By Chere Di Boscio
One of the earliest examples of upcycling I ever noticed was in one of my favourite films: Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Broke, but with loads of charm and style, Holly Golightly reinvented not only herself from a small girl to chic city dweller, but also an old bathtub into one of the most memorable sofas in film history.
Today, in the wake of increasing problems related to trash and landfill overflow, innovative companies are transforming objects normally considered to be trash into treasure, with some impressive results.
Etsy designers from Ruff House Art, for example, have lifted Ms Golightly’s ideas and started creating vintage cast iron bathtub sofas themselves. The result is colourful, cheerful, and hopefully as deeply relaxing as a long, hot bath.
2. Coffee Filters
Another Etsy designer brings a genius idea from the kitchen: Vilma Farrell crafts Japanese-inspired lampshades out of recycled coffee filters for her company, Lamapada. Stained by java itself, these sturdy papers form everything from large ceiling light fixtures to small floor lamps.
3. Bamboo Poles
Yet another lighting company that uses discarded waste is the aptly named Bamboolight.
The company claims they found their bamboo pieces on the beaches of Spain (strange, as bamboo isn’t native to the country…) then hollowed out the tubes, added cables and wiring and voila! An eco lamp is born!
Hanging delicately from the ceiling, we love Bamboolight for the modern, natural touches it brings to any home, but there are other companies that specialise in commercial lighting made from bamboo, too, such as San Ai, whose restaurant lighting designs are growing in popularity in the USA.
4. Bike Parts
Still on the topic of lighting, Carolina Fontoura Alzaga’s Bike Chain Chandeliers (or ‘Chaindeliers’ as she likes to call them) are made out of upcycled bike chains. Normally rough, greasy and industrial looking, Ms. Fontoura Alzaga has managed to make bike chains look delicate, almost ethereal, when juxtaposed with light. We also love the glitzy lamps created byJoe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock from old bike parts. The intricate shadows these cast lend any room a surreal quality.
5. Old Skateboards
Finally, all those cute ‘skaterboys’ that proliferated with the punk and thrash-metal movements of the 80s have grown up, and decided to upcycle their old boards rather than trash them. The result is companies like Deckbench, launched by Jason and Adam Podlaski. The pair transform old skateboard decks into totally rad furniture pieces that are both stylish and eco-friendly.
Watches are another way that old skateboards find new life, such as those made by Second Shot. The company was born from a passion for skateboarding and its culture. Created by John Gibson, husband, father of one and skateboarder since age 10, Second Shot is based in Ontario, Canada. To see more about the brand or to buy, please Click here .