Monday, November 30, 2015

What Is Upcycling?

Upcycled Christmas Ornaments by StartTalkingVintage
What is Upcycling?
The word Upcycle, is a term that in very recent years has become quite important in terms of sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint. By definition, ‘upcycle’ is a verb meaning to reuse, to take something discarded and create something new out of it. Something of higher value and use then it’s original predecessor. Ever see a wine bottle light? That’s upcycling! Recently we posted on our Facebook page a how-to for turning old jeans into a cute gardening apron - this is also upcycling! No waste and reused.

What is the difference between Upcycling and Recycling?
Recycling is a term we are all familiar with. Many of us recycle weekly in our communities and as part of our trash pick up. By definition, to recycle means to use again in it’s original form or with minimum alteration. To pass through a cycle again, hence the term RE-cycle.

The major difference between these two processes is that with recycling, the item ultimately will become trash at some point. It’s use is stretched out as far as it can go before becoming trash. You may have purchased recycled paper before, or drank from recycled bottles. These are items that already once were paper or bottles and have put through the process a second time to become their intended use once more. Upcycling, however, is not put through a second cycle, it is completely re-purposed into a different object or item that is less likely to become trash again. For example, it’s very popular to upcycle clothing. Cutting up an old sweater to repurpose it into fingerless gloves and a hat. There is a whole movement of artists and craftspeople who make nothing but upcycled products or present DIY how to’s on making your own upcycled goodness.

Why is Upcycling So Important?
Our great country is overflowing with too much trash! Waste has a negative effect on our environment with the release of chemicals and greenhouse gases from our landfills. The amount of waste we create is constantly increasing. As our world population continues to grow, the waste will also continue to grow. It’s only a matter of time before we run out of space or worse, destroy our environment. By reducing and reusing, we can stretch that time out. And save our planet for future generations.

Some of our Nutmeg Collective team mates already incorporate recycling and upcycling into their businesses everyday!

Upcycled Mixed Media Art Doll, Letter Opener by WrenInAWillow
Upcycled Swingy Silver Hinge Earrings by TheTinyWren.
Recycled Vintage Southwestern Cowboy Jacket by ValleyVintageLLC

Feeling inspired? Here are some fun and innovative resources for doing some upcycling of your own! It is truly limitless the amount of projects you can pick from. Furniture, displays, clothing, accessories, jewelry, lamps, gadgets, fine art. Go forth and upcycle!

http://www.upcyclethat.com - Great blog dedicated to upcycling projects and their creators.

http://upcycledtreasures.com/ - Blog by an everyday upcycler.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAD4fYsEjFQ&list=PL5DE33D5E20649F97 - Over 1000 upcycling DIY project tutorials.


Valley Vintage is a combination of style from Jillian Lyons and Matthew Sensenig, vintage enthusiasts and partners in both love and business. They are located in the town of Seymour, CT nestled in the heart of the All American Valley! Their collection consists of vintage clothing and items that they simply can't resist. Nothing enters the Valley Vintage shop unless both Jillian and Matthew see something special about it. Everything is hand picked and curated together. They hope you'll see that something special in their picks too!



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