Posts Tagged ‘recycling zychal’

Our bestie, Taryn Zychal of Recycling Zychal is just one of TEN finalists in the running to win $25,000 from Stoli Vodka for their Stoli Originals Contest.

This girl is so talented that people should just pay her to talk to them, honestly. She has inspired so many ideas over here at Sexy Upcycling and as a contributing writer, it feels like the rest of us are always trying to find the coolest sexy upcycled goods before she does. We almost want to hate her, but she’s mastered being sweet and awesome as well.. DAMMIT. 🙂 just kidding!

Anyway, everyone should check out her video where she RAPS about UPCYCLING UMBRELLAS and her unique company, and of course vodka. It’s actually amazing and a catchy tune at the least, but our favorite part is where she talks to her black pug in it.

Taryn Zychal of Recycling Zychal raps about upcycling, broken umbrellas and vodka for Stoli's Originals Campaign

Truly a must see!

You can click the photo to take you to the youtube where you can see her audition video, or you can visit her blog for the low down.

All of us here at Sexy Upcycling want to wish Taryn and Recycling Zychal the best of luck, we would LOVE for her to win, imagine how many more people will know about upcycling if she does! So watch her video for fun, for laughs, for a good jam and most importantly, FOR THE FUTURE OF UPCYCLING!


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I nearly died when I saw this video from our broken umbrella upcycling friends at Recycling Zychal. The video chronicles a black pug named Hurley, who as once afraid of the rain, and how he learned to love rainy walks once he got one of Recycling Zychal’s famous Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coats. It kind of reminds me of an eco-friendly version of Run Spot Run!

And if you are a cat person like me, you can help reduce your cat’s carbon paw print by purchasing one of these super cute Organic Cat Nip Filled Kitty Toys that help raise money for City Kitties Cat Rescue in West Philadelphia, because lets face it: If your cat is going to destroy something, it might as well be GREEN!

$1 from each cat toy purchase goes to City Kitties Cat Rescue in West Philadelphia!

You can purchase Recycling Zychal’s Upcycled Umbrella products on their Etsy store, as well as in Center City Philadelphia at Just Dogs Gourmet on Chestnut Street!

Quick side note: Recycling Zychal is also participating in America Recycles Day by launching a month long initiative to collect broken umbrellas from people all over the country. The difference is that between 11/15 and 12/13, the folks at Recycling Zychal will be making a special limited edition present crafted from the very broken umbrella donated for everyone who donates a broken umbrella to them as a thank you for participating in America Recycles Day. I’ve been given the insiders scoop on what the special present will be, but I’m trying to keep my lips tight!

To donate your broken umbrella or for more info, please go to the Donate A Broken Umbrella page on their website!

To read more about Recycling Zychal’s America Recycles Day Event, head on over to their blog!

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Brooklyn based upcycling company T.O.M.T has a calling and it’s not just Rodney Allen Trice‘s mission to educate people about Applied Deconstruction in his Dumbo studio, it’s bigger than that. It’s a life long quest to refit the world with objects that seem too difficult to recycle by making them into objects of beauty and reincarnation.

Rodney Allen Trice transforms hub caps into gorgeous fruitbowls!

“…beyond the papers and organic waste bins, lies a whole world of objects that are discarded with no regard. Our vigilante mission has been to recover and reassign the purpose of these objects” says the T.O.M.T website.

Recover and reassign, it sounds like a more militant version of “rescue and repurpose” from our friends over at Recycling Zychal; we became instantly curious and were immediately intrigued.

Absolutely beautiful Copper Plumbing Table is made from, yeah you guessed it, upcycled copper plumbing, yeah REALLY

T.O.M.T’s work is incredible, from the ornate copper plumbing table, to the infamous Shovel Shelf- je’ tame! te’ amo! Ich liebe dich! this is truly Sexy Upcycling at it’s finest.

Watch out for this super Sexy Upcycle Approved Hose Hat by T.O.M.T in the next GaGa video, I have a good feeling about that.

