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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce, reuse, recycle, repeat… say hello to upcycling–the manufacturing revolution changing the way we turn wasted materials into amazing new stuff! While both recycling and upcycling reduces the amount of junk that goes to our landfills, upcycling turns that same waste into a product of a higher quality–while recycling slightly decreases the quality of certain materials. Simply put: recycling breaks products down into their raw materials to be made into totally new things, while upcycling creatively repurposes old materials while maintaining some of their original characteristics.

Why bother?

“Well, if I recycle, why do I need to upcycle?” Not only does the process of upcycling keep tons of waste from entering our landfills, lakes, and waterways (where they’ll sit for centuries!), it reduces the amount of CO2 entering our atmosphere by making use of old materials instead of extracting resources to create new ones. Believe it or not, for every ton of tossed textiles that get upcycled, 20 tons of CO2 is prevented from entering the atmosphere! Also known as creative repurposing, upcycling is about more than just enjoying a fun DIY–it uses less water, energy, and raw materials to create something new than traditional production.

If you weren’t already itching to try your hand at upcycling, here’s one of the best parts: it will save you money! Instead of buying that expensive trendy new lamp, repurpose old mason jars for an industrial looking chandelier. Have old tee shirts? Cut and sew them into plastic-free produce bags for the grocery store! Or, do you want to use less energy to heat your house? Upcycle old tees into a “draft stopper”, and boom, you just saved money on your energy bill. You could also try your hand at sewing old jeans into dog ropes and save money next time you hit the pet store! There’s truly no shortage of wallet-friendly repurposing hacks out there.

At the end of the day, upcycling can be a heck of a lotta’ fun, while helping your wallet–and the planet. From scouring local thrift stores for fun pieces to repurpose, to bringing friends together for an upcycling party, it can be an awesome way to rally your community around sustainability. (Juliet Payne, Earth Hero)

AA Label, featured on the website is made from recycled plastic bottles, the equivalent of 13 plastic bottles destined for landfill makes up the leggings, and another 13 plastic bottles in the sports bra. That is 26 plastic bottles in the fibres of one set. Pretty cool!

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