The idea of upcyling is great, but for those of us who are creatively challenged, taking out the sewing machine or hot glue gun is a bit overwhelming.
Thankfully, there are some companies who have upcycling down to a tee. Not only do they take old products and make them ready to use, they often facilitate great employment practices and donate a portion of sales back to charity, too. Here are some of our favourites.
The Giving Keys
Wearing a key has become the beacon of style in Hollywood thanks to The Giving Keys.
Founded by actress and singer Caitlin Crosby, old keys are transformed into pieces of jewellery, and stamped with words like ‘Courage,’ ‘Love’ and ‘Brave’.
Each sale helps them employ people transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles, and promotes a ‘give it forward’ mandate, so you pass it on to a friend when you’ve finished with the piece. Items start at $48. Buy online at givingkeys.com.
Passionate about the environment and social justice, Melbourne-based designer Fee Hogarth aimed to ‘create products that help people be less wasteful and more aware of what their impact on the world is while still allowing them to have beautifully designed products that are practical and longlasting’.
Hogarth’s Simple Dimple lightweight shopping bags are made out of recycled plastic drink bottles and sit in a recycled leather pouch.
To learn more go to simpledimple.com.au.
Better World Books
Bringing the charm of a second-hand bookstore online, Better World Books funds literacy programs with every sale.
You can pick up new and used classics and new releases, and donate your old titles to the cause. Supporting non-profit literacy programs across the globe, Better World Books has a book-for-book initiative and has raised more than US$23 million to date.
Created by Joanne and Piers in 2013, this Sydney-based studio and online store utilises their passion for design and the planet to create everything from water bottles and eco homewares to messenger bags. Made with neutral and sustainable materials, each object is created with you in mind. Whether it is upcycled, recycled, repurposed or handmade, quality is guaranteed.
Body wash and cleaning products aren’t the first things that come to mind when you think upcycling, but New Zealander Malcolm Rands and wife Melanie revolutionised this in 1993 after living in an eco-village.
Realising how many toxic chemicals were in these everyday items, the couple used sustainable and organic gardening to create environmentally-friendly alternatives. With strict health guidelines and clear packaging, ecostore products put your health first and haven’t been tested on animals.