5 Unique Ways to Upcycle


In the fight against the climate crisis, many people have found innovative ways to help protect the environment and live more eco-friendly lifestyles. One way is to “upcycle” old belongings. Upcycling, a combination of the words “up” and “recycle” ” ,” refers to the process of using old, unwanted, or otherwise useless items to create something of greater value and usefulness. Perhaps you have heard of some easy ways to do this at home, say by using an old sauce jar and turning it into a spice container, or using cardboard boxes to make arts and crafts.  


But aside from using small household items in this manner, other environmentalists have found unique and inspiring ways to take their upcycling game to the next level. Keep reading to learn about 5 unique ways to upcycle unwanted items.


Revamping Old Furniture



You might have seen videos of people designing and creating their own furniture before, but a recent upcycling trend has become more mainstream on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Videos usually involve a person who has found a piece of furniture that has been either left for disposal or abandoned on the side of the road. Whoever finds it then uses their creativity to upcycle the old piece of furniture into a completely brand new work.


Some examples include turning old tables into fancy desks, reupholstering old sofas into new ones, and even turning boxes made for Legos into fashionable shelves. These upcycled pieces not only help to add visual interest and practical value to one’s homes, but also serve as creative outlets that help the environment!


Thrift flipping



“Thrift flip” is a phrase that has been used more frequently in YouTube fashion videos in recent years. In an effort to support sustainable fashion and clothing choices, YouTubers post videos of themselves purchasing second hand clothes from thrift shops and later turning them into more fashionable and trendy pieces.


The extent of the changes made by these vloggers include anything from altering the fit of an oversized top to turning an old, outdated dress into a trendier and more appealing modern one. Some of these videos garner millions of views, proving that clothes dont need to be brand new to be stylish.




Photo of EcoBricks from


An EcoBrick is a PET bottle that is packed with clean and dry plastic waste that can be used as a reusable building material. It is a relatively easy and creative way to keep plastics from degrading into harmful toxic wastes while also making it more useful for daily use. 


Uses of EcoBricks include using them for short-term modular units for furniture and making earth gardens from the bricks and an earthen material for binding. Not only is it incredible easy to create an EcoBrick at home, it also encourages awareness and responsibility over our consumption and wastage of plastics and other such materials.


Upcycled Melodies


Photo of Cateura Recycled Orchestra from


In 2015, a film titled Landfill Harmonic was released to the public. The award-winning film focuses on a special orchestra based in Paraguay. Unlike any regular orchestra, the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, just as the name suggests, uses upcycled musical instruments.


The entire orchestra’s set of violins, trumpets, drums, and other instruments are crafted from waste materials in the local landfill. Despite being from poverty-stricken areas, the children who participate in the Recycled Orchestra not only learn to be creative through music, they also teach the rest of us about how even something intangible like art can be used to support the preservation of the environment. 


Vegan Leather



In an effort to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly, some companies have innovated by turning food waste into useful and durable materials like leather. Our very own RINGO-TEX is an example of upcycled materials since it is vegan leather made from dried apple residue


The apple residue, which mainly contains the skin and flesh of juiced apples, comes from local juice manufacturers in our hometown of Aomori in Japan. Instead of throwing the waste away, appcycle inc. has created a way to turn it into a vegan and environmentally friendly leather alternative. Through making RINGO-TEX, we hope to support our local community while also keeping our environment healthy.




The possibilities are endless when it comes to upcycling for the sake of our environment and our planet’s future. We hope that the examples we gave today have given you some insight into the many ways you can participate in making the world a cleaner, greener place. If you want to learn more about upcycling and other environment related topics, be sure to check out our blog here. And don’t forget to like and follow RINGO-TEX Global’s official Facebook and Instagram pages to keep up with new blog posts and products.

This article was written by Yvonne Gonzales