Hipcycle.com is a great place to find ecofriendly, unique and useful products at competitive prices. The site is based off of the concept of upcycling, which consists of upgrading objects one would normally throw away, such as a beer bottle or CD cases, to new, useful and environmentally friendly products.
Although the concept may seem foreign, reusing products until they cannot be used anymore is very common in impoverished regions of the world. In fact, until the 1950s, it was regular practice in the U.S., as well. One great aspect of upcycling is that just about anyone can do it. The downside is that it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. The good news is that Hipcycle.com allows people to make environmentally conscious purchases, without having to sacrifice their time and energy.
Upcycling is similar to the idea of recycling. Instead of collecting all your recyclables and turing them in to be melded together and reused, upcycling involves turning items you would normally throw away into cool, new, useful products. Upcycling is not a new concept, and there are dozens of sites that can help people upcycle their possessions, such as instructables.com.
Hipcycle.com is a little different, in that it doesn't require the consumer to be a do-it-yourself enthusiast. Hipcycle has partnered with independent creatives from sites like etsy.com, and takes all the work out of acquiring cool, useful repurposed items, by offering them online at the click of a button.
The site was founded by Andrew Sell, who envisioned a resource similar to amazon, consisting only of upcycled products. His target customer base are largely environmentally conscious people with a quirky taste in decoration. With enough support, the site might help reduce some of the massive landfills developing in the United States.
With sites like Hipcycle.com and upcycled merchandise in general, people can prevent waste from needlessly contributing to these landfills, by giving a second or third life to materials. Andrew Sell maintains that the products offered at Hipcycle.com compete with mainstream merchandise in both aesthetics and price.
Currently, the variety of upcycled merchandise is quite limited. The categories listed on the site include Housewares, Furniture, Garden, Office and Hipcycle Stuff. The Hipcycle Stuff category only has one Hipcycle T-Shirt available, but the company has plans to include more clothing in the future. The Housewares section includes lighting, kitchen, picture frames, baskets, vases, clocks and mirrors, all upcycled from what most people would consider trash.
The Furniture section includes tables, shelves, chairs and benches. Bird feeders, bird houses, flower pots, and rain barrels make up the Garden section, while the Office department is filled with organizational tools, like pencil holders, clipboards, business card holders and pens.
The other obvious appeal to the merchandise available at Hipcycle.com is the truly hip aesthetics of the products. Why buy a generic clock from Target, when you can decorate your home with a unique wooden, eco-friendly clock, or a clock made from vinyl? There are also a lot of different styles represented at Hipcycle.com, so you can keep true to your tastes, while making environmentally conscious choices.