Unusual Upcycling: Green Trend

Unusual Upcycling: Green Trend

2014 has bought with it a plethora of new products made from unusual and unexpected materials. From vessels made from flowers to a mirror made from chemical waste, these pieces are pushing the boundaries of upcycled and recycled design.

Marcin Rusak's Perishable Vase made from waste flowers_1

This Perishable vase by Royal College of Art student Marcin Rusak is made from waste flowers and designed to naturally biodegrade over time.


As part of Wallpaper Magazine’s 2014 Handmade exhibition, Dutch designers Studio Drift presented this polished mirror made from synthetic Obsidian – natural Obsidian is a glass-like rock found near to volcanoes. The synthetic obsidian is made by creating the conditions of a volcano in an industrial oven. Chemical waste is heated at different temperatures matching those of the melting points of different raw materials such as gold, mercury and silver, which are then extracted in liquid form. All gasses released are kept, purified, cooled and recycled. The ash and residue that remain from this process are then reheated and subjected to a process of vitrification, restructuring the molecules into the homogenous black glass that is synthetic obsidian. With an emission of just 0.1 percent, this method is the most safe and clean way of recycling raw chemical materials in the world.

Bonjour Milan Collection by Atelier Biagetti

Inspired by his home city of Milan, Atelier Biagetti has created a furniture collection that incorporates materials salvaged from the city’s aristocratic palazzos. Called the ‘Bonjour Milan’ collection,  the pieces include a cabinet, a lamp, a large table and groups of side tables made from materials including discarded tiles.

Plag Vessels by Wael Seaby_1

Edinborough College of Art graduate Waël Seaiby has invented a unique four-stage recycling process that transforms everyday HDPE plastic bags into these multicolored, smooth and sculptural vessels.


With a surface that combine a smooth plastic finish with a wood grain-effect, the new Broom bar and counter stools by Philippe Starck for Emeco are made from 75% waste polypropylene and 15% reclaimed wood fibre.

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