Tag Archives: Upcycling

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.

#Umbrelladelphia here we come!

It’s been no secret that my passion in life is saving broken umbrellas. At Recycling Zychal, we are quickly approaching our 1000th umbrella thanks to a group of dedicated friends, colleagues and online readers around the world who have taken the time out to save one themselves, retweeted a call to action that we’ve posted, or even just told a friend. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to all of you who have helped us get this far, you are all truly appreciated and have the utmost respect from me and the people who work here at Recycling Zychal.

The people closest to me know that no matter how far this company goes or how big it gets, I will always be out in the eye of the storm, chasing after mangled umbrellas blowing across the street, digging in trash cans because I spotted the handle sticking up out of the bag, and rummaging around City Hall scooping up and saving as many broken umbrellas as I can handle, regardless that they are always black at City Hall. This is my life, saving these broken umbrellas is what keeps me going, as silly as that may sound, I honestly love the hunt.

Last year at this time, we launched a few different programs to help collect broken umbrellas around the city of Philadelphia, but this year, as the Fall weather, temperature and, of course, torrential rain and hail come around, I wanted to launch something interactive. I’ve been in the business of collecting broken umbrellas for about 4 years now, and having gathered enough information about why people wouldn’t want to rescue one, I think I’ve come up with the best possible solution that will match our rescuers up with “reporters”.

Introducing #umbrelladelphia


#umbrelladelphia is a campaign we are launching so that where ever you may be, what ever you may be wearing or doing, you can still contribute to helping these umbrellas get rescued without having to get them yourself. Using the twitter application on your phone, you can simply tweet the location of the broken umbrella that you spot, give a short description or score BONUS POINTS by taking a photo. You just have to make sure you include the tag #umbrelladelphia in the tweet so that it will come up on our live feed. One of our umbrella rescuers, or even myself, will come and rescue it and bada bing bada boom, everyone wins! Tweet us 5 different broken umbrella locations and guess who gets a present!? YOU DO!

To help spread the word about this new initiative, we will be using both guerrilla and conventional marketing tactics. Be sure to look for chalk stenciled #umbrelladelphia tags all over the city, and definitely make sure you pick up a free copy of next months GRID magazine where our first ever advertisement will be.

If you would like to volunteer to help spread the word, we have all different types of promotion and marketing materials, please send me a message if you are interested in helping, and as always, there are presents for anyone who helps πŸ™‚

Recycling Zychal featured in the CityPaper!

Hey everyone, if you are in the Philadelphia area, today is your last day to pick up one of the CityPapers featuring Recycling Zychal in it!

On the 38th page you will see the article, please feel free to cut it out and magnetize it to your fridge Roseanne style.

Julia West wrote a fantastic little article about my obsession with broken umbrellas, what I make from them and even gave readers a call to action to donate! I love it!

Even if you are out of the Philadelphia are, you can still check out the article on the CityPaper website

Things have been steadily busy over here at RZ HQ and we’ve been prepping for our favorite broken umbrella season which is quickly approaching! Just a reminder that if you have any broken umbrellas to donate, you can check out the tutorial I made to make sending them easier and cheaper for you, and that video is located here

We’ve also been getting alot of inquiries about wholesale which is so awesome and welcome any interested stores to contact us to do a special one of a kind line for their boutique! All wholesale orders are custom made and no 2 are ever the same because one-of-a-kind is not an option here at Recycling Zychal, its the standard! πŸ˜€

Laundry can be such a bummer…

…but there is nothing better than a nice, warm, clean load of broken umbrellas just waiting to get repurposed!

We’re very busy over here at Recycling Zychal getting ready to re-organize our inventory so that it can all look as nice as this:

and we are proud to announce that we have just currently stocked our 300th black broken umbrella, bringing our total amount of broken umbrellas to somewhere around 750! I can’t believe we are only a few rainy days away from having 1000 broken umbrellas in stock. Thank you to all of my Umbrella Rescuers, friends, and associates that have helped Recycling Zychal to get this far and save so many broken umbrellas from a life in the landfill.

Temple University Steps it Up for Recycling Zychal with their Dead Umbrella Drive!

About a month and a half ago, a student from Temple University’s Engineering Department contacted me after reading about Recycling Zychal in GRID Magazine. She told me that she absolutely loved what I was doing and asked if I would be interested in helping her run a Dead Umbrella Drive in cooperation with the Students for Environmental Action and Engineers Without Borders Clubs at the University as part of an environmental contest called RecycleMania. Of course, I was all about it and I am happy to say that with the help of these students, a few priceless rainy days and the cooperation of the University, we have rescued nearly 100 broken umbrellas from the trash! Not only that, but students are starting to think about upcycling in a whole new way and knowing that is truly priceless in my book.

While the drive is still continuing on, I would like to share some of the photos that I took while visiting, setting up and tabling with Paloma, the girl who made this all possible, organized everything and got students to decorate “Dead Umbrella Bins” to be set up around campus.

One of the Dead Umbrella Bins decorated by Temple University Students involved with the SEA and EWB Groups

One of the Dead Umbrella Bins decorated by Temple University Students involved with the SEA and EWB Groups

One of the Dead Umbrella Bins decorated by Temple University Students involved with the SEA and EWB Groups

Some of the Dead Umbrella Bins decorated by Temple University Students involved with the SEA and EWB Groups

A photo from the day Paloma and I tabled and promoted the Dead Umbrella Drive in the Student Center at Temple University

This guy ruled- within minutes of being informed about the Dead Umbrella Drive, he came back with about 5 broken umbrellas, it was pouring that day so that helped!

My boyfriend Aaron holding an enormous garbage bag filled with broken umbrellas collected from the students at Temple!

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!

One of a kind Upcycled Umbrella Handbag Contest Extended!

On a recent trip to the fabric market, I was struck with some amazing new ideas and inspiration for the Upcycled Umbrella Handbag idea I’ve been throwing around and I’ve decided to extend the contest until April 1st! and no this is no April Fools Joke!

To enter to win, leave a comment under our post telling us what you think, why you would like to own this custom made eco friendly handbag or any suggestions for the bag itself- a color a shape, ANYTHING! Be sure to vote in poll and thats it, you could be the next winner!

Don’t delay, go enter to win an eco friendly, custom, handmade upcycled handbag from your friends at Recycling Zychal!

Help us get upcycled couture on the runway at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo!

Vote for our Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coat to be modeled on the runway at the 2010 Sewing and Stitchery Expo!

Recycling Zychal has been chosen as a finalist in the BurdaStyle Coats and Clark Red+Pink Fashion Show! Both our upcycled umbrella HOOD and dog coat have been selected for voting and we would absolutely love to have a dog model the coat on the runway in Washington for the Sewing and Stitchery Expo!

It only takes a second to vote and any vote will help!

Vote for the HOOD here

Vote for the Upcycled Umbrella Dog Coat here

(I believe you can vote for both, so please do!)

It only takes a minute to help get our upcycled fashion on the runway!

Let’s put the fashion spotlight on upcycling this year by getting one of our products on the runway!

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?).