STARTUPCYCLING – Your tool to start!

What's on

Check out what’s happening in our groups all around the world! Find more information and updates on our social media channels.

#Strong Starter Stories

#1 Youth Education

Patricia is an eco designer living in Trento, Italy. She got inspired by the project and its team and decided to work for a local NGO called Associazione InCo that is focusing on environmental education. Her first project called #RethinkingWaste got funded by the Erasmus+ programme and has just been implemented successfully with 4 partners from Europe!

#2 Zero Waste Shop

Calvin, social entrepreneur from Cape Town, South Africa, was involved in the development of educational material of StartUpcycling.

He got much inspired and decided to set up his own Zero Waste Shop The Daily Goods Store in the heart of #Muizenberg.

Find out more:

#3 Upcycling Studio

The Upcycling Studio Auroville, India, opened a new upcycling shop called StartUpcycling. It's based at the visitor's center where tourists and locals can shop high quality upcycling products made of waste materials sourced from the surrounding. The studio is also offering youth trainings and courses to train them important skills and methods of upcycling techniques.
Find out more here:

#4 Upcycling Design

Inah from Rio de Janeiro developed her own upcycling brand called Metamorfe. The newest product is upcycola which is a pun with upcycle and “sacola” (Brazillian: bag). It is made of fishing net collected from local beaches.

Originally, Inah designed it to go to the supermarket. People bought it to go to the beach instead. In the beginning of July 2019, the government banned the use of plastic bags in the supermarket. Since then, the upcycola is popular to go to supermarkets.

#5 Zero Waste Tea Festival

Every last weekend of June, the tea festival Święto Herbaty / Svátek čaje is transforming the tiny Polish town Cieszyn into a sustainable wonderland!

Our colleague Mariola Kluza has been shaping this festival significantly into a #ZeroWaste initiative including forms of #upcycling.

Find out more:

The eBook is ready

 In the past months, we worked on the development of an eBook. The eBook provides a summary of the educational content developed by the project and provides assistance and inspiration for the educational work in the field of young entrepreneurship using waste.

Throughout the 183 pages, we show how diverse the educational measures can be like.

You can download it HERE or check it out below.

Get inspired and share the upcycling passion!



Join the eCourse "StartUpcycling"

What to do with discarded resources?

Join the eCourse and find out more about waste reduction, upcycling and interesting startups wordwide!

To get started, register here.



Sign up now

The eCourse StartUpcycling will start on the 15th of May. 

Don't miss it - sign up now!

Meet experts like Ribhu from WasteLess and get inspired to get your upcycling initiative or startup going.

For further information follow this link.

Mapping upcycling worldwide!

We are proud of connecting with "mapping for good" ("Karte von morgen") to further promote sustainable initiatives and entreprises. "StartUpcycling" is going to fill this online map with new points that are related to upcycling using the label "#upcycling". 

How can you support this?

Just try it: You are not doing any upcycling yet? No problem. With this online map, you can find many projects and initiatives and connect with them. Just search with the hashtag #upcycling!

Create a new entry with #upcycling: You are doing upcycling and you are organized in a group, or you work in a club that deals with waste reduction? If you want to be visible, just insert your project on the map. It will reach more people than you would think! You can simply describe your work and tag it with #upcycling!

Connect with #startupcycling: The map has brought you to us? Contact us and learn more about StartUpcycling projects! We collect stories and best practice examples and thus promote international exchange for upcycling. If you want to connect with us, you can additionally use the label "#startupcycling".

Everyone can support us by mapping new points anywhere in the world with the hashtag #upcycling!

Listen to Calvin's Podcast / South Africa

Calvin is guest at the "Hello Muizenberg" - podcast and speaks about ideas and ways of dealing with waste around Muizenberg, Cape Town.
"Although the problem may seem huge and past the tipping point, there is always something we can do!"

Listen to his insights and find out more about the challenges of wasting around Muizenberg, South Africa.

Need some tools to get it started?

The partner network of "StartUpcycling" is currently developing an eCourse for young people who are interested in setting up a start-up in the field of upcycling. The course will be launched on the 15th of May 2018. In May and June, the participants will be accompanied by experienced upcycling experts and green economist who can give productive feedback and tips. 

The course is free of charge and will be accessible for everyone who would like to participate. 

We recommend it for young people at the age of 18 and 30 years who are interested in the principles of green economy and start-up education in order to get new knowledge for setting up an own upcycling business.


Who can participate?The participation is open to everyone!
How much time will I need to finish the course?We estimate a workload of at least 3 hours a week over the time of four weeks. It depends on the engagement and additional personal research.
How much does it cost?The participation is free of charge.
How does it work?

