Light design is in the bag

16:00, Nov 13 2012
NST Light
BRIGHT SPARKS: Takapuna Grammar students Bronte Clarke, Tara Collins and Claudia McEwen with their award-winning lights made from recycled coffee cup lids and plastic bags.

A bright idea from six Takapuna Grammar students is winning awards and proving that trash really can become treasure.

Year 13 students Tara Collins, Bronte Clarke, Claudia McEwen, Dushko Mamic, Frank Du and Damian Shin started making recycled outdoor lamps for a sustainability project as part of the Young Enterprise Trust.

Their business Lumiere won both Excellence in Sustainability and Excellence in Commitment at the North Shore regional Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Awards earlier this year.

Last week their lamps became the centrepieces at the AUT Excellence in Business Awards.

As part of the Young Enterprise Scheme students were required to design, create and sell their own product.

A photo on the social media website Pinterest inspired the unique lights made of recycled plastic carrier bags and Starbucks lids.


"We wanted people to have a product that was made entirely of recycled products, and to highlight how easy it is to be more sustainable," Lumiere chief executive Tara Collins says.

The group also wanted to engage local schools in the project. Bayswater Primary School organised a contest encouraging pupils to bring in carrier bags.

"It was a fabulous effort by the school and we ended up with around 6000 bags," Tara says.

The students have created more than 200 lights, made from more than 400 Starbucks lids and 1500 bags.

Sales through their website, word of mouth and Trade Me means the lights are now almost sold out.

North Shore Times