Upcycling and Up-pricing: A New Trend
February 4, 2013
The eco-friendly trends that have brought us hybrid cars and reusable shopping bags now have a new avenue of expression in upcycling. If you’re not familiar with upcycling, it’s likely you’ve seen it elsewhere but just didn’t know. Rather than throw something away, you find a new purpose for it: your old bike tire becomes a fashioned clock, a wooden pallet become a trellis in a garden, and so on. Check out these creative examples:
Some different designers and design companies are taking upcycling to its ultra-modern limits over the campy, cottage-y feel of shabby chic that is often associated with upcycled products, but designer costs make us take a few steps back. Take an old shopping cart, for example: toss in some ingenuity and some paint—and maybe a very high price tag—and you might end up with a very clever, attractive, and smart design for a living room or desk chair. That is what the British company Reestore has done with the Annie shopping cart chair.
We absolutely adore this concept: it’s innovative, fun, and funky. But don’t jump on board so soon… did you check that price? Somewhere in the upper 500s? And we don’t mean dollars; we’re talking British pounds here, which are worth more than dollars. Sure, furniture and modern designs aren’t cheap, but is $800+ for one chair asking too much?
Consider its basic structure: a shopping cart. Shopping carts are plentiful. You see them on street corners, in parks, and maybe if someone was really daring, a front yard. You’ve seen them help wreak havoc and pain in the Jackass movie series. Heck, maybe you’ve even played with them and pretended they were spaceships as a child (like a certain other 2shopper blogger…). It seems that this design might be easy to achieve on a DIY level: maybe rent a power tool of sorts from your local hardware shop, buy some spray paint while you’re there, chop that cart, color it, oh, and maybe remove the wheels if you want a stationary chair. You can easily find tutorials like this one on making your own shopping cart chair online. Either way, making it yourself seems to save you a lump of cash, and it makes us wonder whether the concept of upcycling has been taken on a capitalistic ride, if the fact that recycled furniture means material costs are lower has gotten lost in a venture to maximize profit.
While perhaps you might be emptying your pockets for the conception of these covet-worthy modern furniture pieces, the execution might be a tad inflated… oh, who are we kidding, a LOT inflated! To learn more about upcycling and get some ideas on how to make your own upcycling creations, visit Pinterest and different upcycling blogs. What’s your opinion on professionally designed upcycling and the costs?