#Art + Culture

What Is Upcycling? Modifying Products And Increasing Their Value

World Savings Day, also known as World Thrift Day is celebrated annually on October 31 and highlights the importance of saving. Thrifting refers to second-hand clothing shopping and can also refer to furniture, technology, entertainment, and machines.

In India, World Savings Day is observed a day before, on October 30. As environmental and economic issues continue to rise, thrifting has become increasingly popular among people. Similarly, the practice of “upcycling” has also gained notoriety.

Not only is upcycling sustainable but it also allows people to save their money and the environment.

Suggested Reading: Shailaja Rangarajan’s Rimagined Promotes Upcycling in Everyday Life

What Is Upcycling?

  • Upcycling is similar to thrifting and refers to the act of using an item which is no longer in use and giving it a second life and new function.
  • In upcycling, the item is modified and altered in a manner that increases the original object’s value. Examples include using the material from plastic bottles to make new sneakers.
  • The sustainable system allows goods to be used and reused multiple times rather than creating new products out of new materials and then discarding it.
  • Upcycling ensures that fewer natural resources are used up as no new material is required to repurpose an item.
  • Clothing and textiles are common items to be upcycled as they can be repurposed several times. Textiles can be reused to create other products such as tote bags.
  • Clothes and textiles have a large environmental footprint as fashion (specifically fast fashion) require a vast amount of energy, water, and polluting chemicals for production.
  • Since the disposal of old clothes and textiles is bad for the environment, upcycling clothes instead is sustainable and beneficial for the environment.
  • Upcycling reduces waste and allows for products to be reused for years to come. The reduction of raw material usage also decreases the amount of air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gases.
  • Upcycling also saves money by reusing products and turning them into new items or products.