“Upcycle” is a term you're likely to hear from that one extremely eco-friendly person in your life (in between them discussing carbon footprints and showing off their new biodegradable shoes). Yet as common as the word has become, relatively few people can say precisely what upcycling is.
Upcycling is equal parts waste reduction, thriftiness, and crafty design. Also known as “creative reuse,” it is the practice of giving new life and purpose to products that have otherwise outlived their usefulness.
Different people upcycle for various reasons. For some, it's a passion; for others, a business. In any case, there are a few benefits in store for anyone who wants to start upcycling.
The most crucial skill for successful upcycling is spotting potential value others may readily overlook. Where some people see a t-shirt with a hole in it, a cracked bottle, or a faded old wallet.
One great thing about creating things from scrap that you might otherwise discard is that there's not much harm in things going awry.
Similar to disposables, many modern products are designed and sold for a short lifespan. This status quo emphasizes continuously buying new things to replace old, broken, and unwanted ones.