An artist has created four ‘Walkie Talkies’, to show off what can be done when people recycle their old phones. The Walkie Talkies are an example of ‘upcycling’ and combine recycled handsets and vintage shoes to create fully functional phones that double as pieces of desirable art. Each Walkie Talkie performs exactly as a normal phone would, the keypad being incorporated into the sole of each shoe.
With 70 million old mobile phones in the UK and 30 million new handsets are bought annually. The designs, created with O2 Recycle, aim to highlight what can be done with these old handsets, rather than being sent to landfill.
The new phones, created from iconic footwear that includes a Christian Louboutin heel, a classic men’s brogue, a Nike Air trainer and a Hunter Welly, contain old Nokia and LG handsets sent in by O2 Recycle customers who no longer had a use for them.
Designer, Sean Miles, the man behind the designs, said: “I wondered how I could make phones that people might be embarrassed to be seen with into something that would give them a new lease of life – which is what upcycling is all about”.
“I hoped that, by turning them into Walkie Talkies, I would raise a smile and perhaps a laugh and create things that people wanted once again. I’ve been using them while out with friends and they never fail to start a conversation, even when I’m not using them as a phone! I hope that they can get more people talking about the need to recycle old gadgets rather than binning them.”
Review: Well it made me smile. I suppose it might make people think about what happens to old phones, but I can’t help wondering whether it’s a bit too silly to really make the point.
No doubt there will be a queue of people to buy Walkie Talkies, valued at £2500 each, and there is apparently a range of other products to follow. Something more down-to-earth would be good.