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Upcycling – don’t throw it away


If you didn’t know what Upcycling is, then think of an item you would like to pass on or dispose of recycling, but instead, you decide to keep it and recreate something new, useable and attractive. That’s Upcycling, and it is what over twenty participants accepted the invitation to do, last Tuesday night, 12 July, at Guthrie Byron premises in Joan Gaskell Drive.

Each person brought an item that for them, needed a makeover and new lease of life (not their partners, something inanimate), and all places available for the Upcycling night were filled.

Dulux, who partner with Guthrie Bowron, had sent John, a senior consultant all the way from Christchurch for this event, despite the foul weather across the North Island. The full array of colour spray cans were part of the resource provided by Dulux for the event as well as two other Dulux team members who demonstrated, and gave suggestions and help all through the evening to help each item have the best finish and use.

A tired, musty, clay figuerine became a glossy sculpture; a glass gin bottle (empty), was transformed into an elegant vase; two greyish white plastic stools became sparkly blue and pink shining seats for two grandchildren; a very ordinary standard plant pot gained rustic brown and cream texturing, both base and pot, two china trays with outdated paint décor became sleek, glossy, black platters.

Several staff of Guthrie Bowron gave their evening to assist and offer interior and texture advice Some previous staff also came to assist. These professionals were also friends and neighbours of the participants, and as well as assisting and encouraging, they brought their own item to be ‘upcycled’.

Every tool and resource needed was on hand, even several hair dryers which did the trick for quick drying projects in transition. The idea was that all participants went home with a finished product, the upcycling was complete. The environment of an interior design store filled with all of the materials and colours at Guthrie Bowron made the night workshop festive for everyone.

People connected, helping each other and took time to enjoy the supper provided and a glass of wine.

The owners of Guthrie Bowron, Whitianga, Julian and Rachael Lee, hosted the evening and organised a very successful night which raised ever $500 for Mercury Bay Cancer Support Trust.

There will be another Upcycling night in October.


Pictured: Participants in 'Upcycling', the Guthrie Bowron initiative to inspire people to transform and rejuvenate tired housewares.

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