Individual upcycling practice: Exploring the possible determinants of upcycling based on a literature review
The Centre for Sustainable Design
Individual upcycling – the creation or creative modification of any product out of used materials in an attempt to generate a product of higher quality or value than the compositional elements – has recently been advocated by many as a means to reduce waste, yet is still marginal. Considering the implied benefit to sustainable production and consumption, the most relevant question at this point may be how to scale up this marginal practice into mainstream practice to make a bigger impact in society and environment. In order to generate effective scaling-up strategies for change, it is essential to understand the determinants of upcycling (i.e. what drives and facilitates it). This paper reviews relevant contemporary literature and identifies a set of determinants. The synthesized result, despite its partiality, shows possible examples of design and policy implications for scaling-up, and leads to future research suggestions.
This work was undertaken in Sustainable Consumption Research Group at Nottingham Trent University.
design, sustainability, consumption, production, upcycling, psychology, behaviour
Sung, K., Cooper, T. and Kettley, S. (2014) Individual upcycling practice: Exploring the possible determinants of upcycling based on a literature review. Proceedings of the Sustainable Innovation 2014 Conference, Copenhagen, 3-4 November, pp.237-244
Institute of Art and Design