Arts and Culture
Creating New Things Out of the Old: Sapin Sapin Tanzan
Here at Taste.Company, we’re all about products that are all-natural and protect the environment. We love brands like Human Nature, which makes use of local ingredients and turns them into “cruelty-free” products for home and personal use, and Kapuluan Coconut which sources raw organic coconut oil from rural, organic farms in the Philippines and produces products with zero waste, and do not harm animals or our planet, and just recently, we have discovered a local brand that, in a way, saves the environment. Since 2011, Zerah Capili has been creating products using reused materials and up-cycled items through her brand Sapin Sapin Tanzan. Being a volunteer of the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (or better known as WWF in US and Canada), Capili wanted to contribute and help the environment in her own little way. For a lot of people, it’s conserving water or segregating trash. For her, it is looking for items that people normally find useless (and therefore throw away) and turning them into works of art. So, instead of these things becoming waste, Capili transforms them into new things that people can use in their everyday lives.
These bottle cap hair clips and pins are just some of Capili’s hand-painted creations
The WWF is the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organization, operating in over a hundred countries through the support of nearly five million people worldwide. You might remember them from their black and white panda logo, but there’s really a lot more to its work than just saving endangered species – this is what prompted the organization to change its name from the World Wildlife Fund to the World Wide Fund for Nature in 1986. (source)
Capili has always been very business-minded. Before starting Sapin Sapin Tanzan, she would customize shoes for her friends and family by painting on them. Nowadays, she focuses on up-cycling, making use of materials like bottle caps, wood, and cardboard to create different kinds of accessories. Necklaces, earrings, hair clips, and headbands are just some of the things that you can find her selling online and in bazaars.
The whole idea was inspired by the Disney movie UP. If you can recall, there was this grape soda bottle cap badge that Ellie and Carl wore to show they belong to the same adventurer’s club – that pretty much gave Capili the idea to start her new venture, Sapin Sapin Tanzan. “After watching the film UP, I realized that I could also make these. Most people consider bottle caps only as bottle caps and nothing else.
They just throw them away after they open the bottle. I didn’t realize that it would become my sort of ‘business’ at first because I only create those products for my friends and family. But after I joined my first bazaar, the response was very good and people were amazed that bottle caps can be created into a new and unique product,” she said. For those who don’t know, the Filipino word tanzan means “bottle cap,” and since sapin sapin rhymes with pins, Capili and her sister thought about putting the two together to come up with Sapin Sapin Tanzan.
What inspired Capili in the movie UP (photo from Google)
Sapin Sapin Tanzan’s version of the Grape Soda badge
But it doesn’t stop there. Aside from accessories, she also came up with some unique products like her bottle cap Tic Tac Toe and a 90’s kid mystery kit.
So what’s her tip for aspiring creative entrepreneurs? “Your product doesn’t always have to be brand new. I know it sounds cliché when they say ‘may pera sa basura.’ For me, it works in a more inspiring way. You just have to work on your creativity and imagination always because you never know what you can create.”
Capili is always on the lookout for more bottle caps to up-cycle. To support her and help save the environment, get in touch through her Facebook page.
Photos courtesy of Sapin Sapin Tanzan