Value created by Upcycling
Have you ever had the experience of transforming an unused object into something new and unique with a few ideas and ingenuity?
According to Habitat for Humanity, an international NGO, this act of giving new life and value to unused objects is called “Upcycling.
Upcycling, they say, gives a different cycle of things than recycling. In recycling, materials are broken down and transformed into new products, whereas in upcycling, objects that were to be discarded can be given a second life by changing the form of use or adding value without breaking down the materials.
The value that upcycling brings is varied. First, it reduces the burden on the global environment because new products are made with minimal use of resources. It may also be expected to promote consumer awareness of the cycle of goods. In addition, since upcycling does not completely remove the original item, it is possible to pass on the memories and attachment of the owner to the next generation.
There are a number of companies that are upcycling vehicles that are no longer in use. VOLVO, an automobile company, creates phone cases and card holders using leather from discontinued cars and sells them as an upcycled collection. The company sells them as an upcycled collection. The author once met a couple who were doing a DIY project to convert a 1950s camper into an AirBnB room, and thought this act could also be considered upcycling.
So far, we have mentioned what upcycling is. In a related article, we will discuss various examples of upcycling and how they create value.
Uganda's New Banana Economy
Uganda, the world’s second largest banana producer and consumer, is focusing on developing new products, turning banana waste into rugs and packaging. These efforts not only contribute to the environment, but also support the creation of jobs for young people through job training and skills development.
A new sense of value for "wardrobe”
”yes,” a company that upcycles furniture and produces spaces, proposes a “new sense of value for chests of drawers” by converting tired parts of old chests of drawers into acrylic panels. Inheritance of tradition and adaptation to the modern age are topics to watch for in the future.
Dressing Rika-chan in clothes of memories
NewMake, a fashion community that aims to realize recycling-oriented fashion, and Takara Tomy’s Rika-chan collaborated on an event to upcycle memorable clothing into Rika-chan outfits. Selected designs among the clothing entries were exhibited at Shibuya Hikarie.
Save with Upcycled foods
Upcycled foods are foods made from food waste that leaks through gaps in the food system. This article provides specific upcycled examples, including fruit bars made from coffee cherries, a byproduct of coffee production, and chicken skin chips, a high-protein, low-carb snack made from chicken skin that would otherwise have gone to waste.