By Taniya Dutta
This Brazilian animal lover has found an ingenious way of turning discarded tyres into cozy beds for dogs and cats.
Craftsman Amarildo Silva Filho, 23, has reused more than 6,000 discarded tyres of cars and motorcycles which litter the streets of his neighbourhood to make 1,500 beds over the last two years.
The resourceful artist, who hails from a middle class suburb in Paraiba in Brazil was working at a supermarket but was not very satisfied with his routine life.
A strong believer of environment sustainability, Amarildo came up with idea of using the upcycled tyres for making beds for cats and dogs after noticing a heap of tyres strewn on the sides of the streets.
He said: “I am very moved because what used to be trash in the environment now becomes something very useful for animals.
“I’ve always liked objects made from recyclable materials.
“I saw some things done with these types of materials and soon I fell in love with the tyres.
“It’s amazing what you can do with that kind of material.
“I always wanted my financial independence and to be able to work doing what I like and still help the environment and animals.”
Amrildo first few products were for his friends who loved the beds and his business kicked off.
Amarlido spends about 40 minutes making each bed, receiving the tyres as donations from friends, collecting them from the streets or buying them in bulk quantity.
After separating the tyres, he cuts, washes and paints them, before personalising each pet bed by drawing a unique design on each tyre, and writing the name of the animal to whom the pet bed will belong to.
Amrildo said: “At first I sought inspiration from Google seeing works from other people, but after a while, with practice, I could already create my own works, exclusively created by me.
“I sold my first works to friends who worked with me at the supermarket so I basically started my career as an artisan there.
“The procedure is simple.
“First I get the tyres, I only use car and motorcycles tyres as truck tyres are heavy.
“Then I wash them with soap and water, then I cut, paint, put the foam.
“I cut the fabrics, then I take it to the seamstress and then I put the loops and the complete upholstery and last I put the name of the dog or the cat.”
Amarildo, who surprisingly doesn’t own a cat or dog yet, also donates the beds to NGOs.
His idea has become so popular that in just two years that he has begun getting orders from across the country.
But due to infrastructural limitations, Amarildo only sells his products through his Facebook, Caominhas Pets.
Amarildo is hoping to get investors so he could expand his business and provide the tyre beds around the world.
He said: “I make donations to institutions that care for animals and buy medicines, food and pay for surgeries for the animals who are sick.
“I also do social projects with students from public and private schools, showing the importance of sustainability for the environment through environmental education and through workshops to put tire recycling into practice.
“I have struggled to expand my business because at the moment I only commercialise in two states of my country.
“I get orders from the whole world but I do not have the financial conditions and the structure to sell all over Brazil and across the globe.
“I don’t have a team. It is me who does the main work but my mother and brothers help.
“Sometimes, I have friends who help me when I have many orders, but I do need a team.”
Amarildo is now appealing for foreign companies or investors who might be interested in his work to contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org.