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Upcycling - "On the Upside"

Yikes - stats from a couple of years ago show that the UK sent more than 10 million items of furniture to landfill. Whilst some of these pieces have a very short life due to the low quality materials used, many could have been saved, restored and repaired. It’s a similar story with clothing. In 2017 there were some 235 million pieces which were discarded to waste. It doesn't have to be this way.

I am very keen on re-using stuff and keeping things in action as long as possible. So, I was really excited to meet up with Samantha from “On the Upside” this week to learn more about what she’s doing in this area and her very exciting plans.

In August last year she moved her upcycling business out of her home and into premises next to the harbour in Nairn. As I step into the shop it feels warm, despite the dreary weather outside, and intriguing.

All those who know me are aware of my general “dislike” of shopping ! I usually get very little pleasure from it and just seem to have so many other things I’d rather be doing. For me it’s a functional activity. HOWEVER, in this delightful space it’s different. I have the urge to delve in and find out more.

But before I do that, we sit and chat about the ethos of the place. Unsurprisingly, we share a lot of values. Most of the furniture upcycling (both for the shop and commissioned work) she does herself. She collaborates with a bunch of upcyclers to fill the shop with useful and unique items. Samantha is keen to keep traditional practices in action and inspire others to learn more. There is a plan for workshops in the future so anybody can come and explore how to preserve, enhance and enjoy things from the past.

Before I leave I eagerly wander around. Each of the pieces has a story. 💚There are bags made from former sails, bottle openers from old skateboards, an array of transformed storage units, a coat rack from door handles and some gorgeous aprons upcycled from vintage denim. I am seriously tempted with the last item. However, I practice “the pause” and will sleep on it before going for it.

I come away with a renewed vigour to consciously think how I can keep things in action longer both for my own home and that of my clients.

This treasure trove of vintage and upcycled delights is a special place that is well worth a visit. You can find out more on her website

I'd love to hear your own upcycling stories. Jodi x


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