10
JAN
2012

Upcycled leather furniture by Pepe Heykoop

The potential of upcycled leather, one of the most robust materials around, is too often overlooked. Pepe Heykoop is the Dutch designer behind the Skin Collection. In response to the fact that 25-30% of leather is wasted in the furniture industry, he covers old furniture in... Read More →
09
JAN
2012

Bags made from upcycled candy wrappers by Ecoist

When sweets and fashion come together it can only be a good thing. Ecoist make clutches, purses and totes from recycled candy wrappers.  They’ve partnered with multinational brands such as The Coca-Cola Company, Disney, Frito-Lay, Mars, Cliff Bar and Aveda to make bags and... Read More →
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05
JAN
2012

Spiralling tower sculpture made from books by Matej Kren

Idiom is a spiralling tower of books housed in Prague’s Municipal Library by Slovakian artist Matej Kren.  The tower is made of hundreds of books that are stacked ‘Jenga’ style up to the ceiling.  A tear in the tower allows you to peer inside where a mirror... Read More →
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04
JAN
2012

RIP Traffic Light Tree by Pierre Vivant

Just as everyone starts thinking about taking down their Christmas decorations, the Traffic Light tree would ordinarily have gone on to twinkle all year round.  As of last month, the tree by French sculptor Pierre Vivant is sadly no more, having been removed for road... Read More →
02
JAN
2012

Bleu Nature driftwood furniture

Kick start the new year than with some forward thinking, sustainable design. Be sure to take a look at the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection from French company Bleu Nature who make beautiful furniture principally from pieces of driftwood.  The Hekla collection designed by Thomas... Read More →
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30
DEC
2011

Sculpture made from wire hangers by David Mach

Ever find yourself wondering what to do with those useless wire coat hangers you get from the dry cleaners?  Scottish sculptor David Mach puts them to extremely good use by creating incredible giant sculptures out of them.  Other ‘found art’ objects used in his work... Read More →
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28
DEC
2011

Plectrum mosaic by Ed Chapman

Very impressed by the work of UK mosaic artist Ed Chapman who created this awesome mosaic of Jimi Hendrix out of 5000 guitar plectrums earlier this year. It was auctioned at Cancer Research UK’s Sound and Vision event at Abbey Road Studios and sold for £23,000. Via Recyclart Read More →
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23
DEC
2011

German star wreaths made from newspaper

For more crafty festive touches, check out these German star wreaths made from newspaper, also known as Froebel Stern.  You can find out how to make them here via LinaLoo Read More →
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20
DEC
2011

Upcycled fashion by Adhesif Clothing Co

Vancouver based Adhesif Clothing Company continues to uphold the notion that for fashion that’s truly unique, the only way is upcycled.  Melissa Ferreira started the line in 2007 and hand sources high quality vintage materials from local thrift stores. Their AW11 collection... Read More →
19
DEC
2011

Stamped silverware

Bored of baubles? Check out these delightful Christmas ornaments from Etsy seller HeavyMetalMilkman.  They’re made from hand stamped upcycled silverware.  Image via Etsy Read More →
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18
DEC
2011

Upcycled musical instruments on Scrapheap Orchestra

Upcyclists of scrapyard treasure would have been particularly interested in a programme aired on BBC Four last weekend ‘ Scrapheap Orchestra.’  This documented the story of the BBC Concert Orchestra who were challenged to play Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture at the... Read More →
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16
DEC
2011

Upcycled wood furniture by Sauls Design

Some of the most successful upcycling projects I’ve seen are those that remodel the rich patina of the old into something that can fit perfectly into a contemporary setting.  These tables by Sauls Design do just that.  Freddie Saul launched the company in 2010 after working... Read More →
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14
DEC
2011

Sculpture made from fake fingernails by Laurel Roth

These bird sculptures by Laurel Roth are made from fake fingernails, hair clips, nail polish, false eyelashes, and jewellery.  The artist’s work highlights choices involved in biological processes unique to humankind and in this case the birds have borrowed ‘human... Read More →
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13
DEC
2011

Leftover Studio upcycled bags

If Christmas gift ideas are a bit thin on the ground, take inspiration from Leftover Studio, a New Delhi based company who make modern pieces from materials that get left behind. The Busee laptop bag pictured above is made from thick tractor inner tyre tubes accented with top... Read More →
12
DEC
2011

Lexus creates high fashion from car parts

Lady Gaga may have a lot to answer for, but here’s a bit of new ground she’s yet to break.  Hats off to Lexus for highlighting beautiful recycling with the Lexus Fashion Workshop.  They challenged four designers to re-engineer car parts from the CT hybrid (a vehicle... Read More →
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10
DEC
2011

