According to WiseGeek.com…
“Upcycling is a process in which disposable or discarded items are repurposed to make them (more) valuable, useful, or simply aesthetically pleasing. Upcycling is designed to work in opposition to consumer culture, encouraging people to think of new and innovative ways to use things, instead of simply buying new consumer goods. It also benefits the environment, by promoting reuse (and re-making) over discarding whenever possible.”
(emphasis and my personal opinions added)
Even though upcycling may seem like a new, modern, hip way of thinking and reusing, it’s actually as not. Just ask any poor person, who has had to find a way of using, mending or re-making what they have rather than buying something new. It’s their way of life.
You could also ask Maria from The Sound of Music.
Here she is contemplating just how to get play clothes for the Von Trapp children… or so I imagine. And then, SHAZAM! It hits her! She can upcycle the drapes from her bedroom!
Oh, hello there vintage green damask print. What a lovely yet misunderstood piece of fabric you are.
Are you starting to get the idea? Get out there and try it for yourself. Be made new, friends!