UK

18
AUG
2014

Bottletop SS14 collaboration with Narciso Rodriguez

British fashion label Bottletop have come a long way since we last blogged about them. Not only have they brought out some fabulous new pieces for Spring/Summer 2014, this year they also collaborated with Narciso Rodriguez who has designed handbags using the brand’s... Read More →
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26
FEB
2013

Lampshades made from recycled yarn

“Ose” is French for “dare”.  Yorkshire based Helen Taylor hand knits her Ose lampshades from pure linen recycled yarn using recycled fibre and pure unbleached silk yarn.  “The yarns are spun by a small company also in Yorkshire.  My ethos is to... Read More →
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22
FEB
2013

Hetty Rose reclaimed kimono shoes

Here’s something to brighten your mood on this cold wintery day…  Hetty Rose transforms vintage Japanese kimono fabric into fabulous footwear from her workshop in Essex.  She describes the material as “relics of a disappearing world, saturated in significance... Read More →
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17
FEB
2013

Estethica AW13 London Fashion Week

This weekend I had a sneak preview of the best of next season’s ethical fashion at Estethica, London Fashion Week.  As always, innovative use of upcycled materials is high on the agenda for many of the designers who have been specially chosen for their ethical credentials. ... Read More →
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14
FEB
2013

Vintage map artwork by Bombus

Today is the only day we can get away with sharing something heart-shaped – better make the most of it!  Why not express your love for your favourite part of the world with bespoke vintage map artwork by Bombus?  These make great gifts for a wedding or anniversary as they... Read More →
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12
FEB
2013

Renovated London water tower

This 1867 London water tower house was originally designed for the nearby Lambeth Workhouse and Hospital and was once the tallest water tower in London.  By the 20th century it became derelict and home to thousands of pigeons before being given a major overhaul by developer Leigh... Read More →
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21
JAN
2013

Upcycled paper animal heads at Anthropologie

This weekend I visited the wonderful Anthropologie store in west London.  The shop not only sells some beautiful products made from reclaimed materials but boasts some incredible installations around the shop.  From an organic sculpture made from painted corrugated cardboard that... Read More →
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17
JAN
2013

Feng Ho ethical fashion

Feng Ho is an award-winning ethical fashion designer based in Oxford, England.  As well as using fabrics such as Tencel, soy, organic cotton and hemp, she uses end-of-line textiles from British fabric merchants in many of her designs.  Pictured is the Tessellate collection is... Read More →
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15
JAN
2013

Third Generation Furniture by Jason Fletcher

Jason Fletcher is an industrial designer and recent MA graduate from the University of the Arts, Central Saint Martins in London.  His latest project Third Generation Furniture is concerned with design and resource management – a range of furniture created specifically to... Read More →
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09
JAN
2013

Drawing pin portraits by Duncan MacAskill

The humble drawing pin (aka thumb tack) is one of the preferred mediums for Scottish artist Duncan MacAskill.  The above portrait of his father, created with 25,000 drawing pins, was part of a recent exhibition at the Royal Opera House.  During the 2012 London Design Festival... Read More →
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02
JAN
2013

Antiform upcycled fabric purses and scarves

Upcycled fashion brand Antiform are making purses and scarves from upcycled textiles.  Pictured above is  their Copper Penny Mixed Knit Scarf which is knitted from recycled fibres on a vintage 1920s machine – the last running in the country.  If you’re in the Leeds area... Read More →
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26
DEC
2012

Butterfly plate ornament at Liberty & Co

In amongst the copious amount of eating and drinking and present giving, this week has involved a great deal of trawling around the shops of central London.  A highlight has to be a visit to the wonderful Liberty‘s which has been high on the list for top of the range... Read More →
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10
DEC
2012

Crocheted pebbles and leaves by Susanna Bauer

Knitwear from nature? Model maker Susanna Bauer makes beautiful creations by applying weaving and crochet techniques to found natural matter such as pebbles and leaves.  She experiments with fragility and strength in contrasting materials, creating individual stories in the... Read More →
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07
DEC
2012

Vintage furniture sculptures by Azhar Duhovich

From his North London workshop, Azhar Duhovich creates sculptural light structures using wood, metal and reconfigured vintage furniture.  Inspired by Art Deco and Bauhaus with themes of symmetry and geometry, “the resulting objects are both playful and functional… All... Read More →
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04
DEC
2012

