What Is Upcycling?

You may have come across people using the term upcycling. It’s certainly something that’s caught on massively in recent decades but how does it differ from recycling and what does upcycling involve? Read on to find out.

Upcycling in its purest for is taking something that appears old and worn and transforming it with some restoration work into something useful. In other words giving it a new lease of life.

Upcycling differs from recycling in one important aspect. Recycling involved breaking materials down and reconstructing them, often into something that may be inferior to what was formed originally from a material. With upcycling you are actually bringing out the best bits of a material and transforming it into something that is often desirable and can in some cases be more valuable.

Say for example you find some old French oak floorboards at a reclamation yard. Sanding these down and varnishing them so that they can be used to make a new floor is just one example of upcycling. Similarly you could purchase an old mangle table, clean it up, give it a fresh coat of paint and put it to use as an unusual office desk. Again this would be classed as upcycling.