To upcycle is to process used goods or waste materials and convert them into something of better value. Reusing waste without destroying it takes less energy than breaking it down to be remade into something new.
We're glad you asked. In fact, we wrote a whole blog post about the differences between upcycling, downcycling and recycling.
The short answer? The process of upcycling adds value to the materials. The other decreases its value. Most often, what we consider recycling is actually downcycling, where the material or product is transformed into something with less value. Regardless of how you approach it, any form of reuse, whether it's upcycling, downcycling or recycling, is good for the environment, and all practices reduce our impact upon it.
The problem: There is a continued growth of solid waste and in the overuse of Earth’s resources, particularly water. In textile waste alone, the average apparel factory discards about 60,000 pounds of perfectly usable, pre-consumer textiles every single week.”
The solution: Upcycling excess and reducing the amount of waste. The benefits of upcycling include: saving resources, saving energy and saving landfill space. When you buy an upcycled product made from discarded materials, you are directly offsetting the water and energy needed to make new materials from scratch to produce the same product - thus, you are helping conserve resources.
Interested in how we calculate water savings? We wrote an entire post dedicated to this subject. Click here to read more on how Looptworks products conserve water, and how we calculate water conservation.
We also made a video: