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Crater Lake Oregon, sign me up.

It’s no secret that I really want to move to Oregon someday. Why, with it being so close to Canada, the beautiful natural surroundings, the abundance of bearded men, incredible and solid biking community (their last naked bike ride had over 13,000 people), meat eaters being the minority and beer brewing in just about anyone’s kitchen on any given night, how could I not want to go?! It sounds like the sweetest place on earth, sorry Hershey Park.

I’m going to come right out and say it: The Whole State of Oregon is the new Brooklyn.


The other thing about Oregon is that everyday, I see more and more DIY, handmade and of course, my favorite, upcycled products coming from in or around Portland and Eugene, and so when I found out about the Resurrected Refuse Action Team, I can’t say that it necessarily surprised me that they were from Eugene, I kind of expected it, especially after I saw this guy’s awesome mountain man beard in the video for the Green Bag:

Well hey! If this guy approves, you know its good!

These guys and gals are really up to something! RRAT’s video for the Bike Bag starts off with a question I ask just about everyone, “Are you sick and tired of buying products made with new materials?” YES! WE ARE, well I am, and so’s alot of other people!


Using packing ties and bicycle inner tubes, you can make yourself a Jar Packer or just straight up buy one already made. DIY and Upcycling, you had me at hello! RRAT also offers a great reusable and extremely durable Green Market Bag, a Luxury Waste Basket, Bike baskets and panniers all made out of thrown out shipping ties, some clever engineering and love.

Their Cubic Pal Storage Bin is also indestructible and has been tested and proven indestructible via their youtube. It's a must see if you ask me.

RRAT also has workshops where you can learn to make these awesome products yourself, seriously guys, you’re taking the awesomeness that you’ve already established and pushing it to the next level! DIY and Upcycling- I love it!

Besides working exclusively with woven shipping ties, they also sell plans to make a Build-it-Yourself Icosa Hut on their website, it looks pretty intense. I know a few folks around here that would love to make one of these!

The view from inside one of RRAT's Icosa Hut. I want one, unfortunately, this hut is probably bigger than my apartment. Oh, city living!

Beards, beers, nature, upcycling, it really can't get much better than this. Viva Eugene Oregon!

I highly suggest checking out RRAT’s website and maybe picking up a few goodies. They offer pretty sweet deals when you buy more than one product, so get one for you and your friend. I’m definitely ordering a Jar Packer DIY Kit, for $5 how can I not!?

The best thing about this group is that they are really going out there and making Upcycling awesome and for that, I salute you! Rock on RRAT!


Clothing upcycling of the past.. and please let it stay there!

We’ve all seen our share of typical upcycled clothing, most of which looks like it walked/crawled straight out of Burning Man- if I’m being too vague, let me paint the picture of corduroy and flannel patchwork ankle length skirts, demin jeans somehow made into a t-shirt fused by, what I can only imagine to be Duct Tape. No disrespect to the freegan community, but come on, “Where da style at?”

This super stylish jacket is made from textile waste, but you'd never know! 😀

That’s where the geniuses at Looptworks come in. Based out of Oregon, Looptworks pairs limited edition, quality and fashionable designs up with the unending stream of textile waste that manufacturing companies don’t like to talk about- the result is probably the hottest clothing line I’ve ever seen, regardless that it was made from waste, and THAT, my friends is what Sexy Upcycling is all about: The fusion of Taste and Waste!

Looptworks Upcycled Wet Suit Laptop Case, I'm lovin' it!

While boasting veteran designers with years of experience working for Nike and Adidas, you can definitely see the sportswear influence on their Fall 2010 line. They assure their customers that no new material (pre-consumer waste, so it was never even worn) was used in making the garment and limit each design to a maximum of 500 pieces, all of which are hand numbered.

The Pasar Woman's Jacket made from 100% Industrial Excess from Looptworks!

From the Looptworks website: “We have a unique process to create unique products,” says Gary Peck, co-founder of Looptworks. “From concept to your closet, we can assure you that no new materials were used to create our clothing and that each item is as individual as the person who wears it.”

The Satu Jacket- this would work wonders for me while broken umbrella rescuing!

Currently, there are no strores hosting Looptworks extremely eco-friendly line on the East Coast, but you can change that! If you are a store that would like to carry Looptworks product line, you can get information on becoming a dealer by visiting the Store Location tab on their webpage!

Once I get my bonus from work, I’m probably going to buy one of everything- Freeganista, here I come!

We’re BACK!