Lee Borthwick’s scrap wood sculpture

I first saw the work of Scottish artist Lee Borthwick at Tent London this year and thought her stuff was incredible. She makes stunning sculptures from bits of scrap wood and other materials such as laser cut mirror pieces.  With in an education in Textiles and Surface Design... Read More →
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09
DEC
2011

Christmas trees made from recycled materials

In 2008 The Rocks in Sydney began a tradition of building a Christmas tree out of recycled materials.  First it was stacked chairs, in 2009 they utilised 18,000 plastic soft drink bottles and in 2010 they stepped up their game with a tree made of 100 bicycles donated by CMA... Read More →
07
DEC
2011

Art from reclaimed paper by Joseph Scissorhands

Something cheerful to start the day – paper cuts by Joseph Scissorhands.  Joseph Silcott is an illustrator and paper artist.  His work comprises reclaimed and reordered paper and other disposable ephemera gathered from various disparate sources. Above is Union Jack.... Read More →
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06
DEC
2011

Wrap to Go scarves made from vintage fabrics

With the British climate taking a downturn, a beautiful scarf is the must have accessory for looking stylish in the cold.  Shirley Belwood from Wrap to Go makes luxury handmade scarves including a fabulous upcycled vintage fabric range inspired by Japanese kimonos.  Pictured is a... Read More →
04
DEC
2011

Traffick-Stopping Vintage

Last week I headed east for Traffick-Stopping Vintage at Avalon, Shoreditch – a fashion event organised by Red Light Campaign.  The campaign, set up by three students centres around an exhibition of photographs that raises awareness of human trafficking. The photographs... Read More →
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03
DEC
2011

Vintage paper ornaments

So apparently it’s nearly Christmas.  This can only mean the search is on for all things upcycled and festive.  First up is an Etsy find – paper creations by Leah Copplestone at LBC Paper.  These are hangings, ornaments and table decorations made of vintage paper from... Read More →
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30
NOV
2011

Manolo Blahnik Eco Shoes

Great to see another big label bringing eco to the luxury market.  Carrie Bradshaw’s hero Manolo Blahnik  has teamed up with Marcia Patmos (founder of M. Patmos ethical knitwear) to make a range of sandals for spring, recently showcased at SS12 New York Fashion Week.   The... Read More →
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29
NOV
2011

Bags made from textiles donated by Delta Airlines

Tierra Ideas is a US company that makes fantastic travel bags out of recycled materials such as bike inner tubes, automobile seatbelts and worn textiles donated by Delta Airlines.  Founded by Matt Mahler, the bags have been selling in shops in North Carolina for the last two... Read More →
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28
NOV
2011

Sustainable fashion at In Bloom

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Emily Huc at her new concept store in Portobello Green Arcade – a  beautiful boutique based around the idea of sustainability and design. It provides a showcase for her gorgeous range of organic cotton lingerie In Bloom as well as the... Read More →
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26
NOV
2011

Accessories made from contact lens cases

Usually relegated to the bathroom bin, who’d have thought such aesthetic potential could lie in the humble disposable contact lens case?  The Contact Lens Project was put together by Lucy Harvey at Ethical Stylist – an original concept that mixes eco fashion and... Read More →
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23
NOV
2011

Upcycled quilts made from airline duvet covers

Old Threads make charming toddlers quilts with a history.  This great product is made from upcycled 600 thread-count decommissioned Virgin Atlantic airline duvet covers.  The quilts are cleaned, topped with upcycled cotton, filled with recycled hollowfibre and are screen-printed... Read More →
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21
NOV
2011

Lamps made from upcycled books by Bom Design

Pegasus is one of many fantastic creations by Michael Bom, a Dutch artist who makes sculptures and lamps from books.  The page leaves are folded in a way that gives the lamps an appealing translucency and a wonderful feathered and organic appearance.  His design studio Bom Design... Read More →
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20
NOV
2011

Reclaimed timber cabinet by Rob Southcott

‘Community’ by industrial designer Rob Southcott is inspired by multiculturalism. The cabinet is made from various species of reclaimed timber taken from one area and is designed to reflect growing diversity in contemporary society.  Image via Rob Southcott Read More →
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18
NOV
2011

Upcycled fashion from broken festival tents

It may seem unlikely that wearing an old tent could result  in a winning outfit.  As proved by Danish designer Lisa Våglund the tent look isn’t quite as dowdy as you might imagine.  Part of the aftermath of a hip and happening festival is a graveyard of abandoned broken... Read More →
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17
NOV
2011

