Friday 26 April 2013
What really is Upcycling?
I find myself puzzled though by some so called upcycling products. I recently saw a tutorial to make a mirror frame from plastic spoons. The tutorial starts by saying 'buy several bags of plastic spoons'. There's nothing environmentally friendly about buying plastic spoons and by buying several bags for crafting purposes, you'd only be increasing the demand for more plastic spoons! Which isn't part of the real ethos of upcycling. Of course if the mirror frame is made from used plastic spoons it would really be upcycling, though even better not to use the plastic spoons in the first place.
I'm even more puzzled by art projects that claim to 'upcycle food' into art. In a world where people still go hungry, despite the best efforts of aid agencies and governments, the best and most appropriate use of food is for eating.
A great upcycling project I recently found out about is run by Lush Cosmetics. They collect the plastic lids from milk bottles, juice bottles and cartons (the tops that can't be recycled otherwise). They then make these tops into new containers for their cosmetics. You can find your nearest Lush shop here.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any examples of best (or worst) upcycled crafts?