After having registered on our e-learning platform, you will be guided through webinars and online-learning sections. In between, you get the chance to develop your own ideas and get feedback from our experienced team. 

Throughout the eCourse, you can work on your own portfolio and collect your main insights.

Once you finish the eCourse successfully, we will hand out a certificate including the highlights of your course. 

Register HERE and get it started!

Second meeting in India

Participants in the EU project StartUpcycling unite the vision that upcycling can be a means for effective environmental protection as well as a valuable learning, opportunity for young entrepreneurs worldwide. The youth workers from the seven partner organisations met in India in early September to develop the educational outcomes further.

The 21 start-up pioneers continued their work on an e-course in South India. The team of Eco Designers, experts in the field of waste management, as well as social workers, create lessons on the topics of waste and recycling as well as on Social Green Entrepreneurship & Eco Design. In this very unique international constellation - coming from different European countries as well as Brazil, South Africa and India - the participants were able to exchange start-ups from all over the world with Upcycling and to gather new inspiration for their own youth work at a local level.

The StartUpcycling meeting took place in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu in Auroville, a place that is a model for sustainable change. The settlement today manages to keep 80% of its waste out of nature and to redistribute it for recycling or reuse, depending on the substance. The settlement was launched by supporters of the Peace Movement in the 1970s in a complete desert. Today, a tropical forest with a huge diversity of species is flourishing in Auroville.

Upcycling is also visible in many projects of the settlement: a small paper factory, Auroville Papers, develops paper with fibres of various plants and creates book bindings as well as solid furniture. Since the beginnings of Auroville, the so-called "Trash Mahal" has organized a student exchange for architects who build houses from surplus raw materials. And the start-up "EcoFemme" not only develops ecological cotton sanitary pads for women, but also engages in educating young women outside and inside schools about their health and their bodies.

The next phase of international cooperation involves further workshops and trainings with young people in the countries of the participants. The creation of new networks and the development of an online course for new start-ups with upcycling are also an objective. After that, in March next year, all delegates will meet for the third and last time in South Africa.

Sharing the passion of waste reduction

In the past three months, we have been trying to find out more about waste in the different partner countries. Together with youth of our networks and programmes, we look at the consumption of waste, its selection, degradation and recycling. We visit landfills, get in touch with experts of waste management and learn about initiatives and best practice projects for waste reduction.

In the current phase, we want to understand better what kind of waste is spread most in our surroundings. To select a TOP10 list of products, we came up with a survey to collect more data from the various nations.

We need your opinion

You can help us getting more insights by filling out the short online-form here. Thank you very much for your support, we really appreciate it!

Besides, there have already been many upcycling workshops with creative and inspiring results. To find out more about current activities and events, please visit our facebook page.

We want to share more, meet people with the same passion and inspire more people to reduce waste! Our next milestone will be the international meeting in India where "Wasteless" is going to host us.

First International Project Meeting in Berlin

Revealing global ecological relations together! 

From 11 to 19 February, the seven partners of the project "StartUpcycling" met in Berlin. 
During the first meeting, various upcycling methods were presented and the principles of waste management in the individual partner countries were described. The week showed how much know-how the partners can offer: from experiences in the sector of awareness raising on waste prevention to knowledge about upcycling design and entrepreneurship, as well as expertise in waste research – the partners have a solid base of work experience that will be relevant throughout the project.

Examples of good practice

The participants used Berlin as a strong source of inspiration for prospective upcycling activities. They met the Kulturlabor Trial and Error team in Neukölln, which offers educational projects for upcycling and social entrepreneurship as well as creative workshops on sustainability. Kunststoffe, an initiative in the Wedding district, also offers innovative solutions by collecting the resources and selling them to all kinds of people.

Change of perspective

The company "Upcycling Deluxe" offered a contrasting programme, presenting the first online platform for upcycling products in Germany. The employees highlighted the fact that upcycled products have high potential for business and economic success.   
In addition to the numerous initiatives, the project participants visited a recycling centre of the Berlin recycling network (BSR), where the garbage is segregated and assigned to specialized recycling companies. One highlight of the week was a discussion with Dr. Jaron from the Federal Ministry who is an expert for waste and recycling management. He explained in detail about current trends and strategies of waste management in Germany.
At the local level, the youth organizations are now implementing workshops on the prevention of garbage and different upcycling techniques.

We got it started!

In December 2016, the project StartUpcycling launched its initiative to fight waste and youth unemployment. All partners have agreed to work together to develop new educational tools, know-how and platforms for waste reduction and upcycling start-ups.

More information is coming soon!