Upcycling refers to a practice in which old or discarded products are modified so that they can be used once again as if they were a new product. The term is drawn from the word ‘recycling’ that refers to re-using component materials.
Old items can be mixed, matched and aggregated so that their component materials and other items are re-used in the production of a wholly new product that has more value than the value of its individual elements.
In other definitions of the word upcycling it can also refer to changing materials and items by adapting them or , so that their useful lifespan is extended. Some examples include using packing crates to make furniture, repainting old items in contemporary colours to make them more attractive and using old shipping containers as elements of housing.