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4 Fascinating Upcycling Ideas

September 15th, 2009 · 8 Comments

Upcycling is not your ordinary ‘garden variety’ recycling. Upcycling is creativity in action. Here are 4 great examples of ¬†upcycling ideas.

Upcycling is the process of creating superior and innovative products out of materials that would otherwise end up as waste in our landfills. Upcycling is not your ordinary garden-variety recycling – it is creativity in action. Here are 4 fascinating examples of upcycling:

Looptworks, of Portland, Oregon, is an eco-fashion company that specializes in creating a great line of clothing products out of pre-consumer textile waste. Every year, the garments industry discards about 20 million tons of textile waste (left-overs from the production process). Looptworks upcycles this waste into earth-friendly, durable, and stylish apparel. Check out the chic green creations at Looptworks.

Shireen Qudosi at Green Air wants to turn trash into treasure through creativity. “The idea of artistic living is a growing trend in an eco-friendly culture,” Shireen observes, “…being green has brought with it a new level of stylish eccentricity.” Eccentric or not, there’s no denying the artistry involved in these upcycled creations from empty wine bottles.

Upcycling Ideas
Photo: Green Air

Read Shireen’s full article at Green Air: Rewined: Wine Bottle Upcycling

This next upcycling idea is something that evokes pleasant childhood memories. I grew up with my grandparents and my grandma used to make useful things similar to what Croq of Croq Zine is showing here – a beautiful upcycled rug from woolen scraps.

Upcycling Ideas
Photo: Croq Zine

Some residents are reclaiming street dumpsters and turning these into useful objects and recreation spaces. Dornob has photographed some fun and creative ways city residents have upcycled this piece of street metal describing the trend as “the intersection of guerrilla installation art, recycling, upcycling and freeganism.”

Upcycling Ideas
Photo: Dornob

See creativity at work at Dornob: Dumpster Diving & Other Creative Urban Upcycling Ideas

I’m sure there are a million creative ways to upcycle everyday objects and waste materials out there. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section below.

Tags: Recycling

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Curbside // Sep 17, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    The clothing from Looptworks is pretty awesome but I don’t think I’ll be swimming in a dumpster anytime soon. LOL. Pretty creative though!

  • 2 Heather - CROQ Zine // Sep 21, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Thanks for linking to my rug! Glad someone likes it! The scraps from Pendleton definitely have a lot of potential. Great other ideas, too!

  • 3 Kathy Mayer // Nov 19, 2009 at 5:24 am


    I have enjoyed reading your blog and appreciate the innovative quality in the products you present. I am writing to introduce you to our beautifully designed hand made clocks created with vintage upcycled 16mm film and reels. We think they will be of interest to you and your readers.


    Best regards,

    Kathy Mayer

  • 4 Michael // Nov 19, 2009 at 5:33 am

    Thanks, Kathy. I find your clocks upcycled from those vintage 16mm film reels beautiful – I think rescuing those reels to create these handmade clocks is a superb idea. Thanks for sharing this with us, I’ll definitely include this in my next “upcycling ideas” post.

  • 5 Looptworks // Nov 23, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Thank you for recognizing our efforts on your blog Michael! Love the dumpster-pool. If you or anybody else wants to share their use of excess they can do so on our facebook page or on our blog at http://www.looptworks.com/blog as well. We love to see people out there creatively utilizing excess.
    -Looptworks HQ

  • 6 Skate Clothing // Nov 25, 2009 at 9:42 am

    i find it really interesting the way Looptworks contributes to recycling . and helping the planet live..everyone loves fashion and its a great way to do it..

  • 7 contemporary oak // Dec 17, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Katty, Thank you for sharing this information. you are very creative and always think of clever innovations. nice work

  • 8 Voucher codes // Dec 29, 2009 at 9:14 am

    great info, as always. thanks for sharing those creative means of recycling; the most important thing we can do is take care of the environment.