Nienke Hoogvliet turns used toilet paper into bowls and tables

Dutch designer Nienke Hoogvliet’s Waterschatten furniture and homeware is made from reclaimed and recycled toilet paper.

Shown at Dutch Design Week, the collection includes a large dining table, a set of pendant lights and a range of bowls – all designed as a way of combating negative associations with the material.

Studio Nienke Hoogvliet- WATERSCHATTEN

Hoogvliet combined the reclaimed and cleaned paper with brass elements to show that, despite coming from the sewer, the pulp has “great value”.

A metallic section conceals drawers and runs around the edge of the tabletop, while the rectangular-shaped pendants are supported by brass strips. Hoogvliet finished the set of decorative bowls with blue-tinged patterns.

Studio Nienke Hoogvliet- WATERSCHATTEN

The Waterschatten collection was made in partnership with the Dutch Water Authorities, which has been experimenting with recovering energy and raw materials from waste water.

By using fine sieves, used toilet paper can be collected from the water rather than being burned, as it was in the past. The company estimates that 180,000 tonnes of toilet paper is flushed down Dutch toilets each year.

Studio Nienke Hoogvliet- WATERSCHATTEN

The Dutch Water Authorities has also been experimenting with reclaiming phosphates and other materials, with each of eight drawers in the table showing the possibilities for a different recycled material.

Studio Nienke Hoogvliet- WATERSCHATTEN

The collection is a development on Hoogvliet’s previous research into sustainable textiles, which has seen her use woven seaweed in a range of tubular tables and chairs.

The designer has also experimented with turning algae into yarn, which was knotted around fishing nets to form floor coverings.

Other experiments with less palatable materials have seen fabrics made from manure and furniture made from “Merdacotta” – clay mixed with poo.

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