Designer    News 01 Feb 2015

Upcycling Furniture: New website ‘Remade in Britain’ makes a home for over 280m tonnes of UK waste

For those who assumed ‘upcycling’ simply meant going uphill on a bike, read on…

Repurposing waste items is nothing particularly new – the Wombles of Wimbledon Common have been doing it for years after all – but a new website aims to make it easier for discarded-turned-desirable items to find new homes.

Remade in Britain is the first dedicated retail platform for businesses turning some of the 280m tonnes of waste produced each year in the UK into sought-after items. At launch, it features 300 upcycling retailers across furniture, interiors, lighting, clothing, jewellery and accessories and hopes to increase this to more than 1,000 over the next year.

The term ‘upcycling’ was coined in Germany in the early 1990s and refers to the reusing of discarded items or materials into items of higher quality and value, as opposed to recycling which involves breaking them down to create something entirely new.

Items listed on the Remade in Britain site range from furniture made out of discarded pallets to lamp stands created with motorbike parts, lighting fashioned from plastic drinks bottles and vintage textiles repurposed into clothing and home accessories.

Amongst the 300 plus retailers currently registered on the website is Max McMurdo, founder of eco design business Reestore. McMurdo has created a number of bespoke furniture items including a V8 engine coffee table, bath tub sofa and baby grand piano shelving unit.

He said: “Upcycling is a movement which is ever growing in both popularity and consumer interest and it’s great to see Remade in Britain offering a much-needed platform to bring this vibrant community together. The beauty of upcycling is that there are quite literally no limits to what you can create.”

Remade in Britain /