Recycled, up-cycled, reclaimed, etc....feeling a little overwhelmed with all these design terms? Don't worry, we are too! We hear them used (and overused) interchangeably all the time. Some have been around forever, such as recycle, while others, like up-cycled is still fairly new, for some. There is of course no authority to corroborate with, so we went with the fail-proof 'majority rules' method for some simple definitions.
Recycled--Tossing it in the correct bin, right? Yes, but it doesn't end there of course, items gets broken down through various procedures and the 'new' components can be used for something else. Our vintage leather notebooks are filled with paper from recycled cotton. Instead of the cotton going to waste it has been processed in a way (chemical free) where it can be used again in a different form, treeless paper. The covers are cut from old merchants' journals that are no longer in use.
Up-cycled--using an item or material in such a way that it increases it's environmental value and quality. Our hand-painted postcards are up-cycled in that the quality of these authentic old postcards has increased because of the intricate folk paintings that artists have delicately painted on them. Nothing short of innovation and creativity go into up-cycled items. They can often times be pretty pricey, but well worth it if you're after something completely unique and hand-crafted.
Reclaimed--using something that otherwise would have gone to waste. Our coat and hat racks are great examples of using reclaimed wood because instead of these old door posts being added to the heaps of unnecessary waste, they are reclaimed by our designers who add hooks and finish off the edges. The end result is as much wall art as it a practical piece for hanging coats and hats.
While all these terms have slightly different meanings and are used interchangeably, one thing is true for all them and that is they create less waste, decrease the need for virgin materials and provide us with truly one of a kind pieces that carry with them a little piece of history.
This eco-friendly and creative way of design has certainly taken the industry by storm and everyone seems to be on board, but we must applaud all you creative DIY'ers out there paving the way in this arena. If you get chance, check out some of our favorite DIY blogs such as upcyclist.co.uk, www.abeautifulmess.com and upcycledtreasures.com for some awe inspiring ideas as well as Pinterest.
What are some up-cycled/recycled/reclaimed/ projects you've done? We'd love to hear about them, better yet, attach a picture!
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