Amarildo Silva, a young artist working in Brazil, has found an inventive new way to upcycle trash in his city – by turning abandoned tires into comfy beds for stray animals.
Silva- who runs Caominhas Pets, a company dedicated to the project – got the idea after noticing how many old tires were littering his neighbourhood. With few recycling schemes available to process them, he knew they were likely to end up in landfill sites – so instead, he came up with an ingenious way to put them to good use.
Making all of his work by hand, Silva begins by scouring the city for suitable tires, or sorting through donations. He then cleans and paints them, adding bright colours to transform the dull rubber. Next, he adds useful carry handles, and finishes things up with a warm blanket for future occupants to snuggle up in. Even more adorably, the beds also have a personal touch, as Silva decorates the beds for new owners by adding their occupant’s name.
Since 2016, Silva has transformed over 6,000 tires – with 1,500 becoming comfy new homes for Brazil’s stray cats and dogs. The rest are used for other upcycling projects – turning into footstools, plant pots, recycling bins and more.
With popularity growing after photos of his work went viral, Silva now hopes to expand his business and ship more products to clients worldwide. However, he also remains committed to helping local animals – sharing his work with shelters as well as donating a share of his proceeds to organisations providing food and medication to sick animals. He also runs workshops on upcycling and sustainability, in the hopes of training a new generation to follow in his footsteps.
Growing from six beds made for friends and colleagues to thousands of orders, Caominhas Pets has allowed Silva to move from a job in retail to creating art. His work has not only changed his life, but also helped thousands of animals, and made a small but important contribution to saving the environment, too.