Upcycling: What is it and how to use it to be more sustainable

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Upcycling: What is it and how to use it to be more sustainable

by Team AllYourVideogames | Oct 19, 2022 | News |


Surely, you must have heard about sustainability. But do you know what it means?



Even more than that, do you practice any sustainable activity?

The planet needs help and one of the ways to contribute is precisely by reusing materials that would otherwise be discarded. It is in this scenario that the upcycling proves to be a very efficient exercise to help preserve the planet.

In this post you will learn how upcycling came about, how to adhere to the use of this practice, where it is found, the importance, the difference between upcycling and recycling, and many other important information to let you know everything about this subject.

Origin of upcycling

Anyone who thinks that the practice of upcycling has just started is wrong, although it has become even more popular in recent years. Upcycling is basically giving a new use to products and materials that would go to waste, using them to create creative and quality items and reach the level of the original piece or even surpass it.

Thus, the expression upcycling was used for the first time by environmentalist Reine Pilz, in 1994. But it was only in 2002 that the term gained more popularity.

From that time on, upcycling has been gaining more and more space in different areas, even becoming business models within fashion, architecture and interior design, as will be shown later.



In addition, people are looking for companies that adopt the practice of sustainability in their production and adoption of activities thinking about the conservation of the planet.

So, the use of upcycling reduces the volume of materials that would stay in landfills for a long time. Another benefit of this practice is to reduce the precision of exploring raw materials for the manufacture of new products. Taking plastic as an example, this activity symbolizes less use of oil and fewer trees cut down.

Another very big advantage is that upcycling significantly reduces the use of water and, consequently, energy. This is because it will not be necessary to open new explorations of natural resources.


In addition to the world thanking you for using this practice, people can benefit from quality products for indoors or on clothes.

In this way, check the places where you use items from this sustainable practice.

Upcycling for indoors

In upcycling there is no limit to creativity. For example, chances are you have some furniture or clothing that everyone tells you to throw away, but you don't do it because you're attached to it, right?

So, instead of discarding, you can look to open an upcycling process to continue with your beloved utensil, but give it new functionality.

First, you just need to use your creativity to think of something that this object can be transformed into and then get your hands dirty.

In this way, upcycling is proof that you can explore an object that seemed to have no more use.


If the person reworks in the making of an item, even more if it is something special for them, the new object will already be born with history. That way, you can use a new utensil without losing the attachment you had.


With upcycling it is possible to transform pieces of clothing into bags, scarves, dresses, jeans that can become other pieces of clothing.

The possibilities are endless.

Upcycling no setor industrial

Some companies specialize in manufacturing work that reuses materials into items that go back into people's consumption cycle.


Therefore, companies use upcycling as a means of preserving the land, reducing the amount of waste to be dumped and, in some cases, even discarded in inappropriate places, such as the ocean, for example.

The biggest highlight (and much of its popularity) comes from the fashion industry sector. Several gigantic companies already produce clothes thinking about sustainability for the preservation of the planet.

In this way, check out in detail how upcycling is used in fashion.

Upcycling in the fashion industry

The fashion industry is not just glamorous. For those who usually only follow the launches of clothes, you may not imagine that this sector has already been seen in a negative way because it is polluting, spends a lot of water in the manufacture of clothes and produces a large portion of the micro plastics that are dumped into the sea.

To try to change this reality, giant clothing brands, such as Gucci and Armani, began to devote efforts to making clothes, including collections, using sustainable materials.


So, all this immense consumption in the fashion industry is called fast fashion.

This means that there is a lot of reckless exploitation of natural resources, which only generates even more garbage in the world, as this video shows.

To go against this situation, Slow Fashion emerged.

What is Slow Fashion?

Contrary to brands that cause environmental damage in the world, some companies in the fashion field have decided to take steps to change this controversial scenario of impacts to the environment.


And so Slow Fashion was born, a more sustainable fashion.


In this way, Slow Fashion fashion tries to evolve and manufacture products in a way that does not harm the environment so much, in addition to opening up opportunities to live better wearing nice clothes and with reusable materials (without abandoning that item that you like, but that you already was old and unused).

For this activity to work, companies that have adopted Slow Fashion as a working method need to put production balance into practice.

This means the use of creativity, longevity and a good relationship with its customers, while delivering the best possible quality products.

Difference between sustainable fashion and Slow Fashion

Despite being similar, there are fundamental differences between sustainable fashion and Slow Fashion.

The first modality is more linked to the damage that the manufacture of clothes causes to the environment and also in general within society, harming the health of people and animals, whether terrestrial or marine.

With that comes the issue of products without the use of pesticides in the planting of raw materials or items that are toxic in the dyeing, not wasting water, paying attention and being careful with the amount of manufactured residues, with the category of energy used, packaging, the vehicles used, the working conditions of the people who are directly involved in making the products, among many other practices.

So, even if Slow Fashion also requires a social concern from the companies, in this case, the focus is related to the quality and purpose that these goods are made.

In addition to the environmental issue, the focus is on making clothes with good durability, encouraging people to have a conscious consumption and avoid trends that are just passing through.

In short, both concepts are heading towards the same sustainability destination, but they take different paths in certain respects.

But in the end, they have a common goal: a planet less attacked by the fashion industry, enabling an improvement for the environment and also for people.


Companies in our country that use upcycling in their production

Our country has some brands focused only on producing clothes and accessories using upcycling.

In this way, get to know three national companies in this field of activity:

eat our city

The garments that are produced but do not receive authorization from the quality control to go on sale for reasons of small, medium and large problems become raw material for an Agustina Comas brand.

In its manufacture, Comas uses the original characteristics of the rejected parts. Another point worth mentioning is that the company offers courses and mentoring for the production of parts using the upcycling technique.

Farrapo Upcycling Couture

The company Farrapo Upcycling Couture handcrafts exclusive clothes using the reuse of discarded textile factories and vintage pieces that are no longer being used.

The brand emerged in 2022 through designer Kamila Olstan and the clothes are made one by one in her studio, which is in Curitiba.

You can follow the collections that are for sale, including on the company's social networks.

Think Blue Upcycled

Think Blue is a project by designer Mirella Rodrigues, who produces her pieces in a studio in Rio de Janeiro.

When she was in college, she had an ambition to create a way to reduce the negative damage in the world while making denim clothing.

And it was for this purpose that he founded Think Blue Upcycled and Slow Fashion.


The company focuses on the production of clothing, such as pants, coats, skirts, dresses, shorts and tops made using the reuse of jeans.

Learn More: Green Entrepreneurship: What are its characteristics?

Differences between upcycling and recycling

To end this content, it is also worth explaining the difference between upcycling and recycling.

Recycling is a process that involves destroying components to turn them into a new item. Upcycling, on the other hand, uses the remnants and transforms it into a new piece based on its own existing characteristics.

Just to be clear, think of recycling as putting old or used fabrics through chemical processes and changing them to new fabrics. While in upcycling, the same fabric is used, with its original characteristics and it becomes a new item.

Which is very advantageous for the owner of the piece since it will be possible to keep the initial aspects of her item.

This means that in upcycling the original format of the piece is maintained. It is possible to recognize the original item.

For example, a family has a tradition of women getting married wearing only one dress, but this piece can be customized using upcycling techniques. That is, customization is done, but the initial characteristics remain. It's a circular economy.

Upcycling can be seen as a kind of tribute to your oldest household items, even more so if they had a special meaning in your life.

So make your own clothing products and enjoy a lot.



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