Ed Cotton: Upcycling Is Logical

Ed Cotton: Upcycling Is Logical

As the earth runs out of natural resources, the price of basic commodities will increase and making it necessary for us to upcycle.

Caroline Ku
  • 5 august 2011

If you read the reports of expert analysts in commodity markets they will tell you that the earth’s resources aren’t finite and in many cases we are soon going to be running short of certain essential supplies.

From an economic perspective, it’s simple—we are going to have to pay more for a number of key commodities.

Obviously, this will impact the price consumers pay, but not all these prices can be passed on to consumers, so companies and brands need to get creative.

Net- this isn’t about the do good feel of sustainability and pleasing a small portion of your audience, more important than keeping hippies happy and saving the planet, it’s about doing the one thing that matters most to every company; saving money  which is the one thing that makes your CEO, CFO and shareholders much happier people.

If you aren’t thinking about your raw materials and waste stream and how you might be able to get some of the items that are thrown out and discarded by consumers back into your system, you are missing a trick.

Every year consumers discard billions of items, the vast majority of it never gets re-used or recycled, much is sent to landfill. Even those brands and companies who are employing some kind of scheme, don’t end up owning the materials, they get sent out to third parties and used overseas or melted down and returned back to the industry. They are recycled and maybe upcycled by other people. not you and you end up missing the opportunity.

If the challenge is too daunting for a single company to take on- why don’t companies form consortia to organize the reclaiming of materials and then buy from the pool?

There’s much more that could be done here and those that move first and fastest are  going to be able to seize the advantage, those that wait on the sidelines are going to find themselves victims of spiraling raw materials prices that will seriously impact the financial health of their business.

Finally, as way of illustration, take a look at this film- it’s from a tiny glasses manufacturer- Shwood in Portland, Oregon who’s just create a line of glasses made from upcycled skateboards.

It shows how simple and straightforward it can be- a great product made from old, that just makes common sense.

Image by Sam Householder.


Ed Cotton is the Director of Strategy at BSSP, and is curious about all things relating to brands, marketing and culture. Read more at Influx Insights.


Plastic Wind Trees Are Bringing Sustainable Power To Residential Homes

Work Today

Amazon Is Experimenting With A 30-Hour Work Week

The online retailer is launching a pilot program that will allow a technical team to work with a considerably shortened schedule

Fitness / Sport Today

How The Rio Olympics Stood For More Than Just Games

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the finest moments beyond sports


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Retail Today

Mobile Travel App Embraces Cognitive Computing

The Orlando Tourism Board is looking to IBM Watson to provide personalized local recommendations for visitors


Walter De Brouwer

Technology, Data, Consumer Health

Automotive Today

Bike-Friendly Apartment Building For Swedish Cyclists

A residential space is being designed for commuters to easily transport goods

Advertising Today

Nike Takes Over An Entire City Block With A Giant Running Track

The Unlimited Stadium is shaped like a 100-meter sole print of the brand's LunarEpic sneaker

Gaming Today

Fortune Cookie Service Brings Bad News To Your Doorstep

To promote their new delivery service Blackbox, the creators of Cards Against Humanity are delivering unfortunate messages in an edible form


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Arts & Culture Today

This Picture Frame Could Be The Lava Lamp For A New Generation

Slow Dance makes real objects appear to move in slow motion

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Today

Airport Mural Puts Passengers In The Clouds

The installation in an Amsterdam terminal lets travelers float through a series of billowing 3D digital shapes

Automotive Today

DevBot Is An Intelligent, Driverless, Electric Car

The unmanned test vehicle from RoboRace is a preview of upcoming AI race models

Fitness / Sport Today

Turn Any Wearable Into A Mental Health Tracker

Cognition Kit is a software platform that lets people track and better understand their cognitive states


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

AR Ski Goggles Make Racing Down The Slopes Even More Immersive

Israeli startup RideOn weaves digital overlays into the thrill of skiing with an unconventional pair of protective eyewear

Advertising Today

Japan Wants To Make 2020 Olympic Medals From Recycled Electronic Waste

The Tokyo Games could showcase the first-ever gold, silver and bronze awards made from discarded phones and computers

Culture Today

This Small Town Has Become A Hide-and-Seek World Championship Destination

An old abandoned village in Northern Italy has become a massive playground for over one hundred competitive players

No search results found.