Brazilian artist, environmentalist, and animal lover Amarildo Silva Filho was inspired after coming across a pile of used tires in his neighborhood a few years ago. Where some saw trash, Silva Filho saw an opportunity for upcycling treasure that wound up making a world of difference to stray cats and dogs.
He collects the tires he uses from unused lots, the side of the road, or waste disposal areas. These are cleaned thoroughly, cut into the right shape, and then Silva Filho puts his artistic and artisanal skills to use to create cozy, vibrantly painted, personalized animal beds. Once the custom paint jobs are complete, with the addition of hand-sewn mattresses, the colorful comfy cots are ready to be distributed to local shelters.
Silva Filho’s recycled pet beds became so popular, a niche market of eco-conscious pet owners sprang up as well. To meet the growing demand, he launched Caminhas Pets and has since created more than 6,000 hand-crafted beds in the two years of his operations. While retail sales have helped sustain his efforts, the majority of Silva Filho’s creations have gone to animals in need.
He’s even branched out to create potted plant holders from tires and play areas for kids. There’s a lot that can be done with upcycled tires, as far as Silva Filho is concerned. He’s certainly showing us that when a good idea stems from a good place, almost anything can be achieved. Silva says he intends to help as many animals as he can and he believes that the only way to do a great job is to love what you do.