A look into the website and you will see an arrangement of furniture, lighting, travel items home accessories and even a hat fit for the queen of shock pop herself, Lady GaGa made from a water hose. I’m in love.

Oil lamps from old light bulbs, this is so awesomely technologically confused that I could probably write a senior thesis on it, what a *bright* idea 😉

As mentioned earlier, Rodney Allen Trice does teach his craft to students that sign up for his in depth, very personal-one on one styled classes to get those dumpster diving juices-a-flowin’! Read more about the Applied Deconstruction class here.

“I believe we all must do our part, think beyond just separating plastic, paper, glass,” says Trice. “We must teach ourselves and learn as habit to see more than just a ‘rain shield’ in an umbrella, a ‘dust collector’ in a vacuum and a ‘shoe for our car’ in an old tire. When we do that, the Earth will become a safer place for the children of the 21st century and, from my experience, A LOT MORE FUN, TOO!”-Trice

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Make this super stylin' apron from fused plasic bags with this how-to from etsy!

Fuse some bags together and make an Upcycled Apron with this How-To from the crafty divas over at Etsy

Umbrella Upcyclers, Recycling Zychal, strip broken umbrellas to repurpose in hyperspeed!

Insightful and informative post about the difference between Upcycling and Downcycling

Author Linda Bodo talks about the latest home trend of repurposing old items into chic statement pieces

Upcycling: the eco-fashion trend that has been generating a buzz within fashion circles has now landed on the high street

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Treehugger just posted a slide show of about a dozen cool objects upcycled from plastic bags and it really got me thinking alot about upcycling and marketing and the absolute disconnect between the two.

I learned how to properly fuse bags when I was working at TerraCycle as a designer and it requires nothing more than just a bit of teflon, an iron, a flat surface and patience, but there always seems to be something factored out that most of us in the upcycling business just don’t seem to care about, and that, my friends, is STYLE. Designers wear many hats in the green field, but I feel like the way something looks, fashionably, is often overlooked. Why is this?

Why do the majority of upcycled goods that we see on the market still resemble the trash that they once were?

As the designer behind the Upcycled Umbrella Product Company, Recycling Zychal, I credit alot of my success in this industry to the fact that my work might be made from trash, but you wouldn’t know that unless I specifically mentioned it prior to your initial viewing. Broken umbrellas might be a better resource to work with since it’s generally not filled with branding and obnoxious barcodes, but trust me, it still has it’s kinks. Nonetheless, the fact that my products are made from broken umbrellas is always a secondary thought. ‘Form follows function’ comes first, but lets face it, no one’s going to buy something doesn’t look good and that’s important!

Consumers, whether they are Earth-loving vegans or Meat-loving plastic-bag-thrower-awayers react upon the way something looks, the problem isn’t getting these already “green” consumers to buy the product, its getting the people who wouldn’t normally buy the green product to buy it (the green people already have it, or have figured out how to make it). The “green” part of it is only going to take the product so far, and even if someone does want to buy it, it will have to be marked down for them to consider it valuable which makes just about 0% sense in the head of a designer who understands the complexity of having to almost reverse engineer the upcycled material, deal with its preexisting shape and size and figure out how to make their object work. I talk to fellow designers about this all of the time. In an industry bloated with people fighting to get in the front door, where are the style makers and why aren’t they upcycling!?

Here are a few photos I picked out from the slideshow to illustrate what Sexy Plastic Bag Upcycling and Better Off Not Upcycled looks like to me, and please send me any more examples, I’ll be sure to post them!

Camila Labra's Dacca Boots made from upcycled bags, so awesome!

Camila Labra = my upcycling hero

I bet these boots are water resistant too.. ❤

Camila Labra is a Chilean Industrial Designer who fashioned these boots out of upcycled plastic bags. Not only are these probably the Sexiest Upcycled shoes I have EVER seen, but they are only $45. I’m not sure how you order a pair, but I am pretty sure I want one in every color!

Ryan Frank's Inkuku Chair has plastic bags written all over it, comfy? I bet!

