Upcycling is Big Business

Upcycling, or repurposing, is gaining momentum! Sure, you can find hundreds of little stores and shops that carry repurposed items and sell them to tourists. These novelties can be pretty pricey too. But, did you know that there are companies around the world making a successful business out of turning trash into treasure? It’s true!

Who doesn’t love a good handbag? Well, Sea Bags, has found an innovative way to repurpose old unwanted sails into their designer bags and accessories. The material is strong and durable, ideal for capturing wind, and resistant to salty and heavy storms, so perfect for a great handbag. These items will last a very long time and they look stunning!

From bicycle tire tubes to seat belts, Alchemy Goods (AG) in Seattle Washington, makes first-rate wallets, handbags, and fashion accessories such as belts.

Pentatonic is a company in Europe that makes furniture. All of its fashionable pieces are made from garbage. From the coverings to the filler inside the cushions, everything has been waste products at one time.

Green Toys in California, manufactures children’s toys made out of old milk jugs. Their company started over ten years ago and has used over 55 million jugs to make their toys.

Shoes! We all need them and many of us love them! Well, Allbirds is well known for making comfortable shoes…. and yes, made from garbage! They are made from 100% recycled materials. Cardboard, plastic, even castor bean oil! But they are not the only ones with a foot fetish. Rothy’s also makes shoes from plastic water bottles. Sounds uncomfortable? Nope. In fact, they are designed for women who are on their feet for long periods and have been specially made to maximize for a range of movement. That makes them a much more comfortable choice than stiff shoes you buy at your local store.

Slash Objects, a New York company, is known for its novelty furniture and tableware products. By diverting waste from the oceans and landfills, they pride themselves in taking part in this mass trash to treasure movement to bring decorative upcycled products directly to you.

It’s not just accessories. Recover Brands makes durable, long-lasting outdoor clothing. They will use anything they can get their hands on to produce high-quality outdoor clothing designed for the active nature lover. They’re not the only ones though. Cotopaxi uses wool, left on the floors, that would be thrown away to make their outdoor gear and clothing.

So you see, there are a lot of great efforts being made to start changing the way we view sustainability, our environment, and how we can be more efficient in our responsibility to use the items we need or want. This world is the only one we’ve got. By removing the millions of tons of trash filling up the wide open spaces, we can learn to live a cleaner lifestyle.

Want to learn more tips on how to embrace a regenerative mindset and turn our trash into treasure? Check out my book, Trash to Treasure: Exploring a New Wave of Waste with Entrepreneurship, on Amazon now!