Reduce, reuse, recycle and upcycle! For many everyday citizens, “out of sight, out of mind” is good enough for discarded materials. But not for these magician-level makers! Our Indies are pros at transforming something old into something stunning and new! Not only are they experts at repurposing materials, but many of them give you the opportunity to give the vessels that once contained bath, body, and home products a completely new life!
From packaging you can plant, to candles that melt down into happy hour glassware or funky wearables, Indies know how to give a surprising second life to everyday objects. See how these 9 Indies make the magic happen!
9 Clever Ways American Makers Use Recycled and Upcycled Materials
Door County Wildflower Candles & More (WI)
Maker: Jacklene Campbell
These second-hand treasures are truly one of a kind! Door County Wildflower Candles & More reuses hand-painted and fine crystal showpieces into unique candle vessels that'll have everyone talking!
Add a special touch to your home with these collectible, one-of-a-kind candles!
Laurabee Studios (PA)
Maker: Laura Boner-Leidy
Recycled metals can make the perfect raw materials for a wearable lasting treasure. Laurabee Studios hammers and engraves recycled sterling silver, copper, and bronze into charms and pendants that bring good luck and protection to the wearer.
Candleholic Shop (NY)
Maker: Natalia Sauer
High-end liquor bottles can be a serious work of art—so why toss them away after the final sip? From stylish whiskey decanters to celebratory champagne bottles and sanded, sawed-off vodka flagons, Candleholic Shop repurposes bar beauties into top-shelf candle vessels.
Bottom's up! Transform a special occasion bottle into a lasting memento.
Olive My Skin (CT)
Maker: Laura Luther
Never know what to do with your melted-down candles? With Olive My Skin, it's a no-brainer: These zero-waste candle jars are actually food-safe whiskey tumblers! Rinse it out and add it to your glassware collection for a brand new beverage go-to.
Rinse and repeat! This candle jar becomes your new favorite drinking glass!
Pins and Wicks (CA)
Maker: Kirun Amiri
These candles are filled with upcycled curiosities! Served neat in a reusable restaurant-grade whiskey glass, each intoxicating candle from Pins and Wicks is melted to reveal a special gift — a fun enamel pin hand-curated by this rock-and-roller chandler.
You never know what you'll find at the bottom of this candle!
The Makery LI (NY)
Maker: Jessica & Nick Iannucci
Backyard BBQs and patio happy hours with ice cold beer are great for relaxing in the sun! But the fun need not end there! The Makery LI turns delicious drinks of weekends past into citronella candles, giving you a new way to enjoy your time outdoors.
These citronella CANdles are a new spin on your favorite brew!
Maker: Amber Collins
Bring together old and new into something beautiful! Cabine handcrafts each sweet and chic necklace, bracelet, and earring set using beads made of recycled glass by the Krobo tribe in Africa. She turns these accents into fresh fashion statements so you can turn heads!
Allison's Artisan Goods (CA)
Maker: Ali Ritto Almstedt
Sustainable, with a dash of sci-fi fantasy flair! Allison's Artisan Goods hand-pours mystically scented candles into 100% recycled skull glasses made in Spain. After extinguishing your candle's final flame, find new life for this vessel in your glassware collection!
Pour new life into depleted candles with this reusable glass!
Tiger Paw Handmade (CA)
Maker: Jacqueline Wainscott
Product packaging is roughly 30% of landfill contents, but the Tiger Paw Handmade brand is not there! Their soap is wrapped in seed-embedded lotka paper that, when planted, blooms into wildflowers like daisies and snapdragons.
Questions for discussion and sharing
What product do you think has the most surprising second life? Let us know in the comments!
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