for a Sesto start-up
High is the new sustainable. Or: how hemp made it into the living room.
Johannes Kiniger has always been an inventor. Someone who tackles things and looks for solutions. Someone who wants to make things better. He had the idea of making designer lamps from waste. So far, nothing new – upcycling is, after all, totally on trend. However, what might surprise you is the kind of waste that the young Sesto native is remodelling in his workshop – an old shed in Sesto – into designer pieces with a green conscience and successfully selling to an international market under the brand “High Society”. They are the remains of psychoactive crops. Yes, you did read that right! Johannes Kiniger works with the waste left over from the manufacture of hemp products, wine, coffee, beer and tobacco products. In the process he is consciously putting his finger on one of our high society’s social wounds. He aims to stimulate thought and discussion by placing supposedly taboo raw materials and production waste in a completely new context, as stylish lamps at the heart of people’s living rooms, for example. Onlookers welcome! But it’s about much more than this. It’s about the rehabilitation of ancient local agricultural crops, about explanation and the search for really sustainable solutions for materials that can be used in many different ways. Johannes Kiniger himself grows the ancient, local variety of Carmagnola hemp in Sesto and produces high quality essential hemp oil from it. The remains of the plants then find their final calling as lampshades. There are now two ranges in which waste from beer making and local breweries is utilised. Every piece has one thing in common: they are green – literally! – and leave no trace behind when at some point they are no longer needed. And to conclusively close the circle, part of the profits from this young start-up go into projects run by the “Prevention Forum” to combat addiction-related health problems.