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:

Adirondack Ski Chair

Adirondack Ski Chair

Bicycle Chain Chandelier

Bicycle Chain Chandelier

anita bathtub chair

Bathtub Chair

Drum Table

Drum Table

Skateboard Lounge Chair Eames

Skateboard Lounge Chair

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.

annie

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?

annie shopping cart chair

You can’t afford me! No, really, you can’t.

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.

a

aa

a

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?

4 Responses to “Upcycling and Up-pricing: A New Trend”

  1. niharika Says:

    These are really cool stuffs

  2. ed pierce Says:

    Sure, the prices are a little high, but it’s art and we have to go by the cost of our own appreciation for the piece.


  3. Hmmmm… now you’ve got me wondering, what can I possibly upcycle? I have a lot of old phonograph records I could turn into bowls, but that’s old hat. I have tons of cassettes and old VHS tapes. I suppose I could glue a “sculpture” together, but that’s been done too. I’m gonna have to put on my “thinking cap” and get back to ya! Thanks for the brain stimulation!

  4. Theresa Says:

    I admire the look of upcycling, if done correctly so that it looks classy, not trashy. There is an important line not to cross, but I’d love to try my hand at it sometime. It would make a great conversation piece. I really like the ski chair featured above though.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,604 other followers

%d bloggers like this: