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Upcycling For Cyclical Living


Rebirth is one of the most meaningful concepts in life for me. It’s a philosophy of living. By nature, humans get bored or give up too easily. When something loses its function, most of the time, we don’t stop to think about how we can preserve it or even make it better with certain additions. We discard objects as trash based on their expiration dates. Just because things get old, we turn them into waste without making any effort to transform them for reuse. This unfavourable approach is not limited to objects and can also extend to relationships. We can easily give up on relations or people in our lives just as we discard our old stuff. I feel the excess amount of options has made us ungrateful. We live and try to exist in a consumption society. It has been a long time since we last asked what we need and why we need them. Besides, I feel we’re wasting what is genuinely valuable in our pursuit of things we don’t need.


LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS


José Mujica, former president of Uruguay, perfectly summarises this current problem in the documentary Human: “We have invented a mountain of superfluous needs. Shopping for new, discarding the old… That’s a waste of our lives! When I buy something, when you buy something, you’re not paying money for it. You’re paying with the hours of life you had to spend earning that money. The difference is that life is one thing money can’t buy. Life only gets shorter. And it is pitiful to waste one’s life and freedom that way.” I think we should heed his words and frequently remind ourselves: There is no trash in nature. Just as aspects of our personality that require changing or transformation, we can also change or transform useless things. We can make something more functional if we can no longer find a use for it or if it is too old, which will pa ve the way for cyclical living. Regarding sustainability and recycling, we need to find long-term solutions in our lives; transient practices only waste time and money. I believe this philosophy to be crucial. Maybe, in the future, it will be this line of thinking that will save humankind. These are the reasons why I enjoy embedding sustainability in my life and work and try to pursue it as a goal.


COTTON IS A WASTE-FREE MATERIAL, WHICH MEANS THAT WHEN PUT THROUGH REQUIRED PROCESSES, EVERY PIECE OF IT CAN BE USED CYCLICALLY.


My family has been in the trade business for cotton products for many years. Cotton is a waste-free material, which means that when put through certain required processes, every piece of it can be used cyclically. Its seeds can be used as a pulp and its soil can be used as biodiesel for machinery. Surprisingly, the most valuable part is the remaining stacks which, ironically, are used to print money. In short, my job has enabled me to personally see how the concept of trash doesn’t really exist. This is indeed a fine example for the “deconstruct, reshape, and make it better” philosophy. It heralds rebirth, change, and creation for a completely better way of living. I practice this in the products I make. Upcycling provides a new function of materials we regard to be worthy of discarding. We turn materials that have no independent use into functional ones, without changing them. The essence of the material stays the same but i t becomes part of a usable product. This reduces both the damage we inflict on nature and the cost of raw materials which are the most expensive units in products. Long story short, through upcycling and rebirth, everybody wins.

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