Upcycling definition

What is the upcycling in sewing?

At the house of My Little Coupon, the upcycling and its cogs punctuate our daily life. However if you have just met us, you may not yet be familiar with this notion of overcling (Upcycling in English).

This article was written for everyone, namely Couture enthusiasts But not only in order to familiarize yourself with the upcycling, or what is often called the Recycling from above !

Happy reading !


The Ecological imperatives generate new initiatives aimed at adopting a more ethical consumption mode and at promote the circular economy. Recycling - now well rooted in mentalities - becomes even more relevant by evolving towards the upcyling which values ​​used objects by giving them a more qualitative new life. 

Where does the upcycling come from?

Upcycling Origins

The invention of the term "Upcycling" is attributed to the engineer Reiner Pilz, in the 1990s. Converted into an interior architect, he opposed his concept to the Downcyling which devalues ​​the recycled object. 

The upcycling is reflected in French by "extracycling", sometimes "ucycling". The English "up" is important because it introduces the concept of recycling from above. The upcycled product is no longer a slightly less qualitative version than what it was originally, but on the contrary an improved variant. 

The upcycling consists in appropriating materials or objects, then transforming them into a high -end product, sometimes very far from their original use. In contrast, recycling generally consists in restoring the same use to the product. In addition, ideally, the upcycling follows a virtuous process, while recycling requires a lot of energy - and often water - to rehabilitate the materials concerned. 

Who practices upcycling?

Upcycling is a Responsible and ethical concept which concerns everyone, individuals and professionals. It has the advantage of creating unique objects or limited series based on quality raw materials. All sectors of activity are affected by the Upcycling. Individuals are also very sensitive to this ethical movement which allows them to access qualitative products, without undergoing prohibitive costs.  

The fashion and decoration sectors are particularly fond of the upcycling. Take the example of the fabric (well chosen right?). Haute Couture houses have ends of series which are intended for the rebuilding.

The upcycler means recovering them before they are thrown to transform them into excellent quality clothes and accessories. However, no energy should be spent to prepare these tissues for their retraining. 

At the house of My Little Coupon, all of our fabrics come from the end of series of haute couture houses. Both a guarantee of revaluation and quality.

The virtues of the upcycling: why practice it?

The first virtue of the Upcycling naturally concerns ecology and the preservation of the environment. He participates in the search for zero waste. Avoid making new products saves raw materials, as well as the energy necessary for their transformation. Waste treatment is also a pitfall for which we still do not have a satisfactory solution.

The second virtue of the upcycling affects the economy, for two major reasons. On the one hand, the upcycling allows you to use raw materials at an affordable cost; On the other hand, the consumer benefits from a high -end product for a reasonable price.

Let's take up the example of the upcycling of haute couture house fabric. Its purchase is within everyone's reach and its transformation allows Wear clothes of incomparable quality.

For those and those who do not have the means to directly buy finished products from haute couture houses thus bypass the traditional economic model, to your benefit! 

Another, equally interesting virtue, the upcycling is aimed at everyone. A company can use it for its production, while an individual has the technical and financial means to upcycler products from his daily life.

This is not the case with recycling, often expensive and requiring specific equipment. 

The upcycling on the way to becoming a new pillar of the circular economy

The development of theupcycling It is only in its beginnings. He has a bright future ahead of him and is about to become a pillar of thecircular economy. By discovering this innovative concept, professionals become creative and invent new Upcycling applications every day. 

The sale of maritime containers is a glaring example of this inventiveness on the part of entrepreneurs. After having traveled thousands, even millions of kilometers on the oceans, these containers are upcycled in housing, refrigeration warehouses, sports stands, offices, sports, sanitary clocks, fries hut ...


Be sure, the upcycling has not finished talking about him!


And if you want to practice upcycling in sewing, using ready to be upcycled fabrics; We put them back on the market for you!

Discover our fabrics from dormant stocks of the most beautiful fashion houses, just here


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18 November, 2022

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