Posts Tagged ‘upcycling’

Building Designer Mark Iscaro puts the case for sustainable office furnishings

April 23, 2012

Thanks to building designer Mark Iscaro from Firstangle in Victoria, Australia for his views on sourcing sustainable products for office use.

I’m sitting in my lounge-room, staring at my wonderful recycled brick feature wall, with my 7 year old couch sitting in front of it, and pondering how to freshen up my office (in my garage). I have carpet cut offs and old rugs down on the concrete acting as flooring – very ‘eco chic’ of me I know!

When setting up your office, be it for the first time or be it renewing old worn out furniture pieces, considering the eco credentials of the new furniture often plays second fiddle to price-driven decisions of most businesses. In saying that, there are options out there that are not only cost efficient but are also sustainably minded. You just need to know where to look in order to find the product.

Much like incorporating sustainable options within your home, incorporating them into your office can be rather daunting, but don’t despair, for I have some great ideas and suggestions on how and where to look to find those solutions within budget and with eco credentials in mind. Firstly we need to consider the options available to us. There are quite a few but we will focus on the four most popular sustainable choices.

Recycled (Second Hand/Reconditioned Furniture)
Renewed (Repaired/Rebuilt Furniture)
Up-cycled (New Furniture From Recycled Parts)
New (Eco Friendly Furniture)



Upcycling – not just for the amateurs

September 20, 2011

Everybody has heard of recycling in this day and age and most people have heard of upcycling but I have to (shamefully) admit that before I visited Ecobuild this year I hadn’t realised just how big the concept was, despite it being around for over a decade.

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of a better quality or higher environmental value. The first recorded use of the term was in 1994 when Thornton Kay of Salvo interviewed Reiner Pilz of Pilz GmbH.

“Recycling? I call it downcycling. They smash bricks, they smash everything. What we need is upcycling, where old products are given more value, not less.”

When you think about it, you’ll probably realise you’ve been upcycling for years without realising it, the box you’re using as a CD rack, the old CD’s that you’re using as coasters, or even the fairy liquid bottle that the kids turned into a work of art (with a little help from Neil Buchanan, Art Attack and copious quantities of PVA glue).

Away from the domestic side of things, many companies specialise in ‘upcycled’ pieces or produce one off upcycled products.

Bel & Bel, expert Spanish upcyclers with a contemporary/vintage style recreated vintage Vespas as seats.

Vespa Seats are made from upcycled 'dead' Vespa scooters. Picture from ©bel&bel.