By Jessica A. Luer
BFA Studio Artist and MBA of Sustainable Procurement
Volume Four: Repurpose
Creativity, innovation, and engineering play a huge role in the tasks Rosie had assigned to herself. She had an odd assortment of broken, torn, and well-loved items in her possession. Instead of purchasing new items to replace these old items, she has chosen to give these old items a second purpose of use for her freshly renovated space. Therefore, she decided to practice the concept of repurposing by giving these refurbished items new value for her use with minimal need to spend or waste more money. In theory, she may consider making this project a regular hobby and perhaps transform into a business which ultimately is another way to re-think green.
With so much waste produced by each individual on Earth, upcycling waste where possible is quite profitable, especially when marketed properly. It is no wonder that ‘repurpose’ is the fourth ‘R’ added to the original three concepts of environmental practices to minimalize pollution: reduce, reuse, and recycle. When upcycling, it is essential to pride yourself in the amount of supplied waste and labour put into each refurbished item with the intent of having them last long which then keeps them away from being thrown away longer. It is also essential to encourage your potential customers of these refurbished items to understand the importance of upcycling so they may educate their friends and family to be more environmentally efficient with the items we choose to buy and dispose. It is also crucial to have them understand that in the grand scheme of things that function comes before fashion. However, they must also be aware that these refurbished items just so happen to be trending in fashion anyhow as they are uniquely designed and the fact that green practices are already on the rise, and therefore will continue to rise within businesses’ procurement plans. This notion of upcycling and repurposing not only saves money/make money (and of course reduce pollution impacts), but also brings new and valuable knowledge into the arts and engineering as well as encourage individuals to hone new and valuable skills such as furniture crafting, sewing, interior design, negotiable marketing, and many more that can integrate into eco-innovation.
Repurpose and upcycle trash into treasure.