The five American companies listed below take the saying, “One man's trash is another man's treasure” to a whole new level. They specialize in the REUSE part of the three R's: Reduce Reuse Recycle. I've picked five companies to represent the current trend of up-cycling, and they are doing it all American-made.
Instead of using natural resources and energy to make a new products from scratch, these companies were founded on the belief that already existing materials can work just as well, if not better, as the primary component in the creation of their products. Keeping items out of our nation's landfills is important to those who are proud of the uniqueness and quality of their up-cycled American made products. Oh, and while you are perusing their websites, remember that gift you need to purchase for Mother's Day, Father's Day or that wedding next month!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Five Picks for Upcycled Products Made in the USA
1. SEA BAGS
Sea Bags, located in Portland Maine, up-cycles unwanted sails into durable and fashionable bags and accessories. Among the variety of accessories Sea Bags manufactures are wine bags, coasters, placemats, and guestbooks- all items that make great additions to a nautical themed party or wedding. Sea Bags accepts unwanted sails from all over the US and they will pay for shipping or arrange for sail pickup. Trade your used, unwanted, sail for a bag, or make a tax-deductible donation instead of taking it to the landfill.
2. THE GIVING KEYS
The Giving Keys jewelry pieces are handmade by individuals transitioning from homelessness in the USA from repurposed keys. Each key is engraved with a message like HOPE, LOVE, or BELIEVE. The wearer of a Giving Key is encouraged to give their key to a person in need of the message when the time arises.
3. CONANT METAL & LIGHT
Conant Metal & Light refurbishes and up-cycles, well, just about anything…into unique pieces of lighting, and furniture that also function as art. Located in Burlington, Vermont, Conant Metal & Light has been in business since 1979 and consists of a team of artists and designers. I am in LOVE with the Canning Jar Collection- which consists of beautiful light fixtures made from canning jars. Do you have an old light fixture from grandma's house taking up space in your attic? Conant Metal & Light can turn that fixture into a beautiful working (and safe) addition to your home.
4. ALCHEMY GOODS
Alchemy Goods turns old bicycle inner tubes, seat belts, and advertising banners into stylish bags, belts and wallets at their facilities in Seattle, Washington. Alchemy Goods, or AG for short, marks each item they manufacture with a tiny number by their logo. This number stands for the amount of up-cycled material (by weight) that goes into that product. Donate your flat bike tubes to Alchemy Goods instead of throwing them away! Check the Alchemy Goods website for locations of participating bike shops.
Paloma Pottery owner, Nicole Whitney, has been making pottery for 15 years in the Pacific Northwest which combines broken recycled glass in her pottery pieces. Paloma Pottery specializes in jewelry and home decor, like the one-of-a-kind unique clocks featured here.