What is “Upcycling?”

What is “Upcycling?”
Upcycle (verb): “to recycle (something) in such a way that the resulting product is of a higher value than the original item: to create an object of greater value from (a discarded object of lesser value)” (Merriam-Webster).
Upcycling can also be described as the creative reuse of waste products. An example of this I recently spearheaded was the upcycling of elementary school desks. My house is located behind a local elementary school and I recently noticed a few desks sitting by the dumpster ready to be discarded. I figured, “why not find a way to use these for the backyard vegetable garden my brother has been working on?” Instead of letting these desks make their way to a landfill, my brother and I decided to repurpose them by drilling holes in the tops of the desks to put small pots for seedlings.
This same concept is how Luxury Leaf manufactures its hemp facemasks. Luxury Leaf Founder and CEO, Kyle Oliveira, along with the help of his grandmother, utilizes misprinted shirts to layer the inside of the hemp facemasks with a comfortable material that is both breathable and protective. The outside layer of these hemp facemasks is made from Luxury Leaf drawstring bags. Oliveira and his grandmother found a way to progressively use materials that otherwise would have been considered waste.
Luxury Leaf’s mask-making process epitomizes the brand mission. Luxury Leaf is looking to change the fashion industry by making it more sustainable. Using hemp rather than cotton saves water and upcycling materials allow Luxury Leaf to minimize waste. You can purchase an upcycled, hemp facemask on our website.

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