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Our Design Process: Recycled Acrylic

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We have recently increased our usage of recycled acrylic, and over the last year have developed and invested in our own closed-loop system to recycle all our acrylic offcuts into a wonderful new sheet material.

Keep on reading as design assistant Elisha takes us through her process of designing and creating this new material.


Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images

Why do we use acrylic?

  • It's a very versatile material and comes in 100’s of bright and beautiful colours
  • It's long lasting and durable - we don’t design according to trends and want your jewellery to be worn for years
  • We offer lifetime repairs (depending on supplies) and will do our best to repair any broken jewellery so we can to prolong its life
  • We try to design with as much recycled acrylic as possible
  • We save all of our offcuts and scrap material to turn them into new sheets where possible or donate them to schools, individuals or other small businesses to use if we don’t

Our Laser technician, Zara always lays out (or “tiles”) the designs using illustrator as close together as possible. She uses every inch of space she can to get the most out of each sheet and anything we can’t use, we save for recycling.

We’ve been collecting these offcuts for years knowing we wanted to recycle them one day, creating a very satisfying area in the studio where the Wolf & Moon makers and materials team can organise scraps from what they’ve been making. These are organised depending on colour and style i.e. marbled, mirror and frosted acrylic so that nothing gets wasted.  

Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images
Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images

Hannah and I try to design as much as possible using recycled acrylic which we spray ourselves to get the perfect colour. Unfortunately buying recycled acrylic in the UK is quite difficult, there are very few suppliers that stock colours we could use and if they do, they require you to buy in bulk which is unsustainable for many small businesses. In the future, we hope buying recycled materials becomes more accessible but for now we have decided to make our own recycled material!  

We bought a hydraulic heat press a few years ago and have been working on our process ever since with some help from Luce at Offcut Studio who has given us some great advice. Luce runs her own workshops and can also help other brands who want to learn more about adoping a closed loop acrylic process.

You can find out more on Luce’s instagram page @offcutstudios.

Colour and Pattern Inspiration

Our colour and pattern inspiration for the sheets we have created for our recent limited edition collection came from Murano glass, particularly the speckled effect glass. Our granulated acrylic is very similar to the speckles of coloured glass when pressed into a sheet; it creates a really beautiful and subtle pattern mixed with translucent patches which resembles glass.

Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images
Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images

The Process

Our heat press allows us to safely heat up our scraps to a controlled temperature, melting the plastic together using the hydraulic feature. Doing it in this way means that it that won’t emit really harmful fumes. We’ve spent a lot of time working out the best way to press our scraps, what colours and types of our scrap acrylic heat up well and which don’t and how to get the best finish. As ever, each of our recycled acrylic pieces are quality controlled at various stages of the process.

We have also invested in a granulator - a machine that breaks down plastics into smaller chips. This allows us to create more of a speckled pattern/finish as opposed to pressing larger pieces of broken up scraps. It’s a really exciting process and we’ve got big plans for how we want to use it in the future!

Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images
Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images

The Final Result

Each sheet is different, which means that the jewellery made from this material creates compltetely unique pieces. We’re excited to experiment more with colourways and patterns within our recycled ranges! See a few of our upcoming limited edition pieces below.

Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images
Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images
Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images
Wolf & Moon’s recycled acrylic progress images