To upcycle is to upscale your ideas and creativity to something that is of value and exceptional. Similar to recycling, upcycling involves reusing something so that it doesn’t end up in the trash. However, unlike recycling where in most cases the material is broken down and then crafted into something (like plastic bottles into toys for instance), this involves using parts of something to make new items while retaining certain fragments of the original product.
So if you one of those people who like to take the pressure off the environment or if you have a friend who thinks the same, here are 5 brands that have created exciting and practical upcycled items with interesting stories making gifting even more special!!
- Ecobling Jewellery
One of the best brands that tell such unique stories is Ecobling. Crafting jewellery pieces from colourful recycled glass, steel from old kitchen sinks, and all kinds of beautiful woods from broken furniture and construction waste, each piece says what the piece was once!! What was once a staircase is now a pendant and what was once a pallet is now a statement necklace. Along with such interesting craft in keeping the vestige of the old, the planet-friendly brand also plants a tree in African food forests for every piece sold and partners with Indigenous Australian communities.
- Ana Williams White Cotton Top, Bella Dress, and Masks
Find your perfect fit or style with these cotton/linen sassy pieces! Made in Melbourne from quirky upcycled fabrics, Ana Williams has created the gorgeous loose fit Bella Dresses that can be worn in any way you like! Pair it with leggings on those chilly days or feel free and relaxed when it’s warm. If not the dress, try the Upcycled Sleeveless White Cotton Top which features a cowl neck made from sleeves! Again great for summer and winter as can be easily layered, this comfy piece of clothing can also be worn with buttons towards the front or back. Fashion-forward or not these are for all!
Clothes aside the Reusable Cloth Face Mask by the designer made from recycled, remnants, or end of bolt fabric consist of three layers with the inside lining has a pocket to insert a PM2.5 filter for increased protection. Even the bendable nose wire inside is upcycled from copper insulated tubing ensuring a snug fit!
- Alchemy Goods’ Inner Tube Belt
Sleek in design and practical, Alchemy Goods approaches the modern way of upcycling old materials such as bicycle tires and advertising banter into bags and accessories. Their top-selling Ballard belt has silver stitching and is made from reclaimed bike tubes. A bicycle tube, as described is mainly made of Butyl rubber which is a very elastic and airtight synthetic rubber that can stretch. The belt is created in such a way where one tube is wrapped around another to create four layers of rubber. The silver stitching on it allows the belt to stretch just enough for comfort, but at the same time, the rubber construction ensures the belt won't stretch out permanently over time.
- Tread and Pedals Rotor Clock
Ever thought that bicycle parts can be used to make clocks? At Tread and Pedals Upcycling Studio, something like a punctured bike inner tube, cog, or a wonky wheel is collected and transformed into something quirky through crafting it and recycling it in an unexpected way. The products are diverse and range from highly polished bicycle chain cufflinks to delicately crafted inner tube jewelry and statement bicycle wheel clocks such as this interesting Roter Clock.
Coming back to clothing, stepping into the market with the idea of zero-waste fashion is womenswear brand Tonle. Based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia this brand creates stuff made from surplus fabric discarded by apparel manufacturers in the country. The Shirt Dress for example is made from cotton jersey remnants (t-shirt offcuts) blending other natural plant-based fibers and some elastic. Likewise, Sothea Linen Pants sources its linen from deadstock and offcuts left over from larger garment manufacturers. Hand-printed with water-based non-toxic inks with custom-designed prints, these pants are soft, comfortable, and of high-quality. And here is another earth-friendly fact, each fabric is burn tested to assure that it is at least 90% natural, plant-based fiber!!
Say yes to upcycling and make gifting practical and trash-free this holiday season!!