Brian Mock sculpture made from scrap

Brian Mock from Portland, Oregon makes art crafted from found and recycled materials.  His collection includes fish, robots, cars, ‘human-ish’ sculptures and my personal favourite – the dogs.  Here he manages to capture their natural poise perfectly, using just... Read More →
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16
NOV
2011

From Somewhere AW11 upcycled fashion

This season brings another fine selection of upcycled clothes from the wonderful From Somewhere.  Orsola de Castro began the company in 1997 – one of the first labels to consistently address the issue of frivolous waste in the fashion industry.  From Somewhere takes... Read More →
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14
NOV
2011

Evon Cassier upcycled bags

In Evon Cassier‘s world, handbags preserve memories and liberate stories.  The New Hampshire designer has a passion for reusing, reducing and recycling – turning jeans into laptop bags and sport coats into Totes (like The Vivien pictured above).  One touching story is... Read More →
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11
NOV
2011

Bowerbirds and their upcycling instincts

So today we turn to nature for inspiration.  The Bowerbird is the ultimate upcyclist – a bird that inhabits the tropical regions of New Guinea and northern Australia, famously known for its courtship behaviour (and flair for interior design).  The males build a structure... Read More →
09
NOV
2011

Jason Mecier assemblage portraits

It’s possible you will either love or hate the work of Jason Mecier. Celebrity faces made of beans, noodles and cereal (including a portrait of Condoleezza Rice made from rice) certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste. However, the likeness he is able to create... Read More →
08
NOV
2011

Remarkable Repurposing

Katie Thompson is a South African designer who ‘transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary’ by repurposing broken and unwanted furniture. Her company REcreate is home to a fabulous range of furniture lighting and accessories- here are a few favourites. Above is... Read More →
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07
NOV
2011

Powder Keg Diplomacy

“We’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks” sang Bonnie Tyler – A powder keg referring to a barrel of gunpowder of course, just to drag out the Guy Fawkes theme.  A friend introduced me to Powder Keg Diplomacy last week – a South London bar... Read More →
06
NOV
2011

It’s a Rollover

Ever dream of what your house would look like if you won the lottery?  At first glance, this may look like a lavishly decorated interior. ‘Dream Home’ by Brooklyn architects Ghost of a Dream is in fact an installation made entirely from $70,000 worth of discarded... Read More →
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04
NOV
2011

Cricket stools made from upcycled cricket bats

If I knew anything about cricket I’m sure there would be a multitude of clever puns for introducing these…  As it happens, turning cricket bats into furniture makes a lot more sense to me than the game itself. Cricket Stools by Pierre Ospina are made entirely from... Read More →
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01
NOV
2011

Wine Cork Portraiture

Scott Gunderson is a Michigan artist who utilizes wine corks to make giant portraits.  The corks are collected in his studio and sorted according to tone and colour.  After drawing the portrait from a photograph he affixes them to the portrait backing.  ‘Grace’... Read More →
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31
OCT
2011

Interior of Sedlec Ossuary created from human bones

Now, don’t get me wrong – obviously I am not advocating we should all start upcycling human bones into chandeliers – that would be VERY bad taste. However, Halloween seems to have provided an excuse to share something a bit more macabre than usual… The... Read More →
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30
OCT
2011

Musical Chairs

If you’re looking for a chair with personality, UK designer Kelly Swallow knows how to do upholstery that packs a punch.  Her patchwork chairs are individually sourced vintage pieces which she revives with a mix of vintage and designer fabrics.  Vibrant textiles include art... Read More →
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27
OCT
2011

Mode d’Eco

No one does eco elegance quite like Eva Zingoni – maker of beautiful clothing crafted from surplus materials from Parisian fashion houses.  It was also no surprise that she was chosen to take part in Estethica at London Fashion Week this September.  ‘Season 2’... Read More →
26
OCT
2011

Pencils made from newspaper by Treesmart

A lot more than your average HB: Pencils by Treesmart are made from rolled up recycled newspapers.  One single broadsheet of the NY Daily News is all you need to make four of these pencils and you can purchase them here. Image via Ecosalon Read More →
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25
OCT
2011

Ten Green Bottles

Things made from coloured glass always have a certain appeal but there is something particularly contemporary about these glasses by Bottlecrop in their varying shades of bottle green.  Wine and beer bottles have the tops cropped off, rims ground and smoothed to a soft matt... Read More →
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24
OCT
2011

