The term upcycling is a relatively new one, finding its roots in the green movement at the end of the last century by Gunter Pauli, (often referred to the Steve Jobs of sustainability). The term was then adopted in 2002, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their book, ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things’.
The word essentially refers to the process of recycling that rather than ‘down cycling’, which involves processing materials into a potentially lesser substance for reuse, upcycling adds to or maintains the value of a product or its materials in such a way that it gains a whole new life and, therefore, does not become part of the waste system. Upcycling often involves use of materials for a completely different product or use of the product in an alternative and unconventional way.
The U’pcycling Movement’ has been growing in size and popularity since its inception and is most definitely here to stay. The popular and well known ‘Shabby Chic’ trend is an established branch of the upcycling movement.
However, a common mistake is to assume that shabby chic is all there is.... you would be sorely mistaken and missing out on a whole world of opportunity if you considered upcycling to be just about furniture! You can literally upcycle anything, yes ANYTHING! Even the fat from your Sunday roast!
So, the question is not what can you upcycle but what will you upcycle first?!
Upcycling can be done by anyone with very minimal or even no tools or special equipment and that’s part of the appeal. Although, it can also be quite sophisticated and technical, depending on what you’re upcycling and what you’re intending to make.... check out shop for some upcycled goodies and my courses to learn a specific skill or upcycle a particular item. If you can’t see the course that you are after, just let me know and it may be that I am planning to add it soon or it could be a new idea I develop especially for you...so just let me know....
My YouTube channel will be going live soon too and I’ll have some short and snappy ‘how to’ upcycling videos...so watch this space! In the meantime, check out my Pinterest profile:
What is Upcycling?!