Environment: Do more than just recycle – Upcycle

22nd July 2019 / United Kingdom

By Robert Woodward – TruePublica Editor: The economics and science of climate emergency is now known – there are no ifs, no buts. The conspiracy theory if anything is that the current environmental crisis is somehow natural and nothing to do with human activity. The endless pursuit of economic growth is sold to us as GDP. Frankly, it means little to most people. But endless growth is devouring the very foundations of life on Earth, and no country – no matter where, no matter how wealthy or poor can expect to escape the dire consequences of the emerging crisis if things go on as they are. And it’s not just the climate human activity is affecting. The United Nations most recent report says that a million species are now threatened as a direct result of human presence.

“No country on Earth is doing what is required to make sure we get toward an economic system capable of confronting the twin challenges of ecological collapse and climate change,” said Laurie Laybourn-Langton, an associate fellow at London’s Institute for Public Policy Research and lead author of a new report on environmental breakdown titled This Is A Crisis. “There are, though, a number of ideas and small-scale projects being done that arguably – if scaled up – could deal with the problem,” he said.

Candidates for this change include – locally run clean energy projects, worker-owned cooperatives, many kinds of progressive businesses, and regenerative agriculture or rewilding practices that could grow exponentially in a favourable policy environment. It’s clear that anything we can do to stop trashing the world, no matter how small is now important.

The question is how might we, as individuals or business owners, are able to change course or help? Well, there are many things you can do personally to contribute to a less polluted world. For instance, you could find a supplier of energy for your home that only derives its power from renewables. Scottish Power does exactly that. Or you could reduce your commuting carbon footprint by car-sharing, ride a bike or by taking public transport. You could buy less food sold in plastics and use reusable bags. There are quite a few ways to reduce planetary pollution.

There is recycling which follows the philosophy that used items can still be useful in some way or provide useful materials for something else. Then there is Upcycling. This goes with the same philosophy but takes it a useful step further, by ensuring that used items that may in the past simply be classed as waste or recycling, can, in fact, be even more desirable than the original product.

Most companies involved in ‘upcycling’ are simply restoring old items like furniture. They repair, repaint, re-upholster and accessorise to increase the value of an old piece. In truth, they are really restoration projects. Today, there is a range of technically advanced paints that can be used to modernise old materials effectively. Antique dealers have been using all manner of techniques of upcycling for decades.

However, there is a new kid on the upcycling block. Something that really is new, far more exciting and adds considerably greater value to a project as well as being environmentally friendly. To be technical, the product being used is called 3M Di-NOC architectural finishes – and very few companies in the UK can offer the highly specialised skills required to achieve truly fantastic results.

3M Di-NOC architectural finishes are a family of technically advanced, extremely flexible, durable self-adhesive laminates for the redesign of every surface both inside and even outside. They were born in the wrapping of cars to give paint quality finish that was basically unachievable without spending huge sums of money.

One such company using these new materials for upcycling is the Wrapped Write Company  (Full disclosure here – we are not being paid to place this company name or their services).


SafeSubcribe/Instant Unsubscribe - One Email, Every Sunday Morning - So You Miss Nothing - That's It



Floors, walls, ceilings, coffee tables, you name it – it can be ‘wrapped.’

With these new materials, they can now ‘wrap’ – the term used for covering surfaces, from domestic and commercial furniture, fixtures and fittings in offices, hotel rooms to shop furnishings. No one else is providing this service in the South of England, so it really could be something that ends up being the next big thing.

At the Wrapped Write Company, they have the highest accreditation in the motor industry – an industry with exemplary standards of finish but they have moved on to what is termed ‘architectural finishes’. These finishes are quite honestly amazing – they genuinely look like the real thing. From woods and metals to stone, marble and even concrete. There is even one laminate that looks like the finest stretched leather and another with a glass finish. The carbon fibre finishes are really quite something to see.

Upcycling not only takes advantage of the environmental movement but also has the cost-conscious in mind – something that consumers are more aware of today than ever before.

This company can, for instance, wrap a hotel bar, typically taking just one day, whilst giving the client far more choice in finishings and aesthetic looks than traditional finishes. The reduction in business disruption alone clearly makes good business sense. After all, how long would it take to physically rip out a bar, make good and replace with something brand new? A week, more? And the cost? And then there’s the waste it creates, which then ends up in a landfill or worse. As a company, it is possible to wrap a restaurant in natural wood finishes and genuinely state that the environment was at the heart of the decision-making process.

I’m really taken by what these guys can do and I honestly think that more sophisticated recycling known now as ‘Upcycling’ will not just be part be a part of the environmental movement but will become as fashionable as the reconditioned second-hand clothing market is today – whilst the usual retail shops continue their decline. It will, no doubt be a commercial success before moving onto domestic kitchens and furniture. Give it another few years and you’ll be seeing upcycled products everywhere.




At a time when reporting the truth is critical, your support is essential in protecting it.
Find out how

The European Financial Review

European financial review Logo

The European Financial Review is the leading financial intelligence magazine read widely by financial experts and the wider business community.