While this Inkuku Chair by Ryan Frank uses the plastic bags as more of a decoration than a functional part of the object, I can still see the purpose and the sexiness. Plastic bags are sometimes soft and squishy and using them around, what I can only assume is, a chrome frame is much better than sitting on plain old chrome! I love the modulation of the bags in this chair that make it look so modern. Ryan Frank, you totally get my stamp of Sexy Upcycling Approval!

Kate Wards crocheted plastic bag bags... maybe I just don't like the look of crocheted

So here are Kate Ward’s plastic bag bags. I must say, the colors are awesome, (where can I get ahold of some brightly colored plastic bags like this?!) but I don’t know, something about this screams beach party… and maybe that’s just exactly what they are made for, but for my everyday purse purposes..I don’t think so. I will admit, I hate the look of crochet, it reminds me of Easter baskets, but I have to give credit where credit is due to Kate because if she is really saving these plastic bags from a life in the landfill then she is truly an upcycling heroine!

Cathy Kasdan's thesis project at Kent State University Textile Department..makes me itchy looking at it

Cathy Kasdan‘s thesis project at Kent State University Textile Department is quite the upcycled outfit, but Sexy Upcycling, I don’t think so. I love the effort involved with this, but would I wear it? No. Would anyone wear this? I have a feeling that this might not have ever been intended to wear and I also have a feeling that this would make a “wish-wish” sound while walking with it. I’m noteven sure if I like the 50’s style going on here. I do like that all of the bags used to make this were either donated or from actual grocery trips. Far too often I see things that are basically greenwashed saying that they are made from recycled such and such, when you can blatantly tell by the perfection of the modulation that there was an outside source providing the material.

This may be my last post for the year as I am going on vacation for a week after Christmas…and by going on vacation, I mean painting my apartment. 🙂 I hope everyone has a safe, healthy, sexy new year and I can’t wait to report on more Sexy Upcycling in 2010!

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CEO of Recycling Zychal and her fiancee at the Sonia Rykiel Fashion Show

In a recent press release by Erik Levin of EFPD, Taryn Zychal, CEO and designer behind the broken umbrella product line, Recycling Zychal plugs Sexy Upcycling in an almost revolutionary way! Here’s an excerpt, but be sure to check out the whole press release on Taryn’s climb to the top of the upcycling empire!


“…Recycling Zychal came up on my radar about 3 months ago when she was named one of the Top 25 Recycling Tweeters. I started following her and the exceptionally interesting stories of dumpster diving, product development, fashion shows, television shows and photo shoots she would share with the world. Here at EFPD, we were wow’ed by her activism and involvement in promoting stylish and functional upcycling, (something that she refers to as “Sexy Upcycling”) which is the complete opposite of the over-branded, impractical upcycling that most of us are turned off by.”

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Win a custom made, eco-friendly, cruelty-free Upcycled Umbrella HOOD from Recycling Zychal!

Philadelphia’s broken umbrella elite, Recycling Zychal and Better Off Soaked, have joined forces to put together an amazing photo caption contest and the prize is a Sexy Upcycled Umbrella HOOD! The HOOD is the epitome of Sexy Upcycling, and takes landfill bound broken umbrellas and gives them a stylish new life as a modern day babushka!

The rules for the contest are simple, just visit the Better Off Soaked Blog and write a caption for one or all of the broken umbrella photos for the contest. Create and leave your captions from now until Midnight, Sunday, November 29th and then you, the readers and caption makers, will determine the winner by voting for the favorite caption on Monday and Tuesday! Get your friends and family involved, it could make an interesting Thanksgiving dinner conversation (imagine your father grumbling about those crazy broken umbrella collecting hippies). The winner gets a fully customized Upcycled Umbrella HOOD from Recycling Zychal!


Thank you to all that participate and good luck!


Oh and a big big big thank you to the folks at Stylestance who helped make this contest and partnership possible by featuring both Recycling Zychal and Better Off Soaked on their daily style blog!



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