By Fredrika Syren:
Last week I wrote about how the world is drowning in waste and how we need to recycle more in order to reduce it. The silver lining to the trash problem is that there are many amazing upcycling inventions happening. There are companies that literally saw our waste as their treasure and now create green and sustainable products from it. Here are just a few. Check them out.
Plastic Bottles to Fashionable Flats:
The San Francisco-based shoe company Rothy’s has taken on a huge environmental responsibility by using a 3-D knitting process and polyester fiber sourced from 100% recycled water bottles. Their shoes’ soles are made from carbon-free recyclable rubber, and the insoles from recyclable foam. With this material, they are making a very chic and — yes — comfortable flat. The shoe comes in two classic silhouettes, the flat and the point, and is available in 17 shades of chic colors and patterns.
Pineapple Waste Turned into Leather:
Ananas Anam is taking waste product from the production of pineapples and using it to weave an exciting new leather-like substance. The material is made from fine cellulose fibers extracted from pineapple leaves, which are considered an agricultural byproduct and usually burned or left to decompose.
The project, called Piñatex, recovers this waste from pineapple plantations in the Philippines, where the original development took place. Local factories there separate the strands and felt them together into a strong, nonwoven fabric that can be used for clothes, handbags, footwear or furniture. It takes about 480 pineapple leaves to manufacture a single square meter of Piñatex. The fabric is less expensive and more lightweight than an equal quantity of leather. It is breathable and flexible, and can be printed, painted and stitched. Its production allows it to be delivered in a roll, avoiding the waste caused by irregularly shaped leather hides.
Aluminum Cans to Bike:
How can you make biking even more earth friendly? By cycling on a bike made from post-recycled aluminum and cork. Oregon based company ReCycle makes all its bikes from recycled and reused materials, and they are all made in the USA. The company even has plans for a future program whereby customers can bring in used aluminum items and have them turned into a new bike.
Plastic Waste to Cool Backpack:
Take one look at our beaches and you’ll see lots of plastic, so buying products made from recycled plastic is one great way to help the planet. The Engage Green Backpack is just one of many backpacks made from recycled plastic. This bag contains a high quality polyester fiber made from 100% PETE bottles, post-consumer.
Wine Bottles to Glasses:
That glass can be recycled is nothing new, but I love how recycled bottles turn into beautiful drinking glasses made with 100% recycled materials from Oenophilia.