Sara Güida and Alessio Nobili are Italian by birth but live in the countryside of a little village of craftsmen, called Gata de Gorgos, in the south of Spain. Well entrenched in this place since the last 8 years, this couple which has the good of the environment close at heart, decided to chuck up their everyday jobs to pursue their dream project.
It is more a way of life now that they have happily embarked upon. “Both of us love to explore different crafts,” says Sara Güida who studied in the Institute of Art in Rome and specialised in industrial and fashion design in Milan.
Alessio isn’t a designer or carpenter by profession, but he has always loved making things. The name of their firm which is, Iliüi, has been formed out of letters making up their own names. It was in the city of Alicante, where the duo once lived, that they happened upon several trashed empty cans and were inspired to re-purpose them.
Their goal then became to create original, hand-made designs with a deep attention to details, out of the trashed cans and other reclaimed materials. They decided to prove that it was possible to create contemporary and ‘cool’ products out of recycled material. It was in September 2013 that they constructed their very first lamp prototype.
Team Iliüi starts its day early in the morning. Working out of their house and surrounded by nature, only serves to fuel their inspiration and energy. Sara and Alessio do not have an ‘average’ day pattern. Life is full of answering emails, taking pictures of new products, writing invoices, packing products, making labels and ordering materials.
And, of course since they live in the countryside they also spend some time taking care of their plants, and playing with their dogs. When asked if they have always had an interest in recycling and upcycling, they say, “Yes, we both love nature, so, taking care of the environment has always been important for us.”
Sara’s degree in fashion and her experience in the fashion industry have come in great use in creating the vast range of green products. It is only when you look carefully at them that the origin of the components can be discerned. The careful attention to detailing and the exquisite finish of the products can compete with any other product made out of virgin components.
Additionally, explains Sara, “The feeling for what comes next is something I always had, not something that I learnt. However, what I did learn was to analyse upcoming trends and work out when to action an idea. That I feel is very important in order not to waste a great idea at the wrong time.”
Sara and Alessio are always on the lookout to finding and then using new and exciting materials that are trashed but could well be metamorphosed into something that is both stylish and useful. They love to utilise stuff that you would normally find at a landfill site and they believe that with a little bit of ingenuity, pretty much everything can be re-used. All it needs is some focus and respect towards our environment. It could then well lead to a situation when all waste will be organic, just as it used to be.
Text Compiled By Mala Bajaj