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What a Character
Giving old signs new life is the mission of the Finnish company Character. Dismantled signs that have – ahem – character are refurbished and sold on the company’s website.
After the letters have been cleaned-up, which includes replacing old neon bulbs with 30,000-hour LEDs, they can be used as decoration or as mood lighting, inside or out. The locations for use are limitless: lighting for a balcony, sculpture in an office reception area, a piece of art in a garden, or a night-light in kids’ rooms. They are robust with an artisan, industrial feel and the fact that they are all unique gives the buyer an opportunity to choose a product that no one else has. On the website, there is an option to reserve certain letters when they become available.
The recycling aspect is an integral part of the idea of the business. “Sustainability of this product is not superimposed, but in the very essence of it,” explains Aleksi Hautamäki, one of Character’s founders. “The second life cycle creates new value for everybody involved, the sign maker, the producer, the retailer and the customer. That’s something not many brands can say about their products.”