Upcycling Innovation


Handmade’s designers are incredibly clever. Not only do they dream up new and exciting products, they also manufacture them by hand using artisan techniques. But not only that, so many of them source sustainable and ethical materials with which to make their wares. Or go one step further, repurposing and recycling items that would have been thrown away to make something beautiful and unique.

Take Upswitch for example. Melbourne’s Michael Hanley brings old forgotten objects back to life by transforming them into lamps, lighting and homewares. From science and laboratory instruments to photographic equipment and salvaged timbers, neglected objects are restored with a twist.

Local Canberra business, Basscase upcycles vintage suitcases and turns them into retro speakers with modern gadgetry. All of the cases have Bluetooth, are rechargeable and combine high quality hardware and crisp sound with traditional styling, with everything possible repurposed down to the last screw.

Also local, Kingfish & Co turns old pieces of timber into new pieces of furniture, upcycling doors, pallets and previously unloved furniture into something fresh. From elaborate indoor and outdoor furniture to simple ornaments, the range changes according to what’s available.

Combining intricate product design with recycling is what Domingo Morchio does for his business, Mi-Wallet. Not only are these pieces crafted from recycled newspaper sheets specially selected for their images, but the design is hardwearing, intricate and beautiful, with the folds thought through to the last millimetre. Mi-Wallet is the perfect example of a product that will make people think about sustainable design.

As with all original designs, these businesses not only craft their products from what is available to them, making the range ever-changing, but they also welcome commissions. If you have an old case that could be repurposed as a speaker, an antique that you would like to turn into a light, a map or poster you would like to have as a wallet, or you want to commission a beautiful piece of furniture for yourself, get in touch with these clever and resourceful people. They will all be at the next Handmade Market on 23 & 24 March, 10am – 4pm at Exhibition Park.