What is "upcycling"? - MrSingular
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What is “upcycling”?

Although the concept “upcycling” is increasingly on the lips in the world of sustainable design, the term upcycling or also known as supra-recycling, was first used in 1994, when Reiner Piltz named it in an article by Thorton Kay de Salvo. The word spread more and more among German culture and art, but it was not until 2002 that William Mc Donough and Michael Braungart introduced this concept in their book “Cradle to cradle” (From the cradle to the cradle). Book we recommend if you are interested in the world of sustainability and its processes to create a more friendly and necessary environment for our planet.

This term refers to the reuse of obsolete objects, with the aim of modifying them and converting them, thanks to creativity and design, into other products of greater value than they had.

The word comes from the concepts of recycling (recycling) and improving what you already have (up). Upcycling gives us a second life to things by fostering a circular economy where nothing is discarded. Thus creating objects with a new functionality and enhancing the beauty of an old piece that would otherwise end up in the trash or hopefully in a recycling plant.

One of the great challenges of upcycling, in our opinion, is to provide a great value to forgotten objects or with a useful life about to extinguish. Being able to appreciate the aesthetics of objects from other times in which it was manufactured with better materials, more durable and convert them into current pieces of design but that fulfill a functionality. That it is not only a mere transformation of the object but that it has an idea and employs a technique in accordance with the concept. It means going around, thinking about its use and being conceptualized for the space they will occupy. You can do upcycling with any object but this does not mean that they are not valuable products. There are objects that by their antiquity or design already have a value as an object of decoration. But upcycling tries to realize its full potential by making it a unique and useful object.