Designers are already doing it
We live in a throwaway culture
, which means we buy a lot of stuff – that we often don’t really need – and are just as likely to throw it away again. But it doesn’t have to be like that. A whole lot of interior and fashion designers feel the same way.
It took a while for the term ‘upcycling’ to catch on, but now it’s the new cool
when it comes to working with recovered materials. We see incredible dresses or trendy bags on the catwalk that have been made out of scraps of fabric and clothing
. Stella McCartney even took it a step further: the British designer has used plastic from the sea for one of her latest collections. Brands like H&M and Adidas are also going all-out for upcycling. Architects and artists are exploring the possibilities of driftwood, waste and second-hand items
to create one-of-a-kind designs and works of art. The opportunities are endless; the results are unique
Upcycling is not the same thing as recycling. When you recycle something, you reprocess your used (or thrown away) materials. For example, plastic bottles can be melted to make new bottles, or broken glass can be turned into new glass. It’s a good way to avoid waste, but not the cheapest or most environmentally friendly of processes. The original material also loses value. When you upcycle something, you turn old materials into a new, useful variant by doing something creative and original with them. In this way, objects get a second lease of life (and maybe even a better one). Take those typical wooden pallets
, for example: with a bit of cleaning and puzzling, you can turn them into a summery sofa, swing or table. And a quick lick of paint
gives them a complete new look… in an instant!
Today we attach more importance to authenticity, craftsmanship and nostalgia. We are opting more and more often for sustainable material, vintage furniture and fair trade food and clothing. We are prepared to get our hands dirty: throwing pots, painting crockery, all kinds of DIY projects: you name it. Avoiding waste no longer means compromising on style or class. On the contrary: doing your own thing with recovered material adds character to your home
. It is a way to create a unique interior.