6 Downright Awesome Upcycle Shops

6 Downright Awesome Upcycle Shops

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Are you in search of distinctive items that you may be ok with giving? Perhaps one thing comprised of upcycled supplies? Or merchandise offered by a enterprise that’s dedicated to decreasing waste? No matter whether or not you’re in search of a present, one thing in your residence, or a spot to promote your individual upcycled merchandise, these upcycle outlets are nice assets.

To upcycle means to create one thing new out of an merchandise that has been discarded or is not helpful. While recycling is breaking down a product to its unique uncooked supplies to remake a brand new mannequin, upcycling transforms a product from its unique use into one thing with a brand new perform. And that new one thing may have the next worth than the merchandise out of which it was made — or so the upcycler promoting the product hopes.

The ups and downs of the upcycle enterprise

Upcycling outdated stuff into new issues can lead to some fairly cool and superb one-of-a-kind-gadgets and equipment. But working a profitable upcycle enterprise centered on a handful of merchandise will be difficult. Possessing a imaginative and prescient and superior crafting abilities are elements that may assist rework undesirable supplies into one thing helpful. But the trail from level A to level B will be unpredictable and labor-intensive, and fairly an costly expertise.

Setting up an upcycling enterprise as a lone proprietor in a distinct segment kind market might also be short-lived. Unless the upcycler is in a enterprise that makes use of plentiful supplies like paper or T-shirts, they could have restricted entry to uncooked materials. Additionally, most upcycled merchandise are handmade and one-of-a-kind items; if there are restrictions on the crafter’s time and skill to shortly flip round an upcycled product, the mixture might end in low stock on the market, new items being too costly, or each.

Some crafters have discovered inventive methods to fight these dangers and keep in enterprise longer. One means is to affix forces with different artisans in several markets behind one storefront. This permits upcyclers to supply a larger array of merchandise to customers with out having to compete with each other. Another resolution is to grow to be half of a bigger enterprise that has the experience to market and promote the merchandise. The draw back to that is it cuts into earnings for upcyclers who should forfeit a proportion of the sale value for these companies. A 3rd state of affairs is to depart the brick-and-mortar idea behind altogether and go fully on-line. This decreases overhead prices to only labor and materials.

upcycle shops
Image credit score: ira / Shutterstock

Upcycle outlets on the up and up

These upcycle outlets are both creating or promoting distinctive merchandise which can be price a glance.


This Portland, Oregon, on-line retailer’s mission is to rescue leftover supplies from different distributors and use them to create limited-edition merchandise. Once merchandise are designed, Looptworks makes certain they’re crafted in factories with 100% honest labor requirements. Looptworks focuses on baggage and attire geared in direction of travel-minded customers.

Sword and Plough

Two sisters from a army household based this firm, which makes use of army surplus material, leather-based, {hardware} — and likewise outdated uniforms — to create all sorts of baggage, wallets, and jewellery (created from upcycled ammunition casings). They accomplice with veteran-owned producers, and veteran artisans make Sword and Plough baggage and equipment. The firm donates 10% of its earnings to veteran organizations.

Upcycle It Now

upcycle work by Upcycle it Now
Who would have thought you might upcycle a road banner right into a lunch field? Image credit score: Upcycle it Now

This mother-daughter firm has a three-pronged mission: give supplies a second life, create helpful and delightful items, and supply expert jobs for his or her group. In operation since 2011, the California-based firm turns textile waste into canine coats, wallets, baggage, and extra. While most of their merchandise are distributed by their companions, they promote a small choice of overruns and pilot merchandise on their web site.


Based in Missoula, Montana, this store options arts and crafts from native Montana artisans. While the net store has restricted items on the market, their brick-and-mortar retailer presents a variety of merchandise from attire to jewellery to residence items. In enterprise since early 2011, Upcycled is at all times wanting so as to add new expertise to extend its product choices and provides a voice to native artisans working with sustainable supplies.


Established in 2008, this promotional merchandise firm prides itself on providing “sustainable swag.” Products vary from clothes to jewellery, purses, and wonder merchandise. While not all gadgets are created from upcycled supplies, their enterprise mannequin is fairly terrific. They solely use honest commerce, natural, vegan, recycled, upcycled, and/or ethically sourced supplies. So you’ll be able to relaxation assured you’re shopping for one thing sustainable whereas doing a little good.

Upcycle That

More than an upcycle store, this enterprise is a good useful resource for brand new and seasoned upcyclers alike. Their web site presents a variety of concepts and tutorials for upcycling completely different supplies and making distinctive gadgets. How a couple of gumball fish tank? Or maybe you’d prefer to upcycle an outdated pallet into a lovely swing? Their on-line store options merchandise from artisans who create upcycled jewellery, baggage, clocks, and extra.

Whether you might be new to upcycle procuring or a seasoned crafter, buying or making upcycled merchandise is an efficient approach to lengthen the lifetime of supplies that in any other case would go into the trash. Upcycle merchandise are progressive, helpful, and good for the atmosphere. They additionally make nice one-of-kind items for particular events, or simply “as a result of.”

Feature picture credit score: thefamilymig, Pixabay. Originally printed on May 10, 2016, this text was up to date in November 2021.