Arrivals Lounge

Jumbo Stay is exactly what it says on the tin – a redundant Jumbo Jet with a new lease of life as a stylish hostel, located at Arlanda airport in Stockholm, Sweden.  Getting onto a plane that never takes off may seem like a strange concept, but you’ve got to... Read More →
23
OCT
2011
Woman wearing jewellery made from vintage haberdashery

Button Up

Judith Brown takes vintage haberdashery such as 100 year old vintage mother of pearl buttons, vintage lace and curtain hooks and turns them into intricate pieces of jewellery.  With her own developed technique, she hand stitches them with fine silver wire to create delicate... Read More →
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21
OCT
2011

Paper Trail

I accumulate stacks of magazines and am determined to utilize them for a creative project one day.  Graphic/fashion designer Lia Griffith from Papier Couture has certainly provided some inspiration with her amazing ball gowns made from cut up magazines.  The above dress aptly... Read More →
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20
OCT
2011

The Shirt off his Back

Out this month is The Shirt off his Back – 30 projects for transforming everyday shirts into a range of home accessories by Juliet Bawden, a great read for crafty folk looking for a thrifty project.  You’ll find some brilliant ideas for turning old shirts into... Read More →
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19
OCT
2011

Back to School

A shoe shop like no other?  Designers Pinkeye upcycled an entire classroom to create a retail space for Shoe Supply in Antwerp, Belgium.  The brief was to come up with an attention grabbing concept that would have mass appeal but that could also be done on the cheap.  They... Read More →
18
OCT
2011

Patterned Pieces

Fun Makes Good was set up by Glasgow School of Art graduate, Eleanor Young.  She reclaims, reupholsters and reworks unloved items of furniture with a distinctive graphic style.  The brief for the Slagelse Møbelvaerk Boomerang Chairs pictured above was to use parts of the existing... Read More →
16
OCT
2011
Muhammed Ali portrait made from punch bags

Punch Bag Portraiture

Master of creative reuse Michael Kalish has spent the past 15 years perfecting the technique of twisting, cutting and riveting license plates to make iconic portraits.  Earlier this year he unveiled ‘reALIzed’ an incredible image of Muhammed Ali made of 1,300 punch... Read More →
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15
OCT
2011

The Stuff of Dreams

Welcome to the imaginarium of Anya Keeley.  This Hereford artist has from a young age collected found objects and ephemera, enticed by the patina that comes only from age and wear.  Incorporating wire work and collaged books and magazines, objects are assembled into whimsical... Read More →
14
OCT
2011

Made of Skateboards

Skater guys and gals will love these.  Thrashion are a Cornwall based company that make handmade jewellery from used, broken skateboards. This necklace was once an Anti Hero skateboard deck and the pendant has been cut to feature the original winged pink graphic.  You can... Read More →
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13
OCT
2011

Goodone AW11

Another great British pioneer for the upcycled fashion movement is award-winning Goodone.  They combine new British sustainable fabrics with reclaimed textiles.  “Known for bold, colour-blocked styles, we have developed a design method which is informed by the use of... Read More →
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11
OCT
2011

Silk and Resin

These Light Pipes by UK artist Wendy Allan are made from dyed silk from reclaimed sari material. This is then woven and captured in resin resulting in a beautiful translucent amalgamation of colour, almost like stained glass.  The resin preserves the unexpected imperfections and... Read More →
07
OCT
2011

Lord of the Rings

Crafting things from old books is always a controversial subject but you have to admit the concept behind Littlefly is pretty unique.  Jeremy Mays is a jewellery designer and landscape architect who makes jewellery from cross-sections of old second hand books through a process of... Read More →
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04
OCT
2011

Power of Making

This weekend I saw the the Power of Making at the V&A – an exhibition of 100 exquisitely crafted objects by both amateurs and leading makers from around the world.  Here I was introduced to the exceptional work of Yong Ho Ji, a Korean artist who uses layers of shredded... Read More →
29
SEP
2011

Walk Don’t Walk

Want to decorate your interior with a piece of NYC history? UK retailer Felix Lighting sell the original Walk Don’t Walk signs – a batch of units that became dead stock in 1999 when the city started taking these signs down.  The iconic design was gradually replaced... Read More →
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28
SEP
2011

Uncle Oswald Is My Hero

It’s all been kicking off with the London Design Festival and there are so many things to see that it’s hard to know where to begin.  Both Tent London and 100% Design however have proved very fruitful for seeking out some fantastic upcycled art and design.  A... Read More →
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27
SEP
2011

Tooting Tram and Social

Having recovered from a white wine fuelled weekend celebrating birthdays and catching up with old faces, I can now write coherently about our excursion to the Tram and Social in South London.  What was once a tram shed has been cleverly converted into a late night pub decorated... Read More →