Welcome to our new blog!

Posted by Reparapy On June - 1 - 2009

We hope you like it!

Feel free to look around and tell us what you think!

Emmaline Bride Gift Set Giveaway

Posted by Reparapy On June - 15 - 2009

We believe in the value of well designed, extraordinarily made products. Emmaline Bride does, too. And to say thanks to all those who support what Reparapy does, we have a gift set exclusive to Emmaline Bride...

Attention! Attention!

Posted by Reparapy On June - 1 - 2009

Our Eye Mask in Retro Fabric is featured in an Etsy Treasury...

Treasured Again!

Posted by Reparapy On May - 30 - 2009

It's always an honor to be included in someone's treasury at Etsy. Thanks to snowflakedesign for adding us into her idea of a great spa day.

Read why we couldn't agree more with her....

There ain't no junk in our Trunkt!

Posted by Reparapy On June- 1 - 2009

We have made it!! We're in Trunkt!

Trunkt supports independent artists and designers by giving them portfolio space to present their work. We celebrate their talent in multimedia features.
Trunkt.org brings the best of independent art and design to a global audience hungry for fresh creative talent. Trunkt now features the amazing portfolios of over 1000 talented entrepreneurs from around the world.

Reuse. Recycle. Upcycle?

Posted by Reparapy On 10:23 AM
In every class I took in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas, we were taught about the responsibility of incorporating sustainable or adaptive resuse products into our designs. I am really glad to see that this philosophy is quickly becoming a part of our everyday culture.

Turn on the TV at any given time and you're bound to see commercials for pretty traditional companies touting their environment-friendly redesigned products. From Johnson & Johnson to Target and even the wicked Wal-Mart, everyone is jumping on the recycle and reuse bandwagon.

We are no different at Reparapy. All of our products are as organic and natural as we can find. Our containers are either already recycled glass or plastic that can be recycled. We use natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, and hemp and try to find the least chemically treated fabrics we can. Our shipping materials are bio-degradable and we resuse the leftover batting and fabric as part of our zero waste policy.

We all understand the idea of adaptive resuse, such as taking wood from an old house and using it to make picture frames. But I am really intrigued with the idea of taking something old and making it better than it originally was, thus the term upcycling. Our Chief Design Officer, Connie Jensen, has a shop on Etsy that features some of the products that she has upcycled. The photo at the top of this blog shows some super cool credit card holders that she made from old leather products. You can see more of her products by clicking here.

Well, I decided to take a look at some other upcycled projects so here are a few of my favorites that I found on Etsy...

Take a look at this beauty from the shop Pen Felt. In her words, "This giant American Flag is made of ironed-together plastic grocery bags. It was made by LeBrie Rich and Bill Will for an installation called "New Economy" in 2007. In the installation the flag was inflatable controlled by a coin-op mechanism connected to a squirrel cage fan hidden in a pedestal. Viewers put in a quarter and the flag inflated and lifted off the wall for about 20 seconds."

At $5,000, it's definitely the most expensive upcycled project at Etsy. But as artists around the world know, the price collectors pay is equal to the value they feel they are getting in the piece. You can see more pictures of it at her shop here.

Here's another interesting idea...take old rubber and turn it into a one-of-a-kind haute couture dress. Rezoom did just that and you can have it for $350.Besides being a cool upcycled product, Rezoom chose to promote her concern for endangered bird species through the use of her bird pattern cutouts in the rubber. So, not only is she upcycling, but she's upcycling with a good environmental message. Check out the details here.

Lastly, we go the other end of the spectrum with these clever little guitar picks made from Subway cards. What a wonderful way to keep all those expired or non-used plastic pieces from filling up our already over-burdened landfills. The seller shop is interesting as well as it is sort of a "pay it forward" kind of deal. You can learn more about this shop by clicking here.

So, in closing for the day, I have been inspired to look around me and see what I might be able to upcycle. I challenge all of you to do the same and I would love to see what you come up with. I'll share my ideas as well.

Always remember, good work can be good fun, too!

Zara Kramer

18 Response to "Reuse. Recycle. Upcycle?"

  1. Audrey Said,

    Was just at your shop - very cool!!


  2. NYCbabe Said,

    This is a very good topic, and I really like that you take the time out of your busy schedule to write it. Thanks!

    I wish I were creative enough to reuse material like Connie, LeBrie and Bill. I mean, I am an avid recycler and I try to reuse items like plastic bottles. Nothing of my creation is as clever the ones on your post! Kudos to them and to you for finding them!

    Keep this coming!


  3. Tessa Said,

    Great post! I love reusing stuff and seeing what others do to reuse as well. :)


  4. I love that American Flag idea and am dying to try fusing plastic bags! I've been saving them up but can't decide what to do with them yet.


  5. I love that bubble dress, I could see it on my daughter *daydreams*
    But the American flag is fantastic!


  6. The only thing I don't like about "ucycling" is when someone takes an antique or older dress in perfect condition and changes it. It makes vintage clothing collectors cry. I am okay when something is damaged beyond use in its current form, and there are some dime a dozen run of the mill dresses that it can be done with, but I have seen very collectible 50s ballgowns and hard to find 30s bias cut dresses slashed.

    Otherwise, I like upcycling quite a bit...


  7. nice blog and great way to get visitors. hope you are returning the favor. best of luck.


  8. Anonymous Said,

    You do such a great job! Not only do you upcycle, you do it fabulously! I love people with social consciousness! And I think, whatever you do, do it with style- and that's what you guys are doing:)


  9. Tickleworm Said,

    I love this entry! I love upcycling, and incorporate it into my shop. Great blog!


  10. katy Said,

    this is a great entry! i love the guitar picks, i'm going to check out the shop right now. thanks!


  11. Carapace Said,

    I really admire artists who can see something new in an old tool or item; it's so much harder than just starting with a blank canvas. Thanks for linking these shops!


  12. wow, making guitar picks out of unwanted plastic cards. that's just brilliant!


  13. throuthehaze Said,

    what a great idea for guitar picks! I never would have thought to do that!


  14. Love those guitar picks. I recently upcycled cereal boxes to promote my ETSY shop.


  15. Kristie Said,

    wow, love the dress and the flag A++++++


  16. liz davison Said,

    the guitar picks are great!


  17. Great blog! Love the idea of repurposing....check out old jewelry for reusing beads in new designs also a great idea!


Post a Comment

    Reparapy on Trunkt!


    Here you will discover ways people just like you and me live life to the fullest.