Industrial chic lighting made from repurposed copper tubing

For an interesting twist on decadent dining, check out this oil lamp candelabra by UK lighting designer Edward Hodgson Design – new for 2012.   It features two burners with oil chambers suspended beneath ceramic wick holders.  It’s made from Yorkshire joints and... Read More →
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30
NOV
2012

The Unknitting Machine that unravels clothes

The Unknitting Machine is a genius device that unravels old knitted clothes so the yarn can be reused.  Designed by Kingston University Product and Furniture Design student Imogen Hedges, the starting point for the project was the discovery that charity shops devote hours to... Read More →
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29
NOV
2012

Midcentury Modern, Dulwich College

Looking for an iconic piece of furniture to brighten up your home?  Londoners with a passion for interiors should head to Midcentury Modern at Dulwich College this Sunday.  This is a one day show where you can buy original mid-century furniture, ceramics, art and glass without... Read More →
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27
NOV
2012

Upcycled bags by Katcha Bilek

Katcha Bilek is the brains behind KB, a Bristol-based sustainable fashion accessories brand.  KB make durable and waterproof bags and accessories from repurposed inner tubes, car seatbelts, and bike tyres.  The materials’ hard-wearing qualities are utilised to make products... Read More →
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27
AUG
2012

Unity Dress by Speedo and From Somewhere

  This couture ball gown is the Unity dress, a one off piece created by Speedo, From Somewhere and Falmouth university graduate Rebecca Jayne Taylor.  It’s produced using surplus fabric from Speedo’s Fastskin3 Super Elite Swimsuit, incorporating the colours of... Read More →
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13
AUG
2012

Couture dresses made from upcycled materials by Dumpster Design

Daisy Harris-Burland is the British designer behind Dumpster Design. Her couture and apparel lines bring new life to everyday materials such as card, bubble wrap, jay cloths and table cloths. Pictured above is one of her couture gowns which is crafted entirely from Christmas... Read More →
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31
JUL
2012

Chandelier made from upcycled Coke bottles by Sarah Turner

Commissioned by Coca-Cola, UK artist Sarah Turner has created a series of chandeliers and a sculpture made from Coca-Cola bottles for the Olympics Centre in London.  Inspired by the Olympic rings, the statement lights comprise circular disks with rings of plastic bottles.  Each... Read More →
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24
JUL
2012

Handbags made from upcycled textiles by Lost Property of London

When it comes to upcycled bags Lost Property of London is a personal favourite.  Katy Bell started upcycling hessian coffee sacks and other abandoned fabrics into stylish bags in 2009.  Here are some highlights of new ranges brought out for Spring/Summer 2012, ‘A new take... Read More →
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17
JUL
2012

From Somewhere with Speedo

It goes without saying that with the Olympics looming, everyone’s got sport on the brain.   Perfect timing for From Somewhere with Speedo to launch a new range of upcycled swimwear on ASOS.  From Somewhere have designed these limited edition sports-luxe bikinis and... Read More →
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13
JUL
2012

Sunglasses made from human hair

British readers should cast their minds back to those rare times when a pair of sunnies was the summer essential, as opposed to a brolly. Remember that thing they call sunshine? No doubt many will have mixed feelings about the proposition of wearing sunglasses made from human... Read More →
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01
JUL
2012

Upcycled aeroplane nail bar in London

There are plenty of ways to upcycle a disused aeroplane. A nail bar however probably wouldn’t be the first thing that springs to mind. London’s MW Nails have done just that with a recreated flight deck that offers first class manicures and pedicures with an... Read More →
25
JUN
2012

Bags made from recycled ring-pulls by Bottletop

Bottletop began in 2002 when Cameron Saul developed a wire frame handbag made from recycled bottle tops in Uganda  with his father Roger (Founder of Mulberry).  They launched it through the luxury British fashion house with a photographic series by iconic British photographer... Read More →
15
JUN
2012

Reupholstered chairs by Polly Granville

Polly Granville is a London based designer who breathes new life into vintage and antique chair frames with exciting contemporary fabrics.  A great lesson in how to perceive your old furniture in a new light. Images via Polly Granville Read More →
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08
JUN
2012

Reclaim to Wear upcycled fashion at Topshop

This month high street giant Topshop is launching a new capsule upcycled clothing line in collaboration with Reclaim to Wear.  The collection includes eight exciting new pieces including ombré denim, a panelled jersey dress and a slouchy grey marl sweater.  These are made... Read More →
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05
JUN
2012

