It’s more than just a trend, it’s almost a lifestyle. Old becomes different – and shopping for the trash bin finally belongs to the past. If desired. I’m talking about upcycling: being able to revitalize disused things creates a completely new quality awareness; without having affixed the eco-stamp. It’s nothing new to say that products with a preprogrammed durability are no longer fashionable, but upcycling became a trend which seems to catch on more and more. Whether furniture made of pallets, dog beds in wine barrels, bike racks made of car tires or whisks as lampshades – the world of old-becomes-new doesn’t know any limits. So-called trash makes itself useful and ideas instead of waste appear on the agenda.
The upcycling-designer Marco Hess from Hamburg/Germany made it his business to create a statement against the throw-away society. With upcycling, used wine bottles can be reclaimed as scented candles. After being collected in bars, taverns, and restaurants, the bottles are carved, cleaned and then polished. Filled with 100% natural soy wax and refined with natural fragrance from essential oils, every candle is a handmade and unique item – made in Hamburg.
Portable speakers do not always have to be black, rectangular and boring. A small company from sunny California was dedicated to do some things a little different. At Trash Amps, mason jars take on the role as speaker housings. Whether for smartphones or electric guitars – the mason jar offers a surprisingly rich sound. Nice extra: through the transparent glass you can catch a great insight into the electronic design. For those storing shelves full of jars for themselves in the cellar, it is also possible to buy a mere speaker piece and to connect it with your own jar.
Used coffee sacks are the base material for many upcycling products. The burlap fibers are sturdy and have one really important feature – they are sustainable. Used only once for storage and transport of coffee beans, the sacks are predestinated for a second life. Andras from Presso Design had the same thought, when he was sitting in an old café in Rome 2012, discovering a pile of empty coffee sacks. Together with his sister Kata he established a company to sell sleeves for tablets, smartphones and note books as well as purses made of used coffee sacks. Since the bag’s design vary according to region and country, unique creations arise, combined with pure Italian leather.