A new life for old tyres
MOST people look at old tyres and think "junk", but Byron Bay's Monica Corser and Bernie Kudernatsch see endless possibilities.
Their business Retyred Furniture has turned "retired" tyres destined for landfill into some very chic furniture and homewares.
The couple were living in Bali 18 months ago "looking for something to do in life" when they were inspired by some rudimentary rubber products made from old tyres.
They have since turned that moment of inspiration into a business which just imported its first shipment from Indonesia.
"I knew straight away it was a potentially brilliant idea. It fit so many boxes for what I wanted to create, but it needed some work," Mr Kudernatsch said.
Invention and design is in his blood. He is a serial entrepreneur with several inventions to his name, including the patent for the ubiquitous "beach flag" - the flexible advertising flag you see at most car dealership entrances these days.
"Anyone could take this idea and do it, but they don't. On one level you have to be a dreamer," he said.
"I see something and think 'How can I make it better?'"
The outdoor furniture has been a huge hit so far with orders from Sydney, and locally Mullumbimby's Poinciana Cafe and the Green Garage in Byron, who cherish its durability and comfort.
"On one level, it sells itself," Mr Kudernatsch said. "So far we've just shown it to people and they've immediately said they want it.
"The most amazing part of it is the durability. For Australia, this is the biggest advantage; it's something you can leave outside and it will never wear."
Ms Corser has a background in design and Bernie is a natural problem-solver, making them a great team.
"It's quite a masculine product, so I throw in the feminine side, like the designing," she said.
"With one billion tyres in landfill every year, if we can manage to make something useful out of it, it can only be good," Mr Kudernatsch said.
1 billion: Tyres ending up in landfill worldwide every year
20 million: Tyres in landfill in Australia every year
30,000: Number of years it takes for a tyre to degrade without sunlight.