For Mohammad Gatot Pringgotono, upcycling started from the urge of responsibility to his own space at Gudskul. From there, he’s trying to find creative ways to recreate used banners and used materials from art installations into something that is still practical and useful.
Since 2015, Mohammad Gatot Pringgotono has built STUFFO, a brand that focuses on utilizing used exhibition banners to make fashion accessories and daily products. “At first, I was just concerned about the amount of used banners piling up in our space so I started to think what I could make with these things,” said the guy who is about to go to Documenta Fifteen in Germany.
From there, he recalled his old love for sewing and his aspiration to have his own brand. As a teenager the man who is best known as Emji used to sew his own bags. “Of course it wasn’t good, but I love making those things. Now seeing these pile of used banners triggered my childhood memory,” he continues.
The journey began with his collaboration with Jakarta Biennale. “It was a momentum for STUFFO, the deal was for them to gather the materials and us to turn them into merchandise.” This move later became a milestone for STUFFO.
Used exhibition’s banners became the natural material of choice for him. Working in art production, those are the things that will always be made from time to time. Also, the way he sees it, those banners are in a way a form of art too. “Obviously these banners are well designed, made by professional designers, and those exhibitions are cultural events. So in a way, repurposing these banners are some sort of way to retell the story for the public in future. Even though it was told only partially, but still.”
Now, not stopping with used banners, STUFFO is also experimenting with other material such as plastic bags and plastic packaging. Furthermore, he is too developing a research & development lab along with his team, GUDRND to support his material exploration and product development.
This effort includes buying an extruder to make blocks out of used plastics. “Later we can use these blocks to make furniture as well as art installation hahaha,” he explains with such excitement.
His team is also in process to expand his product such as developing stationary for offices (envelopes, folders, etc). Everything of course is made of used plastics. In the end, his dream is for STUFFO to go out of production because there is no plastic waste left to work with.
But for now, his focus is to create good products responsibly to solve waste problem management and expanding his knowledge on circular production. Because, he knows that knowledge will remain and can be passed on to generations to come.
Photo: STUFFO archive