Second Life

You won’t experience any shopping guilt with these products, all made locally with recycled materials.

Photos courtesy of Tim Saunders

You may have seen Kauai artist Tim Saunders on the side of the road or lurking around a condemned house. Don’t be afraid; he’s just looking for what most people would call garbage. The self-declared pack rat uses discarded items such as old bed frames, car parts and barbecue grills to make everything from metal mahimahi sculptures to surfboard racks, mirrors and toilet-paper holders. “It seems logical to use these materials before they make it

to the landfill,” says Saunders. “Just about anything can have a new life.” His work is available at Davison Arts (4-1322 Kuhio Hwy., Kapaa, (808) 821-8022,, Hanapepe Café (3830 Hanapepe Road) or by contacting Saunders at (808) 346-1015,

Photo courtesy of Kathy Cowan

Kauai Recycling for the Arts (KRA) saves six to eight tons of glass per year from ending up in the island’s only—and almost maxed-out—landfill. Opened in 2004, the nonprofit takes glass donated by the public and melts it down so volunteer artists can create jewelry, vases, sushi platters and other pieces. Says executive director Kathy Cowan, “We teach the community that you can recycle creatively by taking material from the waste stream and making it into a usable product.” KRA also offers glass-blowing workshops to the public as well as free tours and demonstrations. Pieces are available at several Kauai galleries, including KRA’s studio in Lihue (3460 Ahukini Road, 808-632-0555, All profits help fund KPA programs.

Photo by David Croxford

If you’ve been to Muumuu Heaven in Kailua, you know that owner Deb Mascia makes all of her dresses out of recycled fabrics. In April, she debuted her home furnishing line, Heavenly Home, featuring lamps, pillows, antique chairs and sofas, made almost entirely out of recycled materials. “I’m physically unable to drive past a vintage lamp on the side of the road and not think of saving it,” says Mascia. “I just can’t stand it.” Mascia describes her first home collection as emanating a “Ralph Lauren-aloha vibe,” which includes images from local surf photographer Clark Little, framed in old windowpanes. Available at Muumuu Heaven (767 Kailua Road, 263-3366, and Pacific Home (420 Ward Ave., 596-9338.)