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Upcycling : a new life for discarded objects

  •   2 min reads
Upcycling : a new life for discarded objects

What should we do with the objects we throw away in our daily lives? To save the planet, the first solution is to recycle it. And for that, you can rely on upcycling. But what is upcycling? You've probably already seen old wooden pallets turned into bed frames or tables. Maybe you've even seen footballs turned into lampshades. This is the principle behind this new type of recycling.

Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed. How many times have we heard this phrase wrote by the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier in 1774? Innovative and environmentally friendly, this is the case of upcycling. In London, it is a way of turning waste into beautiful products. The term first appeared in SalvoNws in 1994.

Upcycling has touched the hearts of some London retailers. In the British capital, you've probably already passed one of these shops that give new life to abandoned objects. Today, we're going to take a look at this practice in London, which gives a second chance to the abandoned.

Upcycling, how to recycle differently?

Also, commonly referred to as 'creative reuse', upcycling is often confused with recycling. However, recycling is only about converting recovered materials into new — often lower quality — materials. Upcycling, on the other hand, transforms recovered materials into a higher quality item without changing or damaging its original nature. In Petit Miracle Interiors shop in London, between Hammersmith and Kensington, objects find new owners, in a different guise. For them, “Upcycling makes everything awesome”. Customers who discover upcycling are delighted, like Michael. He thinks that:

It's worth visiting just to see the confidence and skills learnt by young people as they turn used furniture into bespoke pieces worthy of any home”.

For him, it’s important to buy this furniture because

“There furnitures are a great social impact.”

In this kind of shop you can find for instance vases made from old glass bottles, a coat hanger that becomes a tea towel holder thanks to clothe pegs or a chair back that holds towels in the bathroom. Or simply objects mended to be used again.

There are so many ideas available in these new-style shops, and you can do your bit for the environment.

Upcycling also exists for clothes.

A very interesting solution is to buy patched clothes.  Rather than continuing to over-consume new clothes from a highly polluting textile industry, upcycling seems to be a solution. Clothes that can no longer be worn are taken apart and disassembled, so that they can be reused in new designs. In London, many shops transform old clothes that have been discarded into more fashionable clothes. In one of these shops, Julia, a customer explains:

"I've always liked buying my stuff in thrift shops. I think it's great to be able to take an old piece of clothing, and give it a second chance."

The clothes offered are generally unique. And in addition to being very environmentally friendly, upcycling is also a huge economic advantage. A real benefit for the companies that recover old clothes to resell them arranged. Some fashion designers even use this technique for their fashion shows. Upcycling should gradually take its place even more widely in the clothing market.

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