Hey all you upcyclers, recyclers, fashionisters, bunnies, space men and everyone else, Sexy Upcycling is officially back in action! We had to take a break because things outside of blog life got crazy, but good crazy, woohoo! Stay tuned for sweet upcycled madness! 😀

FROM TERRACYCLE:

Starting April 5th, and for a limited time only during April, nearly 60 TerraCycle products will be available in every Walmart across the country in honor of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day.  This will include lots of brand new items, which you can look at right now by reading this blog post.

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A whole bunch of brand new TerraCycle items will be available, during April for a limited time only, at every single Walmart across the country. Starting April 5th, nearly 60 TerraCycle products will be sold right next to the original items they were made from. Cheetos kites and tote bags made from Frito-Lay wrappers will be sold with bags of Frito-Lay chips, while notebooks and purses made out of skittles and M&M wrappers will be sold right next to bags of Mars Candy.

For those of you unfamiliar with the trash to treasure company, TerraCycle, here is a little background information:

TerraCycle collects traditionally non-recyclable waste from people all across the country by paying a non-profit of the person collectings choice, 2 cents for each piece they collect and mail to the company, with the use of a pre-paid shipping label they can print right from the TerraCycle website (www.TerraCycle.net).  A majority of TerraCycle’s active participants are schools, because the students usually bring in the items TerraCycle collects during lunch; such as juice pouches, chip bags, and cookie wrappers, plus the money can go right back to the school. TerraCycle uses the waste it receives from its Brigade members to make hundreds of products that are not only eco-friendly, but are also very affordable because its made from waste!

Here are some of the new TerraCycle products you can expect to find at Walmart starting April 5th:

[Kids Growing Kits]

Teach kids about gardening and the environment at the same time with the TerraCycle Kid’s Growing Kits for Vegetables, Flowers or Herbs. The Kits use upcycled Stonyfield Yogurt Cups as planting pots and TerraCycle’s famous Worm Poop mixed with compost for the growing medium. The Kits come with growing instructions and the cardboard tray holding it all together is even embedded with the seeds needed to start the plants. Almost no part of these kits is waste and they come with everything you need to start growing right away. Stonyfield and TerraCycle run a free collection program that pays organizations 3 cents for every used Yogurt Cup they collect.

[Eco-Kites]

The world’s first standard Delta Kite to be made from food wrappers! These brightly colored kites are made from waste packaging of popular brands like M&M’s, Skittles, Frito-Lay and Oreo. Cookie wrappers, chip bags and candy wrappers are made strong and light to protect your snacks, which makes them an ideal material to make these affordable, fun kites and they look great flying at the beach or over your picnic. So make a statement when you go fly a kite: that you can snack and help the planet! TerraCycle pays a non-profit of your choice for each piece of waste you collect, join the 60,000 other groups at www.terracycle.net

cheetos-kite red-skittles-kite

[Printed Totes and Wristlets]

For the first time, TerraCycle is proud to introduce a full line of bags made from upcycled food wrappers that are reserved to show the white or silver side, instead of the branded side with logos. Frito-Lay wrappers are turned inside out and have a variety of patterns ranging from flowers to skulls printed on each side. With handles and trim selected to match the patterns, no one will even know these bags are made from waste, until you tell them of course! The line includes a variety of tote bags, wristlets and clutches.

reverse-tote-butterfliesreverse-clutch-butterflies

reverse-tote-starsreverse-tote-skullsreverse-tote-peacereverse-tote-heartsreverse-tote-roses

[Notebooks, Folders, Pencil Cases and Journals]

TerraCycle makes a full line of Journals, Folders and Notebooks made from used Mars candy wrappers from favorite brands like Skittles and M&M’s, as well as, Capri Sun drink pouches. These unique, bright items are great for school or personal use. Made from waste wrappers, all of TerraCycle school products have a drastically smaller carbon footprint than traditional products and are still just as affordable and fashionable as any other item!

skittles-lockkey-diarypurple-skittles-journal

[Accessories Bags]

This range of bags includes everything from camera and shoulder bags to backpacks and lunchboxes.  Made from a variety of upcycled wrappers including Mars candy wrappers, Frito-Lay wrappers and Capri Sun drink pouches. The items are made from the same wrappers that will cover the very food they may hold on the way to school or work! All made with trim and handles which match the original logos product these bags are as fun and fashionable as they are eco-friendly! Also look out for our great line of Yak Pak bags made out of Hollywood Billboard Ads!

redskittlespursehollywood-bilboard-bags-027

This is exciting because not only will you easily be able to buy cool new TerraCycle products at Walmarts everywhere, but it will also make the average consumer think twice about where that chip bag or juice pouch is going after they are done using it. This will also give millions of students across the country collecting in a TerraCycle Brigade the opportunity to see their collection efforts come to life!

