Mieke Mertens

Hello everyone, I'm Mieke Mertens, creator of EMEKITU and photo stylist at STUDIO WAAZ.

Today, I dedicate a large part of my daily life to bringing a new idea of ​​aesthetics by diverting materials doomed to oblivion to make poetic objects that remind us that beauty is in everything.
I glean all my materials from our everyday waste, cardboard, pieces of fabric, wood...
For me, all these noble materials left behind have, in fact, a lot to offer.
I owe my eco-responsible commitment to a trigger, an awareness:
I worked in advertising and cinema for almost 20 years, during my career I worked, among other things, on the manufacture of sets for very short-lived shoots that we had to dismantle at the end of the shoot...
The recycling resources available were far from sufficient, so we found ourselves with kilos of completely reusable materials but without any means of recovering them.
I started by imposing on myself the challenge of making my sets almost entirely with my own waste from previous jobs, I realized that this constraint provoked in me a whole new source of creative inspiration and so much less frustration.
And since then I have only functioned this way.
EMEKITU is actually supported by traders and town halls by collecting the waste I need.
My commitment is to use every last gram and through my work to make people realize that what is thrown away can also be transformed into treasure.

The way I perceive the world around me and the way I interact with others has been strongly influenced by my ultra sensitivity, not always easy to live with but which helps me transmit my message with heart and I am very lucky to be able to see over the years that more and more people of all ages, from all cultures adhere to my approach.

When I was little, already hyperactive, my mother taught me to find calm by hugging trees, I grew up understanding that they were essential to us and deserved all our respect.
This is why I particularly recycle materials from trees and transformed into disposable objects, such as packaging for eggs and crates from the market which are often only used once for hygiene reasons.

I like to think that the desire to support noble causes is contagious. So if I had to give advice to those who haven't yet taken the plunge:
Beauty is in everything, nothing and no one is useless, you just need to take the time to think about it.

However, adopting a more ethical and responsible lifestyle is not a linear process; I myself surf on a polystyrene board and I ride in an old diesel van… but I no longer take the plane ;-)
Find Mieke’s creations here .
@emekitu on Instagram.

Venitz - le