Briefly defined, upcycling is the process of converting waste materials, by-products, or unwanted goods into new materials or products of improved value or quality.
This process of upcycling is circular in motion, which is a stark contrast to our linear economy – i.e. where products are manufactured, used, and then discarded (yes, they don’t disappear, usually just thrown out of our sight at the cost of our environment).
We can evolve out of this linear reality into a circular one.
Circular Is The New Black
The key advantage of going from a linear to a circular economy is in resource RE-allocation, leading us to a more sustainable future. In this circular economy, products will be made, used, and then remade into whole new products with a higher value and quality.
By using the discarded materials during-or-after production and making them into a new raw material, we can then create new products. This puts products with an elevated purpose back into the economy.
Brains around the world are already figuring out how to make, for instance, vegan leather from fruit waste, papers from discarded stones of the construction industry, fabrics and yarns from plastic waste in the ocean, and so on. This way, with a bit of imagination, innovation, and persistence, we won’t be straining our planet’s finite resources.
The sustainable benefits of upcycling and going circular are hard to refute, but we are still at the beginning of the tunnel.
Down The Circular Journey
Any degree of radical change begins with a tiny spark and getting off this well-trodden linear road is no different. The ecosystem in sustainable materials is slowing forming, but we still need more public awareness and entrepreneurs leading the charge down the circular journey.
Our way of life is surrounded by manufactured goods that aim to make our lives more convenient or to satisfy our particular needs or desires (and there are many of those!). Yet, the way to make them is hardly sustainable in the long-run.
On top of that, the process of product development can be long and resource intensive, depending on the complexity of product – we often only see the impact of waste from the crowding of our trash bins at home and work, but the bigger trash bin is the process.
From product R&D, prototyping, material sampling, manufacturing, packaging, logistics, you name it – each stage produces some waste (and they compound!) and much of it is discarded very inefficiently.
That’s why we’re here to change that.