Vollebak creates 'Garbage Watch' is built from the electronic waste the world threw out in the trash

London based Vollebak has released concept images for it 'Garbage Watch'. Built using electronic waste, the studio through this prototype is asking is a straightforward question: What if electronic waste isn’t garbage?

Built with discarded motherboards and scrap computer parts, the Garbage Watch is a mechanical timepiece that demonstrates the potential of e-waste. The studio produced this watch in collaboration with the Wallpaper* Re-Made project. "Over the last few years, we have been driven by a long-term ambition to build intelligent clothing, and our plan to drive forward the integration of clothing and technology over the coming decades. But everything from exoskeletons to integrated monitoring and intelligence will require power distribution, so there will be three fundamental challenges for us to work on." Explains the studio. 

The studio is known for being at the forefront of sustainable clothing. They see science and technology as essential components to produce clothing of the future. Their Plant and Algae T-Shirt is grown in forests and bioreactors and turns into worm food at the end of its life. They also created the world’s first Graphene Jacket using the only material in the world with a Nobel Prize. 


"First, we are investigating the conductive base materials that clothes can be made from. The copper in our Full Metal Jacket and graphene in our Graphene Jacket can be considered as a platform on top of which other innovation can be added – a bit like an operating system in a computer," says Vollebak co-founder Nick Tidball.

He continues, "Second, we are exploring the type of intelligence that can be layered into clothing, and we’ll share more on that over the next 12 months. Finally, as we consider how the clothing will become a tech, it is our responsibility to question how that clothing will be treated at the end of its life."

It is estimated that around 50 million tonnes of electronic waste is generated every year and mostly treated as garbage even though it contains many of the world’s precious metals, like silver, platinum, copper, nickel, cobalt, aluminium and zinc.


Vollebak co-founder Steve Tidball explains: “To avoid trashing our own planet, we need to start figuring out how to re-use the stuff we already have. So our Garbage Watch started with a very simple idea. What if electronic waste isn’t garbage? What if it’s simply pre-assembled raw materials that we can use to make new things. That’s why everything you can see on the Garbage Watch used to be something else – a motherboard from your computer, a microchip in your smartphone, or wiring from your TV.”

Vollebak co-founder Nick Tidball adds: "We've taken an ‘inside-out’ design approach with the  Garbage Watch, making the functional inner workings highly visible in a similar way to how the Centre Pompidou is constructed. We aimed to reframe an often invisible and hazardous end of the supply chain and make people think deeply about the impact of treating their wearables in a disposable manner."

Over the next year, the watch is expected to from prototype stage to product, where the company would be sourcing components through sustainable e-waste recycling efforts.

The waiting list is open now ahead of its launch in 2021.



Founded by twin brothers, designers and athletes Nick and Steve Tidball in 2016, we use science and technology to make the future of clothing happen faster. We’ve won innovation awards from TIME and Fast Company and been compared to Tesla and elBulli for our radical commitment to what comes next. We’ve created the world’s first Graphene Jacket using the only material in the world with a Nobel Prize, released 100 Year clothing designed to outlive you, a Plant and Algae T-Shirt is grown in forests and bioreactors that turn into worm food, and a Black Squid Jacket which mimics the adaptive camouflage of the squid by reflecting every colour in the visible spectrum. For more information check out,