Tag Archives: Taryn Zychal

Help Recycling Zychal win the Stoli Vodka Originals Contest

Upcycling and Vodka; they aren’t exactly a match you think you could like, but lo and behold, the perfect blend of both has come in the form of an audition video that Taryn Zychal, the mastermind behind Recycling Zychal, has put together for the Stoli Originals Contest.


As one of the top 12 finalists, Zychal couldn’t think of anything that made her more original than the premise of the company she started a few years ago, in which she collects busted, broken umbrellas off the streets of Philadelphia and turns them into modern, stylish and functional softgoods.

Showcasing the charity-helping Organic Cat Nip Filled Cat Toy, the popular Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coat and the updated upcycled Polish babushka Recycling Zychal calls simply, The HOOD, Taryn spouts out a concoction of catchy lines about her real life and social media do-gooding and, more importantly, her passion about upcycling.

Zychal says that if she wins, she plans on investing into Recycling Zychal and traveling around the world with the $25k reward prize.

You can help this upcycling heroine win by going to the Stoli.com website and clicking on finalists, her video is the first one.

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Another Day in the life of Recycling Zychal- Inventory Photoshoot in Hyperspeed

In the second installment of Day in the life of Recycling Zychal, upcycling obsessed designer Taryn Zychal gives you an insider view of the creative process at work. Using a large 7.5′ PVC pole covered in $1 IKEA carpets- a handmade super sized cat scratch post of sorts that she made for her cat Rhoda- some tape and a chair, Taryn mounted her Flip Camera to the top to give an all inclusive aerial view of the inventory photoshoot process.

Recycling Zychal's inventory photoshoot of new broken umbrellas to go on sale next week!

We will be color correcting and putting up the umbrellas that you see in this video over the weekend on our store site, www.recyclingzychal.etsy.com so be sure to check them out! This is one of our greatest batches to date!

Again you will see all 3 pugs in this video and if you watch closely, you will also see an appearance by Rhoda herself.

Set to the music of Digitalism, this video should surely get your creative juices flowing.

Recycling Zychal stripping broken umbrellas in action, in hyperspeed

Check out our new video on YouTube that shows Taryn Zychal and Aaron Stampa, the founders of Recycling Zychal, stripping a large load of broken umbrellas in hyperspeed… pugs included!

Watch as Taryn and Aaron, founders of Recycling Zychal, strip broken umbrellas in HYPERSPEED

If you are on YouTube, be sure to subscribe to the Recycling Zychal Channel for more DIY’s, How-To’s and cool time lapsed work in progress videos!

Stay tuned to our Etsy store this week for brand new awesome broken umbrellas going up for sale, some that you have seen in this very video!

And if you haven’t already entered our Upcycled Umbrella Dog Coat Giveaway on Pawesome, you should definitely do that, drawing ends Friday March 19th!! You also still have time to win a one-of-a-kind, custom, first-of-a-kind Upcycled Umbrella Handbag, (yes a stylish eco-friendly handbag/purse made from broken umbrella nylon, personally designed by Taryn Zychal herself and worth $50) by voting and commenting here. New Spring fashion for free!

It’s Springtime and we are giving away a classic and a future classic for FREE!

It’s Spring! It’s almost our 1 year anniversary here at Recycling Zychal and to celebrate we are giving away a classic and a future classic for FREE!!!

Win a free custom made Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coat from Recycling Zychal and Pawesome!

Pawsome is hosting a contest to give away one of our very own custom made Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coats, so keep your pooch dry this Spring with an eco-friendly and stylish hand made canine coat!

And have you heard that we’ve extended our Upcycled Umbrella Handbag Contest, so now you have until April 1st (no joke!!) to win the first ever,  one-of-a-kind,  custom handmade Upcycled Umbrella Handbag worth over $50! All you have to do is vote in our user poll and leave a comment with your thoughts on whether or not Recycling Zychal should start making handbags from broken umbrellas. Your vote COUNTS, so please vote, tell your friends, tell your co-workers, your family, everyone you know! I’m leaving this decision up to the people that matter most, YOU!

Be sure to check back for more updates by following us on the blog, our twitter, youtube, facebook and myspace! And definitely don’t forget to check out Recycling Zychal’s spotlight on Inhabitat, one of my favorite green culture design blogs!

Recycling Zychal in GRID Magazine available online!

If you live outside of the Philadelphia area and cannot get a hard copy of February’s issue of GRID, you can now view the whole issue online on http://www.gridphilly.com

The feature on Recycling Zychal is on page 8 and there are some other great articles in this month’s magazine, including a review on the different vegetarian takes on bahn mi, or the Vietnamese “hoagie” as most know it. Although I am a vegan, I was drooling over these and am definitely going to attempt to veganize it (maybe a future post?).

Recycling Zychal hot off the press!

CEO of Recycling Zychal, Taryn Zychal with her fiancee Aaron Stampa at the Sonia Rykiel Fashion Show Friday at Recess Lounge.

by Erik Levin, AP, EFPD

PHILADELPHIA PA November 23, 2009 — Navigating through a windy, stormy rush hour in any city is probably at the top of most of our pet peeve lists, but not for Philadelphia entrepreneur and broken umbrella connoisseur, Taryn Zychal who says that those are the days that have provided her with the inventory she needed to turn trash into treasure with her successful upcycled umbrella fashion accessory company, Recycling Zychal.

