What is Upcycling?
Upcycling is the process of turning something that might be thrown away (waste material or unwanted products) into something new. Many of us do some form of upcycling as we go about our days. We turn glass containers into flower vases or soap dispensers. We may use an old colander for planting flowers or use old shirts to clean our home. All of these are forms of upcycling. It is a great way to re-use these items and keep them out of the trash.
Some businesses have even picked up on the upcycling vibe and have started to turn some surprising things, into unique, and pretty amazing, products. We thought we’d give you a brief round-up of some of the companies that stuck out to us.
- Terracycle creates park benches, backpacks, gardening supplies, and many other products out of waste products that tend to be difficult, or nearly impossible to recycle, like ocean plastic.
- Preserve manufacturer’s toothbrushes, kitchen items (storage containers, measuring cups), shaving products, and other items by collecting recyclable plastic materials such as yogurt containers, lip balm tubes, and even Brita water filtration systems.
- Looptworks creates backpacks, duffle bags, apparel, and much more out of high-quality materials from manufacturers. Examples include old airline seat covers, skis and other textiles.
- Alchemy Goods creates a variety of bags, wallets, belts, and other items from blown-out inner tubes from bicycles and billboard vinyl.
- Sword & Plough turns surplus military supplies like uniforms, tents, and even sleeping bag covers into handbags, totes, and jewelry.
- Upcycle It Now turns textiles headed for the landfill into masks, dog coats, lunch bags, wallets, sunglasses cases, and reusable bags.
- Vélosophy has taken Nespresso pods (300 of them) and turned them into a bicycle, fit for urban bicycling.
- Project Repeat helps people turn their old t-shirts into quilts. Individuals send them their old t-shirts, and they handle the rest.
- Recycled Firefighter utilizes old fire hoses to manufacture durable wallets, backpacks, and belts.
- Laura Zabo gives old tires and inner tubes new life by turning them into jewelry, belts, and flip flops.
- Green Guru Gear makes bike gear, bags, wallets, and backpacks out of bicycle tubes, tents, wetsuits and climbing gear.
- MapleXO upcycles skateboards into jewelry, bottle openers, spatulas, whisks, and other accessories.
This is only a sampling of the businesses out there that are demonstrating their creativity, and care for our planet, by upcycling items into something new. We know there are more out there, and we’d like to know about them!
Do You have a Favorite?
If you have a favorite upcycle-worthy company, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on social media, and let us know. We’d love to put together a round two article featuring businesses submitted by our followers.