Rio de Janeiro is one of the most vibrant, exciting and romantic cities in the world. The place famous by the song “Girl from Ipanema” has now fallen in love with pallets.
A while ago, the local airport offered pallet environments in a waiting lounge. The furniture looked comfortable as passengers waited for their flights and one man even managed to take a nap in the pallet sofa.
The airport pallets were replaced by “Palafitas” – an outlet inspired by the rustic Amazon look that takes its name from houses built on tilts at the margin of the world’s biggest river.
Palafitas is into ‘trendy entertainment’ and has a thriving business at Rio’s aristocratic Jockey Club, in the heart of the most beautiful part of the city – overlooked by the famous statue of Christ.
The immense Jockey Club borders the beautiful lagoon that surrounds Rio’s most affluent neighbourhoods. Near there, still under the blessing of the statue, the city gets decorated in pallet style for the Praça in Rio festival and the Babylon Feira Hype market fair. Those two events attract a good local crowd immersed in an atmosphere inspired by pallets.
Recycling is a survival habit in Brazil. If you are having a beer, when the can finishes be sure somebody would come to pick and collect it into a big plastic bag.
This culture of surviving out of rubbish makes pallet a popular activity over there. But on social media, people who make them complain their work is not well valued and they cannot make enough money out of it. Those feelings are shared by pallet makers in other corners of the world.
One thing is for sure: pallets are here to stay. At an airport or around the city, Rio shows that there is an alternative and space for furniture that helps us to save the planet, transforming industrial waste into beautiful products