Rehyphen® is the pioneer of an up-cycling initiative in Singapore, whereby discarded cassette tapes are collected and woven into a piece of MusicCloth® as an effort to reduce and eliminate e-waste, while giving the product new life.
The tapes consist of polyester film with metallic coatings, which would otherwise be considered a waste material. The material is woven in a basket weave pattern, which allows stability and durability. Light weight, sound absorbing and highly water resistant too! Cloth edge finished in a smooth finishing. Each MusicCloth® has its own unique colors and patterns.
Founded by J.J. Chuan, a multi-local who has been working and living in Singapore, Malaysia, New York and Shanghai, she created rehyphen® with the aim of solving real-life problems. MusicCloth® was developed over 9 months of R & D by J.J. and her mum in their home back in 2016 after she had just moved back from New York. While unpacking, J.J. found a box of cassette tapes that were used as a medium of communication between her best friend (who had moved to Australia) and her back in her school days, when smartphones and social media had not yet been invented. The duo would record their messages and their favourite songs in cassette tapes, and mailed it to each other. The way Cassette tapes bridged the distance between her best friend and her, she now wants to use it to bridge the gap between the past and the present, keeping the moment alive far beyond the moment itself. The idea of MusicCloth® enable her to create a treasured object that kept a memory contained.
According to the United E-waste Coalition, nearly 50 million tons of electronic waste was generated in 2018 and only 20% of that was recycled. There is 56 million kilograms of plastic used to make physical cassette tapes since it first introduced to the world in 1963, based on a report 'The cost of music' from MIT press. Rehyphen® hopes to use its upcycling initiative to build awareness for the issue of electronic waste.
MusicCloth® has been widely acclaimed around the world - its swatches have been stored and are available in Material ConneXion® Library & the University of Pennsylvania material lab. This material has been exhibited at TEDx as one of the 'ideas worth spreading'. Rehyphen® was also selected by British TV host Kevin McCloud as 'Top 7 Green Heroes', and showcased in London Grand Design and NYC x Design in 2018 & 2019 as a "NEW alarm" and a modern method of what it means to build an object. Red Dot Design Museum also included MusicCloth® as '100 global social design' in their museum collection in 2020.
' We weave our music, we replay our cassette tapes. "
J.J. Chuan, Founder