Probably each of us has upcycled before. For example, doing handicrafts with mom. There, old toilet rolls, newspaper, and paper mache often turned into some form of construction and works of art. But it was always fun.
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But what exactly is upcycling? If objects, raw materials, etc. are creatively misused according to their actual product life cycle, one speaks of upcycling. Simply put, things are used differently than originally intended. This not only creates cool and individual objects but also saves resources.
The basic idea behind upcycling is: “Why use or mine a new raw material when there are already vast amounts of raw materials that have already been mined?”
Upcycling, What it means?
Upcycling is a play on words made up of the English words “up” and “recycling”. In contrast to recycling, upcycling creates added value, so the emphasis is on material upgrading. Thus, in the ideal case, the resulting creation has a higher value than before. Hourglasses are a good example of upcycling, a broken pair of jeans, which in fact only has a low value, and a few old book pages are turned into a new, higher quality product.
In complete contrast to this is recycling. Old objects are processed in such a way that the new products are of inferior value. The example of jeans and book pages also works here. These would be shredded during recycling and, for example, processed into insulating wool. In the worst case, these valuable raw materials would simply be burned up.
Why should we upcycle?
Yes, good question, why upcycling? One of the reasons is obvious: resource conservation. One thing is also clear: if each of us upcycled just a little more, resources would be saved and a lot of waste would be avoided. Even small accessories are enough to amaze others. Upcycling makes people think and, at best, let their own creativity run wild.
But, as mentioned earlier, conserving resources is not the only reason. Often people simply cannot afford items financially. As I said, necessity makes inventive.
It is precisely through this creative process of “inventing” that incredibly cool and useful things are created. Entire restaurants, bars, and even private apartments are furnished and individualized with this stylistic device. Larger furniture stores have also become aware of this trend and have been offering upcycling furniture for sale for a long time. Unfortunately, the products of large furniture stores are only produced in an upcycling style and are not really upcycled.