Years ago, I regretfully threw out a large portion of my audiocassettes, save for a few mix tapes given to me as gifts by friends. I always wondered where all that tape went.

Now I know. Last night, I was partaking in an insomniac hunt for a wall clock on my favorite home design website, Supermarket. I found one — it’s made from recycled felt by design house Cake (yet another neighbor of mine in Red Hook) — but I also chanced upon another pleasant surprise: Prayer flags and other goodies made from recycled audiocassette tape. The flags — sold by Improbable Projects — are made from Sonic Fabric, a textile woven from 50 percent polyester and 50 percent salvaged audiocassette tape. And, yes, according to the Sonic Fabric website, when you run a tape head over the textile, it emits sound. I found the set of five Tibetan Buddhist-inspired prayer flags to be the most interesting and apartment-friendly; a larger, single flag along with a tote bag and neckties are also available. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Sonic flags is donated to Tibetan aid organizations.

These audible home accessories are a true conversation starter and pretty handsome, to boot. I think they’d look killer hung over a patio or above a fireplace. And in case you were curious, you cannot unload old cassettes on the Sonic Fabric folks as a donation. They’ve got their hands full at the moment but may need that Flock of Seagulls cassette single in the future… 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) reports on design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.