Sunday, August 21, 2011

Upcycle This!

Tell me the often do you skip to the end of the saying reduce, reuse, recycle and forget all about the first two calls to action?  We are all guilty of it from time to time but I urge you to stop now and consider the benefits of reducing and reusing.  The economy is rough, right?  So the reducing part is a no-brainer.  But what about reusing?

I like to think of reusing a product as a subset of UPcycling.  Being able to shop at consignment stores, yard sales and the like is the easy way to reuse.  But taking it a step further to upcycling, repurposing a product or a piece of a product that is headed to the landfill, is just as good if not better.  Many even think that the inherent charm of these often unique and one of a kind pieces adds even more value to the finished product.  In fact, large companies are even jumping on the bandwagon and creating NEW products that mimic upcycled ones.  I have to say, all the charm is lost in these products using virgin materials. 

I love the story of the fifth grade girl who started her own business making bottle cap jewelry.  Check out the video to see how she got started upcycling. 

Now take a look at what I found in the craft store:

One of the items that I have really enjoyed making, if for no other reason than the reaction that I get from shoppers, are my light bulb bud bases:

 And now the eyesore in the craft store:
And I adore all the wonderfully artistic creations that the "zipper lady" makes out of previously used zippers  

  I guess big business loves them too, it's just too bad they use virgin materials!

How about these bunches of jersey knit material that I found in the craft store?

And on Etsy, the upcycled product:

You tell me, upcycled or brand spanking new?  I think I'll stick with Upcycled Stuff! :)


  1. Whoa, what?!? That's nuts! I'll be buying all my upcycled crafts from folks who REALLY upcycle!

  2. Thanks for that post, i'm trying to NOT consume new for 365 and that type of action and use of raw materials makes me sad...

  3. WOW! That's quite the challenge! Good luck.

  4. Maddening! I haven't bought any new clothing (except underwear!), purses or shoes for several years now. Since becoming an etsian, I've also greatly minimized shopping at Michael's, Jo-Ann's and Beverly Fabrics, relying mainly on thrift stores. Your post was quite informative. I appreciate you for keeping us abreast.

  5. It is very sad indeed!! I'm just glad that I have a place to shout from my soapbox and that there are people willing to listen. :)


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