Remember the old saying “Turn Trash into Treasure”? I do, in fact, I design by the “Triple T” as I call it. As a dumpster diver and founder of Recycling Zychal, I am constantly researching and coming up with ideas so that I can take something that would spend the rest of it’s life in the landfill and transform it into a quality product that can be used for years to come, like my Upcycled Umbrella products. On the other hand, I am also a product designer and with that comes the need to satisfy both functional needs and style needs. Form Follows Function, the “Triple F”, the other thing I design by.
Upcycling, function and style; I feel like Recycling Zychal is the only company out there producing items that are combining these three things.
To me, these ideas are what guide the new product development process. Some of our upcoming products include Upcycled Umbrella Dog Beds, Baby Bibs and Kitchen Aprons. The water-resistant nylon makes them all easy to clean, have been designed after extensive research on current and future trends and are made from broken umbrellas, of course.
While browsing InHabitat’s fairly new eco style-based blog, Ecouterre, I came across this article, 6 Clever Ways to Upcycle Orphaned Accessories into New Treasures. I hate to say it but some items are better left un-upcycled.
The main photo definitely grabbed my attention, but there’s no disguising the fact that that model has gloves on her head. They mention something about this look copying off of Dolce and Gabana. Are they really comparing this to runway design?
And then there’s a “solution” for a lost earring.. Shoe Earring! Of course, why didn’t I think of that? Oh that’s right because it looks like an earring on a shoe. No function, no style, no brainer. I’d take that earring and send it to the Cash for Gold people and hope I get a check for enough money to buy a new piece of jewelry at the Buffalo Exchange before I’d hot glue a stray glove to my hairband.
When trash looks like trash, why would someone want to wear it? Upcycling is a beautiful idea, and it should be a beautiful sight. I have so much respect for any company wiling to take the dive and start producing upcycled products, but I have been horrified by some of the fashion crimes I have witnessed in the world of upcycling; whether its just not worth upcycling, like my friends the Shoe Earring and Glove Head, or if its something made from overly branded packaging that is sewn together and instead of making you feel like a sassy eco-diva, you feel more like a walking advertisement.
I just want to make a promise to all my wonderful customers and readers and let you guys know that I will never make anything that looks like trash, regardless of where it came from or what it once was. I want to focus on the future of the materials, everything deserves a second chance AND a makeover. Most people are usually stunned by the fact that Recycling Zychal’s product line is based around the upcycling of broken umbrellas and I want to keep it that way. When form follows function, trash doesn’t have to look trashy.
What do you guys think?