Jewellery made from upcycled vintage stamps

With the Jubilee weekend drawing to a close it’s a fitting time to share the work of Dee Barnes.  This British designer upcycles postage stamps and vintage buttons into fabulous jewellery.  Stamps still have the original franking marks on and are set in silver plated cups... Read More →
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23
MAY
2012

Marks and Spencer clothes recycling campaign

Marks and Spencer have collaborated with Oxfam to launch their new ‘shwopping’ campaign. The scheme addresses the huge issue of waste in the clothing industry (that’s half a million tonnes of clothing ending up in UK landfill every year), highlighting the... Read More →
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17
MAY
2012

Flocked reclaimed wood furniture by Nic Parnell

Working with the process of electro-static flocking, Nic Parnell transforms pieces of reclaimed wood with an injection of tactile colour.  His collection of interior pieces ‘Outside In’ aspires to bridge the gap between the surreal and the ordinary.  Usually chosen... Read More →
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09
MAY
2012

End of line ribbon jewellery by Michelle Lowe-Holder

Victorian Flowers and Cream Crocodiles is the SS12 collection from Michelle Lowe-Holder.  It’s an abstract combination of tiny flowers, snakeskin, wings and bright things translated into cuffs, collars and necklaces.  The textiles are vintage end of line floral ribbons and... Read More →
01
MAY
2012

From Somewhere upcycled fashion

Upcycled clothing champions From Somewhere have chosen stripes and pretty pastels for their SS12 collection.  With their signature geometric panels, these pieces are modern, elegant and original.  Shop online at Yoox. Images via From Somewhere Read More →
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29
APR
2012

Hand painted chairs from Plümo

Love these upcycled wooden chairs available to buy from Plümo.  They are hand painted in Northern India with vibrant flowers, foliage and birds by local craftspeople on a fairtrade basis. Image via Plümo Read More →
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10
APR
2012

Upcycled fashion by Goodone

London label Goodone has been making beautiful upcycled clothing since 2006 and their Spring/Summer 2012 collection boasts some fresh, bold and fabulous new pieces.  The Blouson dress is a personal favourite.  It’s made from reclaimed silk shirts, modal mix jersey made in... Read More →
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07
APR
2012

Annie Sloan Chalk Paints

If you’re inspired to upcycle some old pieces of furniture this Easter weekend,  be sure to check out Annie Sloan‘s Chalk Paints.  This is a beautiful collection of 24 colours that have a matt, velvety finish.  They are specially designed for furniture but can also be... Read More →
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03
APR
2012

Skeleton upcycled lampshades by Donna Walker

These fabulous Skeleton Lampshades are by British design Donna Walker.  She strips back the fabric from existing lampshades to reveal the original craftsmanship of the wire frames.  Other unique pieces in her collection include include Irony.  An ironing board, predominantly seen... Read More →
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25
MAR
2012

Antiform at Dalston’s Here Today Gone Tomorrow

This Thursday will see the launch of Antiform‘s SS12 collection at Here Today Here Tomorrow in Dalston, London.  The latest upcycled range from the Leeds label is a fusion of folklore, heritage and sportswear inspired pieces.  Head down between 4-9pm to 30a Balls Pond Road,... Read More →
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21
MAR
2012

Upcyclist and The Blue Economy

An enormous thank you goes out to Professor Gunter Pauli for his tremendous support for Upcyclist.  Pauli is an entrepreneur, lecturer, author and commentator in culture, science, politics, sustainability and the environment. His twenty books, including Upcycling (1999) have been... Read More →
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17
MAR
2012

Dovecote Studio by Haworth Tompkins

Haworth Tompkins‘ ‘Dovecote Studio’ is a weathered steel dwelling built inside the existing structure of a Victorian dovecote in a state of ruin.  Situated on the Suffolk coast, it is a has a glazed corner window overlooking long views of the marshes towards the... Read More →
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14
MAR
2012

Upcycled Selling Exhibition at The Old Cinema

Most excited to hear about the Upcycled Selling Exhibition at The Old Cinema (160 Chiswick High Road, London W4 1PR).  The Old Cinema is a picture palace dating from the 1890s which has been refurbished into an antiques, vintage, and retro department store.  The exhibition takes... Read More →
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12
MAR
2012

Jewellery from Thames River treasure by Alexandra Abraham

Alexandra Abraham is a British artist who works with acrylics, mixed media and 23 carat gold leaf. Her unique jewellery and paintings make use of found objects and collected ephemera such as old china and glass fragments picked up on the Thames Foreshore as well as old coins,... Read More →
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04
MAR
2012