Over the winter, while working freelance for a design organization company as an architectural and floor plan documentation assistant at the University of Pennsylvania dormitories, I noticed that one of the rooms had quilt on the bed that I had fallen quite smitten over. The quilt looked as if it were handmade, as each large patch was from what looked to be a t-shirt from a lifetimes worth of softball teams, scuffs included. The colors were radiant and yet vintage and went in chronological order from 1989 to 2009- it was like a trophy of team shirts. Having played many team sports through out my life, I was really jealous of this collection and arrangement. Most of my shirts were XXXXXL or that whole one-size-fits-all scam that made me look like a round 12 year old with no knees, when in fact, I was a short person stuck in an over sized shirt.

Well wouldn’t you know it but months later, a company called UBlanket comes into my Sexy Upcycling radar and I knew instantly by the name that if they had anything to do with upcycling and blankets, these were my people; and they were!

Holy Shirt! UBlanket transforms your old tees into an upcycled blanket!

UBlanket understood my frustration, and those of many, many children growing up in the 80’s and 90’s where our parents convinced us that bigger sizes lasted longer… it’s too bad our parents didn’t realize that those clothes lasted longer because they became permanent fixtures in the bottom drawer of our dressers- hoping and wishing to be upgraded to pajamas, workout clothes or, if they were really big, our designated cleaning clothes…

Bottom dresser drawer getting full? Turn your shirts into a stylin new quilt by UBlanket!

UBlanket is revolutionizing the way we treat those awesome but not awesome-fitting and definitely not-as-awesomely-in-style-anymore shirts by transforming them into a customizable memory blanket. With a prepaid UPS label provided by the company, you send them your shirts, they scan the shirts, you crop and choose the order they go into and one week later, your UBlanket is delivered!

Really? How many sorority shirts are you actually going to wear? Make them into a blanket with UBlanket and let the memories go on forever!

And if scoring a new blanket from them isn’t cool enough, they use all the excess scraps from your tees to make blankets for homeless children throughout the country through an organization called Project Night Night that helps organize and distribute the blankets.

This isn’t just a fine example of Sexy Upcycling at it’s best, it’s also amazing and heartwarming! So whether you are an athlete, marathon runner, music fan, or even a Threadless junkie who needs to part with a few, you can turn these tees into lasting memories for you and know that the scraps are also going to good use.

What happens when you combine the intricacy of a jeweler with the smarts of a business man and the eye of an upcycler? Quite possibly the most amazing reuse of street and industrial signage that we have ever feasted our eyes upon!

Street Signs gone Sexy Upcycling by way of an amazing artist, Boris Bally

Boris Bally’s interest in non-precious metals has won him over some pretty big clients and fans. He creates furniture, home accessories, installations, serving plates and ironically, even trash bins!

Upcycled Signage Municpal Waste Bin by Boris Bally

Boris Bally has even tiled a bathroom floor with his upcycled sign work!

His work has been included in more permanent collections than I’ve ever seen grace an upcycler’s resume, including work the infamous Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in NYC, The Woodturning Center here in Philadelphia, has work displayed in the PA Turnpike Comission AND Glaxo Smith and Kline Headquarters, and even has work in REM lead singer, Michael Stipe’s home. He’s been in many of the books, catalogs and exhibits that were culture defining for the reuse, recycle and upcycle movement that us 80’s babies grew up in. We’re impressed!

I've never seen a Highback Chair as awesome as this set by Boris Bally made from street signs!

Usually when I see a deer crossing sign, I get scared, but with this sign platter, I can't help but get hungry! Love it!

Waste bins to throw your actual garbage away!

This man deserves the Sexy Upcycling Lifetime Achievement Award! Bravo Boris for allowing your amazing work to transcend generations instead of wasting away in a landfill!

High Quality Upcycling from Tesco and From Somewhere- Treehugger

Tesco teams up with From Somewhere to take upcycling to the masses

UK’s Goodone shows off their high quality upcycled AW10 Collection

Upcycled umbrella goods company takes us behind the scenes of a product photoshoot

Cathy Newbery restores and improves unwanted bric-a-brac

Green Pop Up Shop in NYC sets out to be the largest upcycling center in honor of Earth Day