).
The materials that she reuses include plastic, wood, textile, metal, and cardboard, and she finds truly innovative ways to transform them. Old plastic jerry cans become stylish mailboxes. Discarded scraps of cloth from south Tel Aviv are used to renew old furniture (check out the chair on the left). Used olive oil tin containers are cut open and used to decorate bathroom walls.
Cartier explained that she “started doing this because of the growing consciousness about the environment and it’s cool to use things that were garbage to make new things. To take a plastic bag and make it into a coat is like magic. You need a lot of inspiration.”
Read more about other inspirational recycle artists from Israel: