Delight Worthyn: Upcycling-a labor of love
Often I am faced with a question about costs of some of my hand crafted items and the interaction usually goes something like this, ‘since you are using recycled materials how come this item is expensive?’ I have accepted the mission to explain some of the process and concerns that go into upcycling.
But let’s start at the beginning.
. Our grandmothers didn’t use this term but they were upcycling all the same. It was a way of life not to waste things that could be used again. (How many people have inherited vast collections of buttons)... The term ‘upcycling’ was coined in 1994 by German Reiner Pilz who also used the term ‘downcycling’. This is what we primarily think of when we use the term recycling. You know, melting plastic bottles to become some other hybrid plastic that is degrading with each generation. Upcycling is taking used materials and turning them in to something of greater value. For instance, after demolishing an old building you can 1- crush the bricks and make an aggregate 2- clean and restore those same bricks and use them in a new building. It takes a lot longer to get those bricks into usable condition so you see upcycling is a very labor intensive process. Time is money!
. Over the next few weeks I am going to take you on journey through the wonderful world of upcycling. Knowledge is power and also, as Martha would say,’ a good thing’.