Up-cycling - the creation of value in a product or material without breaking it down
After years in the shadows of recycling, we say it's high time that up-cycling got it's share of the limelight! It has gotten a bad rep after years of association with shabby DIY tutorials but, really, up-cycling can be great!
To start with, it is less energy and resource intensive than recycling - it is actually closer to Reuse than Recycle if you think back to the 3Rs policy. That has been part of the reason why many individuals and companies have stayed away from it: we live in a culture that values what's new above almost all else. But what is new and what is old? For example, is the fabric used in last season's fashion collection old, despite having been produced less than 2 years ago and still having 30 or more years of optimal performance when stored under the right conditions? When putting such perceptions and facts side by side, I often find myself amazed at how the last decades of fast-consumerism made us loose perspective.
Secondly, products with heritage have been gaining traction. We've seen a number of brands show us how their products go through the hands of skilled craftsman and romanticise the notions of savoir faire and slowing down for the things that matter. We fully support this direction, but as you may have noticed, more often than not, products with a story are overpriced and not necessarily sustainable. We want to create products which have heritage and sustainability not only at the core of their manufacture, but also their material sourcing. By using materials which were going to be thrown away, the story of our products starts even before their production.
By sourcing materials from partnering companies, we get only the small amount they no longer have use for. This both reflects itself in high-quality materials at a low price and in a very limited amount of each piece. We actually couldn't make more of a product if we wanted to!, just more of the same model in other materials.