Expanding the lifespan of the Inner Tube
It’s not difficult to find tyre inner tubes in Central Java. They are inside the tyres of buses and trucks, transporting people and goods throughout this bustling part of Indonesia. SAPU have found a ready source of used inner tubes from transport companies in nearby Semarang, just 25km away from their workshop.
Each inner tube is likely to have traveled over 50,000 miles before it reaches the workshop. So, before the collective can get to work on their designs, the first step is to remove 50,000 miles worth of dust.
Although sourced from a single point, the inner tubes are anything but uniform. The reclaimed rubber is differentiated by patterns, printing and markings. Each member of the collective will carefully select an inner tube depending on the design and their desired finish. This means that no two SAPU items will ever be identical. Each item is unique.
Whether it be punching the designs into the Kiky bracelets, sewing the seams of the Maggie Messenger Bag or cutting the intricate designs of the Flower Earrings, every SAPU product is individually made by hand. Each member of the collective is highly skilled in crafting this tough material
From the moment the craftsman picks up his chosen inner tube, to the point the finished article is dispatched, every part of the process takes place in the Salatiga workshop. This means that the collective maintain complete control over the production of their items and can ensure that every piece matches their high standards.
Over the past five years, the collective have recycled 3,660 inner tubes. That represents 12,810 kilograms of rubber which has been diverted away from landfill.