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Recycling vs Upcycling : what is the difference?

Updated: Jul 9



When thinking about a product end of life, recycling tends to come to our mind. However, there are other actions we can take before getting to that last stage.





When thinking about a product end of life, recycling tends to come to our mind. However, there are other actions we can take before getting to that last stage.


Recycling is actually the third step of the entire process to try to eliminate as much waste as possible


The first step is and should be reducing your consumption.

Indeed, if we could all reduce the amount of waste we create, we could then reduce the overall size of our landfills and ocean pollution.


The second step is where we see upcycling come into play. Upcycling is about reusing the products that we have obtained instead of throwing them directly into the garbage.

In other words, upcycling is the action of taking an object and converting it into something new that can be continuously used. A great example of upcycling is converting an old tire and turning into outdoor seating or taking an old sock and turning it into a dog toy.


The third and final step of the process is recycling as much as we can to reuse it in manufacturing.


The difference between recycling and upcycling is that recycling has to go through a facility to break it down in order to reuse it in the manufacturing process.

Upcycling is where you take the product and reuse and/or improve it in some way to make it useful again.


On Parsol, there are a few brands mastering the art of giving a second life to existing resources through recycling or upcycling.

Recycling: Shak and Kai, INASKA, Zsilt, Ocealah.

Upcycling: Flip & Flip, ANTI, Gaspard, E.L.V. Denim.


Check them out!


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