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What constitutes UPCYCLING?

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  • What constitutes UPCYCLING?

    Hi all!

    Very new to this site so just trying to get my head around it...

    Basically, I run my own blog (Upcyclist) which reports on beautiful upcycled design.

    I'd really like to get an idea of what people immediately think of when talking about upcycling. How would you define it? How does it differ from recycling? What is the future of upcycling?!

    Recently I went to a fashion show where a designer used the fur from animals that had died in roadkill to make couture clothes. Is this an extreme form of upcycling or just bad taste!?

    I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts!

    Upcyclist x
    UPCYCLIST
    www.upcyclist.co.uk

    Twitter @UPCYCL1ST
    Facebook 'upcyclist'

  • #2
    For me, upcycling is taking something that has no worth or value and changing it in some way, making it into something somebody wants. Preferably something very lovely! Recycling, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily involve a creative process and doesn't always involve change (although when it doesn't involve change, it's more often called repurposing).

    So, while the roadkill seems a bit extreme, it seems to fit my criteria, although I won't be investing in it!

    I'm off to have a look through your blog!

    PS: you might like my recent blog post on upcycling: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog...fting-and-art/
    digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
    blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
    hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
    blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Wendy

      Many thanks for sharing the link - love the pallet projects.

      I suppose it's all about upping an object's aesthetic or functional value - which can be subjective I guess. I do think there is something quite unique about the creativity that can be sparked by found objects.

      On another (rather controversial) note, Lord of the Flies is currently on at Regents Park Open Air Theatre and they've used a genuine crashed plane for the set. I guess its case of re-purposing rather than upcycling, but in a sense also giving a piece of useless junk artistic value.

      Upcyclist x
      (@UPCYCL1ST)

      p.s. If you do decide to experiment with driftwood and pebbles etc I'd love to the results!
      UPCYCLIST
      www.upcyclist.co.uk

      Twitter @UPCYCL1ST
      Facebook 'upcyclist'

      Comment


      • #4
        I believe what I do is upcycling...taking old things and making them new again. I fix up and rework knitwear, make rags rugs and all the yarn I ever use is old, 2nd hand, reclaimed from old things etc...

        I don't think there is any definite answer...just lots of imagination and looking at things differently before they are wasted!
        Blog
        http://minervascrafts.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          For me upcycling means taking something that has no real value or purpose any more and turning it into something useful and /or beautiful thereby increasing its worth. I am a huge fan of that concept and incorporate it in some of my work.

          The roadkill fur issues turns my stomach and I think it is in poor taste but I guess it could also be considered upcycling...I'll be giving that one a miss though

          Comment


          • #6
            Many thanks for your feedback! I completely agree it's all about imagination and innovation - and perhaps there shouldn't be a limiting definition. Although there are people out there (particularly those who aren't in the art/craft/design world) who still aren't familiar with the term, I'm pretty sure that this is set to change and that the term 'upcycling' will soon be as commonplace as 'recycling.'
            UPCYCLIST
            www.upcyclist.co.uk

            Twitter @UPCYCL1ST
            Facebook 'upcyclist'

            Comment


            • #7
              Upcycling as I understand is taking an item whatever that is and turning it into something new, recycling is recycling it, eg - aluminium coke cans remelted and turned into more cans or whatever they want to use it for. For me recycling costs as there is a method involved to do this, upcycling cost less only time. I'm a veggie but if can see the side of using animals skins for other purposes, I use my chicken feathers when they moult. That's my idea on it anyway

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by wendy View Post
                For me, upcycling is taking something that has no worth or value and changing it in some way, making it into something somebody wants. Preferably something very lovely! Recycling, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily involve a creative process and doesn't always involve change (although when it doesn't involve change, it's more often called repurposing).

                So, while the roadkill seems a bit extreme, it seems to fit my criteria, although I won't be investing in it!

                I'm off to have a look through your blog!

                PS: you might like my recent blog post on upcycling: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog...fting-and-art/
                Love your blog!

                Comment


                • #9
                  To me upcycling means making something pretty or useful (preferably both!) out of something someone has no need for/doesn't want anymore, and recycling means reusing an item for another purpose without changing it/altering it, at least in non-mass production terms - I'm only talking about what we do as individuals here, not what councils do with our old coke cans!
                  So from a crafting perspective, I upcycled a denim skirt my daughter had grown out of into a little bag for her, and I recycled old kilner jars into storage jars for dried fruit (oh, and buttons :P ) I also recycle egg boxes into paint pallets and upcycle them into ladybirds and caterpillars lol well at least it keeps the toddler happy!

                  I'm really getting into the idea of upcycling/recycling atm as a cash strapped mum!
                  I'd love to have a look at your blog but can't find it!
                  http://rainsdropsnroses.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Agree with all of the above, reclaiming, restoring, recycling - upcycling! All pretty much interchangeable IMHO, although I think UPcycling has come to mean making more from less. Very satisfying either way, we make our living from it!
                    www.formerglory.co.uk- www.seatweaving.blogspot.com - Facebook page - Twitter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i agree with wendy, my partner paints glass and is allways on the look out for free or recycled glass to paint and sell.
                      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wallw...27692183938506
                      www.boltoncraftfair.blogspot.com
                      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bolto...21000424653029
                      www.wallworksoaps.co.uk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Galls View Post
                        I'd love to have a look at your blog but can't find it!
                        I'm a bit confused, am I allowed to have my blog address as my signature or is that not allowed until you've done 25 posts? Sorry very new to all this!
                        UPCYCLIST
                        www.upcyclist.co.uk

                        Twitter @UPCYCL1ST
                        Facebook 'upcyclist'

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oooh has this worked?
                          UPCYCLIST
                          www.upcyclist.co.uk

                          Twitter @UPCYCL1ST
                          Facebook 'upcyclist'

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes that worked

                            I have just recently cottoned onto the upcycling courtesy of this wonderful forum and kirtsies home made home believing it to be making something you would throw out into something useful or and beautiful. Im a sucker for anything pretty or interesting. Also I think of it as a way to re home something or re use an object in a different way. Currently Im hoarding for things I am planning to use in projects. I did see in York today some art works of animals and scenery made from scrap paper that were really cute and sold for about £70!

                            Some of what people consider making something useful however others disagree on with here, there was an intense debate on making something that is still use able and or considered art such as a record into a record bowl and therefore no longer a working record (which sound WAY better than any music produced in this digital age) and depriving someone who would really love to have listened to it.

                            Im still in the experimenting stage of this but have already understood you cant please everyone

                            KayleighAnn
                            My Homemade Life
                            ...

                            Or at least the early beginnings

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm having this little debate with myself at the moment, too, about books. Is it ok to use the pages of a book in your crafts? I'm talking about using torn up pieces of it to decorate scrapbooks, cards etc. I just can't decide!
                              The reason I'm asking is that i have seen it used and it looks really effective, but literature itself is art and i would never throw books away even if i didn't enjoy reading them! And even tho the kindle app on my ipad is the best thing ever!
                              http://rainsdropsnroses.blogspot.com/

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