Sustainable, eco-friendly products, unexpected material choices, and resurrected furniture and home accessories.
This is what BeeCycle stands for. In our interview, we discover how to include sustainability in your day-to-day life by making conscious decisions or where to buy furniture.
Kristina Mataitytė is a member of Vilnius International Rotaract Club, Lithuania, and joined Rotaract back in 2016. Together with her co-founder, who was also a member of the same club, they launched the website in early 2021.
Tell us about the Beecycle project?
Beecycle.lt is a platform for authentic furniture and home decor. Artisans sell handmade products made from surplus or new, natural materials – such as wood, metal, textiles, ceramics – and buyers, settlers, and designers can buy them. Here you will find a chandelier made of coffee grounds, a table made of lightning-strewn oak, or a sculpture made of old brick.
How did the idea of gathering Lithuanian craftsmen and artisans with different views of sustainability and recycling come together in one digital space?
Growing up, we spent a lot of time among skilled people: parents, neighbors, we witnessed how home decor goods were created in our homes, and now some of our friends are still making something for their homes. We were in no hurry to buy something if necessary, but we were thinking about what we are missing, maybe we can make furniture or a piece of home decor ourselves?
We also noticed that interior home solutions began to look similar: the same furniture, colors, and often cheap but short-lived items were used to create the coziness of the home.
By observing this situation, we decided to create a platform that brings a story with it and focuses on authentic home decor goods, made by local makers.
Who can trade on your platform, what criteria apply?
Ceramic, metal, wood, textile recyclers, manufacturers of new furniture and home accessories, restorers – everyone is welcome here. It is essential for us that the products are created by hand and as authentic as possible, made from excess raw materials or newly crafted natural materials – wood, metal, ceramics, etc. We are delighted to work with makers who use an outdated piece and recreate it. For example, a bed is made of metal pipes left in the garage.
We try to help the craftsmen with descriptions and photos; we advise presenting our products clearly and accurately. Of course, the aesthetic side is also essential. We notice that most furniture and accessories are missing the modern, industrial, Scandinavian minimalism, rustic, urban, boho style interiors. We talk to each artisan individually about what buyers look for when they scroll the website. We invite makers who create products that we or people around us would like themselves and know that they could be sold to different homes.
How can one collaborate with BeeCycle?
It all starts with registering on the platform. Once you create a profile, you can already share your products, upload descriptions, photos, set a reasonable price, and call yourself a member of the BeeCycle community. If any information is missing, contact the administrator. And if the photos and descriptions comply with our community rules, the product appears both on the platform and frequently on BeecyCle social networks. It remains for the artisans to communicate with the buyer who has contacted them through the platform to discuss the terms of delivery and purchase. So far, the service on the platform is free. We develop and explore new ideas for paid services we could offer to artisans or buyers. Follow the news!
What users are you targeting? Who buys from BeeCycle?
We look for creative people who want to create exceptional home decor on their own or with the help of a designer. We also try to establish contacts with interior designers who would use the redesigned item in their clients’ interiors. In most cases, we are the first step towards more sustainable homes, as artisans’ products are often not packaged in conventional plastic. We believe our audience is full of conscious people.
What products can be found on your platform?
In a nutshell, on our virtual shelves, you’ll find items with stories: a handmade linen rug featured in a personal exhibition, an upcycled lamp created by a dad with a little daughter combining old weights and pottery pieces, a lifelike armchair raised from the dust, a lightning-stricken oak that becomes a great coffee table, ceramic plates with cold borscht patterns – you will find the most of such products at www.beecycle.lt.
Rotary International promotes sustainable solutions. How do you think we can tackle sustainability further in our everyday life?
BeeCycle was born out of necessity to live a more authentic life, surround your closest environment – home – with more conscious home decor solutions rather than use mass production goods as a first remedy if you want to make some changes in your house. Sustainability could be brought in everyday life firstly by reducing consumerism (asking yourself do you really need another pillow or candle in your living area), buying less mass production goods, use more natural, raw materials while creating something new and unique, also by this bringing upcycling ideas or Do It Yourself philosophy in your interior solutions. Not only you might save some money, but the fun part is also that you will have an authentic, yet nature-friendly home decor good you could be proud of.
Follow Beecycle.lt for more!