- 06 Oct 2016
In with the old…re-think the new
Giving something a new lease of life is such a beautiful thing, especially when said something was once a treasured possession of your own, your family or even a stranger from well before your time; being able to bring back the shine to an old treasure is heart-warming to say the least.
We’re all ‘familiar’ with recycling, well the concept anyway, and as sustainability and our environmental responsibility become a global priority, the importance of reducing our waste for the future of our wondrous planet is gaining more momentum. Most households have their recycling bin, but on the whole we’re removed from the recycling process, apart from the weekly bin collection waking us up at 6am, the how, where and by whom is generally unknown and requires very little personal effort for us to do ‘our bit’.
Upcycling on the other hand, may be less familiar concept, but with huge potential for reducing our contribution to landfill and, quite simply, an on-trend alternative to the new and mass produced, we recommend re-thinking throwing out that old table, checking out your local second hand store or salvage yard, and getting involved in the restoration revolution!
The war-time make do and mend attitude went out the window as global travel became more accessible, technology advanced and we decided we could mass produced everything. Yes, things became more affordable, which is great, but as the cost of products took a nose dive, a disposable attitude took centre stage. Not only do we find an absence of quality and individuality, wasteful behaviour has seen Australia develop a dependence on landfill that impacts our air, water and land quality.
Household items may be cheaper now, but as the Australian population is on the up, we have to adapt and make changes to our way of living, and adopting a more considered approach to updating and replacing household items is a great place to start and will have a profound affect if embraced by all.
Admittedly a far more involved process, but that’s what makes upcycling so rewarding and leaves you with a unique piece that you will value far more than any flat pack, generic purchase. It requires vision, time, energy and innovation to look past the old exterior and view the potential, whether you want to reinvent its purpose entirely or just update the look.
The clever, creative and lovers of all thing vintage were the first to jump at the opportunity to upcycle and restore all-manner of items for homes and businesses. Fortunately, bringing back the love to pre-used items doesn’t seem to be going anyway and is something everyone can get involved in.
Stuck for inspiration? With the potential for upcycling being brought to our attention via our TV screens, in magazines and through online ideas catalogues such as Pinterest, there’s an abundance of tutorials, imagery and articles to get anyone and everyone's creative juices flowing.
So before you think about heading to the tip or hauling your goods outside for the verge collection, could a little bit of love change how you feel, or is there an opportunity for repurposing entirely? Conduct a bit of research and get creative.
If you have something that just does absolutely have to go, as the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure so post online and let the potential be realised by another.