UPCYCLING

Upcycling is the process of reintroducing products back into use that would otherwise be destined to become waste.

Whether reusing cotton, transforming tents, or reimagining leather, upcycling allows for an endless amount of possibilities that are only limited by the imagination.

Upcycling creates new and refreshed pieces that are of higher value, better quality, and more useful than the items that have fallen out of use. What would otherwise be waste is given a second life, and can be used to create a range of seasonal fabrics with a uniquely vintage flare.

A Leather Alternative: Upcycled Leather

Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of vegan leather substitutes. Unfortunately, many of these are plastic based and less sustainable than you might think.

Many faux leathers are made from petrochemicals or plastics, the most common of which are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane. To create these usually requires a lot of energy and intense chemical processing to mimic the texture of leather.

One of the most sustainable options out there is to prevent virgin material being introduced in the first place. That is why Cariki has decided to use quality leather offcuts collected from Italian Leather producers which would otherwise be destined for landfill.

UP TO 50% OF THE LEATHER HIDE IS OFTEN WASTED AND DESTINED FOR LANDFILL

B-10 Cariki upcycled leather jacket vintage black

UPCYCLED LEATHER - A TRUE VINTAGE VIBE WITHOUT THE ENVIRONMENT SUFFERING

Real leather has been used in clothing for thousands of years. It is more durable than most plastic alternatives, which helps to reduce waste over the long run.

As it is natural it will eventually biodegrade rather than release toxins and microplastics as it decomposes, or better still it can be fully recycled into new and upcycled products.

Leather production still has major environmental implications, however by using leather offcuts Cariki is helping to prevent good quality leather waste from ending up in landfills.

Currently there are no better alternatives that provide greater sustainability whilst also providing the same amazing look and feel as real leather.

“PVC is the single most environmentally damaging type of plastic.”

Greenpeace
Cariki are the first streetwear brand in the UK to turn recycled tents into forward thinking windbreakers.
IMG - centre align, square, white sides showing

Ever wondered what happened to your tent after you left it at your last festival? Considered that it might be reintroduced as a windbreaker?

Our upcycled tent jackets reinvents your left over tents instead of throwing them away and leaving them to waste.

"I HAVE ENJOYED LETTING GO AT A NUMBER OF FESTIVALS, BUT IT ALWAYS BRINGS ME BACK TO REALITY WHEN I SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR FUN LEFT BEHIND. WE WANTED TO TRY TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, AND OUR PROUD OF WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED."

Tom Hole, Founder of Cariki

Tents form the perfect fabric. They are lightweight and water resistance, and come in a range of unique festival colours.

We weren’t happy to stop there, so added a bamboo inner lining to make the jacket feel soft and breathable on your skin.

Not only is this upcycling with style, it is actually comfortable enough to wear every day.

The Difference Between Recycling and Upcycling

Recycling and Upcycling are different...

Upcycling views waste as a resource which can be creatively transformed to give it a second life. To recycle something requires breaking it down into its basic state so it can be remade into something of value.

Both recycling and upcycling reuse materials instead of throwing them away, both preventing landfill waste and having a positive impact on the environment.

NEARLY THREE-FIFTHS OF ALL CLOTHING ENDS UP IN INCINERATORS OR LANDFILLS WITHIN A YEAR OF BEING PRODUCED

- The New York Times
Plastic, it doesn’t have to be a dirty word… it can be remade into incredible things.
A sea turtle entangled in a ghost net.
Photo credits: Francis Perez

Plastic is one of the most versatile materials on the planet. Its longevity makes it suitable for almost any purpose, but also means that when thrown away it does not decompose, and this creates a problem.

Of the 8.3 billion metric tonnes that has ever been created, 6.3 billion has become waste. Of this, only 9% has been recycled. There are already patches of garbage floating in the oceans that are greater in size than European countries.

The largest of these is known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and is three times the size of France. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. Something must be done to reintroduce plastic back into consumption.

1.15 TO 2.41 MILLION METRIC TONNES OF PLASTIC ARE ENTERING THE OCEAN EACH YEAR

Turning plastic into clothing

Plastic is first sorted and forced into bales so that it can be easily transported to processing plants, it is washed, labels and caps removed, sterilized and separated by colour. After this, the bottles are crushed and chopped into flakes before being poured into large vats and melted down.

This liquid is next forced through spinnerets, shower head like devices which create long fibres of polyester strands. Once produced, these strands can be stretched, cut and crimped to the desired size and strength, before being sent to manufacturers where thread can be woven into fabric. The end result, an eco-fibre which is virtually identical to non-recycled fabrics.

The process not only prevents plastic heading to the landfill where it would otherwise be destined to remain for thousands of years, it also reduces the need for virgin material to be produced, saving energy, petroleum and water. PET can be made from post-consumer plastic, such as water bottles, or pre-consumer (post-industrial) waste such as plastic fibre products, tire cord, or the by-product of polymerization plants.

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