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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Australia -Creative Upcycling

We live in a throw away consumerist society. Once something that was made for a certain purpose comes to the end of it’s (usually short) life span as ‘something useful’, more often then not it is thrown away. It joins the forgotten others in the forever growing pile of waste that will exist in disregard.

What is Upcycling?

A new term I have stumbled across, that isn’t even in my Oxford American Dictionary is ‘Upcycling’ which Wikipedia defines as
Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. The goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones.
The opposite of upcycling is downcycling which involves converting materials and products into new materials of LESSER quality.


Ethikl is a marketplace for ethically sourced, handmade and fair trade products sold directly by the producers. All of the products are one-of-a-kind pieces from gourmet food to handmade jewellery. You won’t find anything mass produced and social networking features on the site allow people to meet the makers of all the amazing ethical products, providing a way to make buying decisions that favour fair trade, cruelty free, organic, recycled, handmade or local.
VelvetBean's cat Sash. About as close to animal testing as it gets!


VelvetBean is one of the producers on Ethikl who sews together feature cushions made from upcycled burlap sacks that were previously used to transport green coffee beans around the world and were destined for the landfill.
The sacks are immersed into a warm bubble bath and left to soak the stresses of their previous life away. They are then air dried, cut and sewn into stunning feature pieces just waiting to take pride of place in your home.

Velvet Bean: ‘Home Beautiful Magazine Australia’ as a giveaway  in 2010 to For Greenies readers.

To help you get your creative juices flowing here are some examples of DIY upcycling
Creating lawn furniture from old pallets
Create a wallet from a bike tyre inner tube
Creating baby slippers out of old wool sweaters and leather jackets

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