Carnaby Street’s Summer Highlight: Recycled Plastic Art Installation

London’s iconic Carnaby Street and Newburgh Street recently became home to a mesmerizing new art installation this summer, crafted entirely from recycled plastic.

In collaboration with the renowned recycling brand, Are You Mad, this captivating installation marks the launch of the broader seasonal campaign titled ‘Carnaby in Colour.’

Carnaby Street's Summer Highlight: Recycled Plastic Art Installation

Dazzling visitors from 6th July until mid-September, the temporary art piece takes the form of three exquisitely designed hand/heart-shaped arches suspended above Carnaby Street and Newburgh Street. These striking structures complement the existing Welcome To Carnaby Street arches, which have been upcycled with vibrant recycled hand embellishments. Notably, the materials for this installation have been sourced from local shops, restaurants, and the wider district, showcasing a collective effort to reduce waste.

The creation of this stunning installation involved a meticulous process spanning four weeks of plastic collection, followed by 16 days of sheet pressing. A dedicated team of 13 individuals worked diligently to bring this vision to life, ultimately utilizing 684 kg of recycled plastic waste. The raw materials included various items such as bakery crates, buckets, food pallets, and unwanted shop decorations, demonstrating the versatility and potential of upcycled plastic.

Carnaby Street's Summer Highlight: Recycled Plastic Art Installation

Overseen by Shaftesbury Capital, the project serves as a testament to the significance of recycling while highlighting the innovative approach of Are You Mad, a trailblazer in reimagining the use of plastic waste. This creative recycling agency played a vital role in collecting, processing, and cleaning all the materials at their current location on 97 Berwick Street.

Andrew Price, Executive Director at Shaftesbury Capital, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “We are thrilled to partner with Are You Mad in creating this iconic public art feature for Carnaby Street. The installation embodies the creativity and importance of recycling, made possible through close collaboration with our local businesses and the spirit of our community. We eagerly await visitors to delight in these vibrant pieces throughout the summer.”

James Suckling, Co-Founder of Are You Mad, echoed Price’s sentiments, saying, “We take immense pride in contributing to this project in such an iconic destination. Working with Shaftesbury Capital allows us to showcase our commitment to people and the planet. Our hope is that this installation inspires individuals to visit our space on nearby Berwick Street and continue their efforts to recycle single-use plastic.”

Carnaby Street's Summer Highlight: Recycled Plastic Art Installation

With its visually stunning presence and eco-conscious message, the Carnaby Street installation serves as a remarkable example of the power of art and sustainability. As visitors are drawn to the vibrant display, they are not only treated to an immersive visual experience but also encouraged to reflect on their own environmental footprint. By repurposing plastic waste and transforming it into a breathtaking work of art, Carnaby Street sets an inspiring precedent for promoting sustainability and igniting change within communities.

As the summer sun casts its warm glow on Carnaby Street, the recycled plastic installation stands as a symbol of hope and progress. It beckons all to appreciate the beauty of sustainable art while embracing the collective responsibility to protect and preserve our planet for generations to come.

Images: David Parry / PA Wire