Reclaimed deckchair bags by Jamtarts & Tractors

Jamtarts & Tractors are an Isle of Wight company that make eco-friendly bags and accessories out of reclaimed deckchair, windbreak and sun bed fabric.  They make a fabulous array of shopping totes, courier bags and clutches with colourful cotton linings.  I’ve seen one... Read More →
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29
FEB
2012

Upcycled furniture by Lucy Turner

Cornwall designer Lucy Turner transforms mid-century furniture with the clever use of laser cut Formica laminate. She applies playful shapes such as pineapples, tulips and flamingos to chests of drawers and dressing tables, resulting in fabulous one off items with a fun, retro... Read More →
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23
FEB
2012

Ethical fashion at London Fashion Week

In the East Wing of Somerset House the Estethica exhibition saw its twelfth season at London Fashion Week this month, once again showing its dedication to sustainable fashion with a fine selection of ethical designers.  Notable upcyclers included Victim Fashion Street. ... Read More →
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15
FEB
2012

Reclaim to Wear by Orsola de Castro

Reclaim to Wear has been set up by Orsola de Castro, founder of the wonderful upcycled eco label From Somewhere.  A design standard of excellence, RTW strives to facilitate connections between designers, retailers and the textile industry to help ensure pre-consumer textile waste... Read More →
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07
FEB
2012

Reclaimed wood furniture by Richard Keal

Sussex woodworker Richard Keal takes wood sourced from tree surgeons in his local area and transforms it into pieces of furniture.  Inspired by the stories told by the irregularities and bulbous deformities of every branch, he hunts out complementary shapes and hues whilst... Read More →
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05
FEB
2012
Upcycled side table by Ruby Rhino

Upcycled furniture by Ruby Rhino

For wonderful one-of-a-kind furniture check out UK company Ruby Rhino who restore old pieces of furniture using unique pattern and colour techniques.  “We embrace imperfection by highlighting natural holes, cracks and scratches to allow the original charm to shine... Read More →
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29
JAN
2012

Industrial lighting by Edward Hodgson Design

These slimline and elegant interior lights are by UK based Edward Hodgson Design.  They’re made from yorkshire joints and compression fittings combined with arcs formed from 8mm copper tubing.  A cold cathode tube emits soft clean light. The Arc collection includes a wall,... Read More →
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26
JAN
2012

Livia Firth recycled dress at Golden Globe Awards 2012

Livia Firth has showcased another stunning eco gown at the 69th Golden Globe Awards.  In collaboration with Armani, the creative director of Eco Age wears a classic strapless dress made of fibre derived from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles scavenged from households in... Read More →
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25
JAN
2012

Fascinators made from upcycled vinyl records

Vinyl records get upcycled into all sorts of weird and wonderful things, sometimes without much success.  Thankfully, there are exceptions.  Charlotte Dymock makes hats and fascinators from upcycled 45RPM vinyl records.  The edges are gently heated and sculpted into frills and... Read More →
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24
JAN
2012

Recycled Home book by Mark and Sally Bailey

For fantastic home interior inspiration check out Recycled Home by Mark and Sally Bailey.  This book demonstrates the very best in stylish, modern interiors created from upcycled, reclaimed and vintage objects and materials.  Integral to Baileys Home and Garden is a repair,... Read More →
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22
JAN
2012

Everything Must Go with Lucy Siegle

There was some great discussion regarding the future of ethical fashion at The Bargehouse yesterday.  Chaired by journalist, broadcaster and author of To Die For Lucy Siegle, ‘Talking Rubbish’ formed part of the Everything Must Go exhibition at London’s Oxo... Read More →
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18
JAN
2012

Jewellery made from biscuit tins by Kate Hamilton-Hunter

Loving the work of jeweller Kate Hamilton- Hunter who makes necklaces, earrings and bracelets from recycled metals at her studio on the coast of North Wales.  Her first designs were fashioned from old patterned biscuit, sweet and toffee tins.  She also incorporates silver,... Read More →
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16
JAN
2012

Lighting made from broken glass by Lovers Lights

Lovers Lights are beautiful pendant lights by Janis Haves which are made from bits of leftover glass.  There are between 35 and 120 pendants in each light which are all hand cut. The glass that would usually end up in the skip is sourced from picture framers, window makers and... 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 →
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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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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