Celebrating Upcycling: 5 Incredibly Unique Upcycling Companies

Celebrating Upcycling: 5 Incredibly Unique Upcycling Companies

At Rust and Fray, we celebrate Upcycling in all its forms. We know that no one Upcycling solution will be enough to reverse the environmental degradation caused by unchecked cradle to grave style industrial production. That is why we wish to encourage people to find and share Upcycled products, to help spread the word. The more people who get into Upcycling the better it is for everyone. So we’ve found Five companies selling extremely unique Upcycled products that we’d like to share with you


  • Laura Zabo: First up is Laura Zabo, who is attacking a symbol of waste some very unique ways. She runs an online store where every product is made from upcycled tires. Her signature products are her tire belts, but she sells everything from flip flops to guitar straps. When word got out about her business, she actually received a donation of to-be-landfilled tires from the manufacturer Schwalbe, allowing her to expand her practice considerably.


    • Chop Value: Next up is a spicy one from Canada. Chop Value makes elegant and chic wall patterns, table tops, and other similar products from old chopsticks. Food based items are almost always disposable, and the rare ones that do get reused in some way almost always are downcycled. We commend for finding a way to not only reuse chopsticks but Upcycle them into expertly designed and highly classy products.


    • Thread International: Third on our list is a Pittsburgh based company called Thread International.  Now again, food products are notoriously difficult to reuse on a large scale, and most get downcycled if they get reused at all. Plastic bottles are a classic example of this, where the plastic often gets shredded into a cheap filler in clothing. But Thread International actually weaves fabrics out of the plastic, turning the raw material into a more value product. Additionally, they collect their old plastic bottles from countries without recycling infrastructure built yet, so these are products that would’ve definitely ended up in the landfill.


    • Green Guru Gear: On the other side of the spectrum, Green Guru Gear makes products that are notoriously difficult to find upcycled versions of: outdoors worthy sporting and biking accessories. Most of the time items that need to be outdoors ready have to be made new simply because of the performance demands on the materials. But Green Guru Gear specializes in Upcycling from high endurance and weather resistant items such as billboards, wetsuits, and Tire Inner Tubes. This is a double win as its usually extremely hard for that type of material do decompose.


    • Maplexo: The final company we’re spotlighting, Maplexo, has to be the coolest company on this list, because they work exclusively in Upcycled skateboard. Maplexo makes jewelry, accessories, and small personal items with uniquely colorful and exciting patterns that any woodworker would be proud of because the materials are as energetic as the people who once skated on them. If you are looking for an eye catching conversation starter, look no further.


        The only limits on what can be Upcycled and what can be made from Upcycling is the human imagination. As Upcycling becomes more popular, we hope to come across more and more exciting and unique Upcycling ideas. If you have an Upcycled product you think is particularly interesting, or want to show of a DIY Upcycled project you’re proud of, let us know in the comment below. Be sure to post on our Facebook or tag us on Instagram too, we want to see your Upcycling adventures in action.

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