Upcycling is defined as repurposing discarded objects or materials in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. This has become my ethos and my mission to spread the word on how important upcycling is to our future. 

As creatives we are at the forefront of showing clients what can be done with upcycling. Often, materials that are damaged, stained or seen as garbage have negative vibes, but we also have reached a point where we are not looking to fix our products. This is where upcyclers can step in and can bring new life to materials and save them from the landfill. 

This guide will introduce you to upcyclers, who are actively working with materials that are on secondhand or discarded and are giving them new value.

yellow brick road, elton john, upcycled album cover

Upcycling It

This brand is one of my favourites, they are a pop culture junkies dream! From resin wall art and trays, to coasters, to placements, they cut and upcycle from original vintage sources. Their art is colourful, retro & taking something old and making it new again. 

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goodfarken tee bag, upcycled bags from t-shirts


If you have ever walked through a secondhand store you will see racks of t-shirts. It is a popular clothing item for all types of brands to promote themselves, but this also leads to this beloved item being donated, a lot. Goodfarken has found a way to take these tees and turn them into Tee Bags. A perfect cross body bag that helps you carry all your things + show off your favourite brand. 

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diane coastworth upcycled jackets

Diana Coatsworth

Diane's talent for couture takes her upcycling to the next level. Her stunning blouses, cashmere sweaters, blanket and chenille jackets are all created from existing products. She has an eye for beautiful prints and patterns, her upcycled clothing is a showstopper, literally I've done shows with Diane, her booth makes me stop every time! Clothing should have a story, be special and in turn make you feel special, with Diane's Coatsworth's clothing you will be special.  

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ardent earth, coffee bag turned grocery bag, upcycling guide

Ardent Earth

This is your one stop shop for all products that are environmentally friendly and zero waste. The product that caught my eye were their tote bags and laundry hampers that are upcycled from coffee bags. They are such a stand out product that people will instantly recognize the original product for what it is and see the value in recycling these coffee bags into daily use bags. 

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refreshing change upcycled jewellery boxes

Refreshing Change

For the little ones in my life I am looking to give experiences over presents, unless it is as something as special as this upcycled jewellery boxes. These one of a kind treasure keepers are perfect for someone to hold all their special jewels and charms. By upcycling these vintage jewellery boxes, this maker is creating future heirlooms for a whole new generation to love. 

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upcycled fanny pack

Roncy Packs

You might recognize this company from my Holiday Gift Guide, but they deserve a second mention because of their upcycling skills and work to build their own eco-system. I adore a company that thinks not only of where their original fabric comes from, but where the scrap fabric they create will go. Roncy Packs has built awesome connections with local designers, cutters, upholstery shops and drapery stores, plus they source materials in like-new condition from thrift shops. They use these off-cuts to sew their solid fanny pack. Their scrap fabric is pieced together to make one-of-a-kind patchwork fanny packs, mini wallets and cardholders. Remaining teeny unusable bits are brought to Viking, a company that properly recycles fabric. Their craftsman ship is only rivaled by their upcycling skills and I whole-heartedly appreciate their eco-conscious values.

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I have and will continue to say; upcycling has to be apart of our future. There are so many products, materials, just stuff that exists and we need to look for opportunities to create new products with higher quality and value than the original.

upcycled symbol
Written by Carissa McCaig

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