Just because the Rainforest Alliance is dead serious about protecting the planet doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. One of our favorite Earth-positive trends is upcycling, the practice of using discarded materials to create something new and fabulous. Good for the environment, good for style—a win-win in our book.
Upcyclers, ranging from art school-trained sculptors to eco-fashionistas, are creating products that make style mavens drool: tote bags made from a ship’s tattered sails, motorcycle jackets patched together from discarded leather scraps and shelves made from planks that once graced the lanes of a bowling alley.
Upcyclers have put their talents to use in developing countries, too. One ingenious designer illuminated dark dwellings in the slums of Manila by wedging chlorinated water-filled bottles through tin or cardboard roofs to let the sunlight in.
Since sustainability is at the very core of everything we do, we especially love these Rainforest Alliance-specific examples* of upcycling from our Instagram community. We’d love to see yours; just tag them with #FollowTheFrog!
1. @alexandraraw upcycled a Rainforest Alliance Certified sticker to decorate her dad’s phone after he complained about the device’s original “stupid, stupid logo.”
2. @apenbird made this lovely rainbow-handled tote out of coffee sacks from a Rainforest Alliance Certified farm.
3. @theartisancoffeeroaster upcycled coffee sacks from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms into attractive cafe chairs.
4. @sophiaperez spotted this stylish, upcycled bag, made from the fabric of a Rainforest Alliance Certified farm’s coffee sack, in Bilbao, Spain.
5. @flavianotebook gave packaging from Rainforest Alliance Certified Flavia hazelnut coffee a new life as this charming notebook.
6. @groundedcoffeeco made this rustic-chic bag from a Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee sack.
*These talented upcyclers created the items pictured above for their personal use. If you intend to sell items made with upcycled materials bearing the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal, please contact us to inquire about licensing: firstname.lastname@example.org.