We are forever in debt to those who want to turn our trash into treasures, and we’re particularly in awe of Brazilian artist Amarildo Silva, who’s saving old tires from landfill and upcycling them into something truly fantastic. A few years ago, the young craftsman was looking for a way to make some extra cash when he noticed an influx of stray pups in his town that were using abandoned tires as beds. He proceeded to collect a bunch of the old tires and transform them into vibrantly decorated, comfortable doggy beds for his new four-legged friends.
Each tire is uniquely hand-painted with a different design and has holes cut into its sides for handles. The dog’s name then gets painted on the outside of the bed for a lovable personalized touch. Of course, the beds are not just for dogs, as some of the local cats have also been using them to take naps in. Silva has also been experimenting with other ways to utilize these tires, thus far crafting a series of quirky flower beds, succulent planters, and even a tire Christmas tree! Even more recently, he created four recycling bins out of them and a set of bright cushioned futons for human use.
After acquiring the tires, Silva washes, cuts, and paints them, using spray paint and stencils to create the quirky patterns and pet names that adorn the outsides. He then uses a sewing machine to stitch together the fabrics he uses for the bedding and pillows, ensuring his furry patrons quality comfort. Unfortunately, many of the strays that Silva and his friends find are not in great health and require immediate medical attention, but the team does their best to bathe the animals and nurse them back their energetic, adorable selves.
Silva’s designs have stormed the internet in recent months, his Instagram feed filling with motivational messages and praises from the 20,000-plus people who admire his heart and imagination. He’s also taken a public stance on his desire to eradicate unnecessary violence in Brazil, captioning one of his posts: “The Brazil that I want is a Brazil with less violence and more work. I’m not making an apology for crime, quite the contrary. Do as I do. Instead of a weapon, put a tool in your hand and go fix your life. Who knows, it might even change the reality of our Brazil.”
The craftsman says that he always enjoyed DIY projects and was looking for a way to reduce waste in the streets of Brazil while simultaneously funding his own lifestyle. To this day, Silva continues to run his upcycling business from his own backyard, bringing joy to the streets of Campina Grande as much as he can. Silva hopes that his upcycled dog beds will have a fruitful future in inspiring other positive impact products that contribute to a more sustainable way of living.
What an inspiring and incredible journey!