Recycling Zychal officially launched in April of this year, but Zychal says that she’s been ‘rescuing’ broken umbrellas for several years before she knew exactly what to do with them. What started off as a bit of an obsession has now blossomed into something we don’t often hear about these days, a successful and sustainable business.

Recycling Zychal came up on my radar about 3 months ago when she was named one of the Top 25 Recycling Twitterers. I started following her and the exceptionally interesting stories of dumpster diving, product development, fashion shows, television shows and photo shoots she would share with the world. Here at EFPD, we were wow’ed by her activism and involvement in promoting stylish and functional upcycling, (something that she refers to as “Sexy Upcycling”) which is the complete opposite of the over-branded, impractical upcycling that most of us are turned off by.

Louie, a Samoyed from LA modeling a Recycling Zychal Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coat

I had the chance to sit down with the broken umbrella bombshell this past Friday at Recess Lounge where she been invited as a VIP guest among many of Philadelphia’s fashion elite to the Sonia Rykiel Fashion Show presented by Philadelphia’s new ‘go-to’ marketing agency, The Nouveau Image. We were among many familiar faces that included Steven Ward, host of VH1’s Tough Love and Philadelphia’s own Arthur Kade, which barely seemed to faze Zychal who mentioned to me early on that if it had been raining that night, she probably would have been able to score a broken Burberry umbrella.

“I am always thinking about my company, it’s my baby, it’s my life, it’s my full timer, and it’s working”
said the 25 year old as she sipped a special Sonia Rykiel cocktail designed especially for the event,
“do you really think I’d be here right now if I didn’t work hard to meet the right people?”

Winter HOOD promotion

The transition from a drinking PBR from a straw in bar a dive to sipping a swanky cocktail among celebrities at a fashion show has been quick for Zychal and is just one indication that Recycling Zychal is starting to branch off into bigger and better things. With the recent success of her Winter HOODs, which are modern day babushkas made from salvaged umbrella fabric and the highly anticipated launch of her newly expanded upcycled umbrella line, Recycling Zychal has won over the media with her dedication to animals, the environment and her couture sense of design. Chloe Jo Berman, founder of Girly Girl Army, celebrity green consultant and cruelty free advocate recently gave recommendation and praise to the company in an article entitled,“The Girl Who Loves Broken Umbrellas”, while one of Philadelphia’s most talked about internet sensations, Karina Bradley, sent out a shout out to Recycling Zychal to all of her fans on her YouTube channel.

Zychal said that she has a lot going on in the next few months including collaboration with Alexander Ciambriello for her Spring ’10 Collection, raising money to expand and collect broken umbrellas around the country through Indiegogo.com, a photo caption contest and HOOD giveaway through Better Off Soaked that is running right now, and of course preparing for the upcoming holiday season where she is offering buy one get one free HOODs and her infamous Upcycled Umbrella Dog Coat and matching HOOD special for $55 on her etsy shop from 12:01 am Black Friday until 11:59 pm Cyber Monday.

As we took our seats for the fashion show, I asked her what the next step for Recycling Zychal was and with a little hesitation and a laugh she said, “This right now was the end goal about 7 months ago; being here, in my element, among a good crowd, being interviewed by someone, this is everything I’ve ever wanted, the next step is to sustain it. It’s not about the fame or fortune, it’s about people rethinking the way they see a broken umbrella and once they know about my business and how I can recycle them into something beautiful, there’s really nothing stopping them from sending it my way”.

To learn more about Taryn Zychal and her broken umbrella business, or to donate your broken umbrella to her, please visit http://www.recyclingzychal.etsy.com or call the Recycling Zychal Headquarters in Philadelphia at: 1 (888) 472-2912

Recycling Zychal has Stylestance!

I woke up this lovely Monday morning to a great little article on Stylestance about my HOODs!

A big thank you to Linda of Stylestance for writing about my HOOD and suggesting her readers donate their broken umbrellas to Recycling Zychal!

Just a reminder to everyone, for every broken umbrella donated after November 1st, $1 will be donated to the Morris Animal Refuge here in Center City Philadelphia as part of our program, Flora Fauna Function! Our goal is to donate $100 by Christmas so that all the animals feel the holiday spirit. We’ve got a ways to go to get to our goal, but I believe that it will pick up once more people find out about what Recycling Zychal does with broken, discarded, landfill-bound broken umbrellas and how donating one can help an animal in need! Please let your friends, families and coworkers about Flora Fauna Function, because I’m sure that someone out there has a broken umbrella looking for a new life!

Flora Fauna Function

For every broken umbrella donated to RZ, we donate $1 to an animal shelter!

Saving the planet should not make you a victim of fashion!

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?

glove head

High fashion? nope, just a glove head

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.

No style, no function, no brainer.

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.

Ad Bag

Advertisement or Eco Couture?

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?