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Here comes Supercyclers

It’s about creating dramatic transformations from waste.
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Here comes Supercyclers

The concept of supercycling is a shift from up-cycling. Find out where it all started…


In 2011 Liane Rossler and Sarah K began to experiment with different processes to manipulate the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag. Discovering that they could manipulate the bags by wrapping them around a mould and blasting them with a heat gun, they would come to create a series of vases and bowls (and other homeware designs) that they would name Plastic Fantastic. Naming their practice ‘supercycling’, Rossler and King have stressed that their mode of transforming and recycling materials differentiates their practice from that of ‘upcycling’. “It’s not just taking a bent fork and turning it into a bangle,” says Rossler. Stating that they are seeking to move away from the ‘crafty’ feel of many upcycled designs, Rossler says:


“We wanted to make something you’d want, instead of something you’d want to throw out … in fact we want to make what you might have thrown in the garbage look so beautiful and be so useful that you will now pay good money just to have it back—or take on some of our ideas and do it yourself.”



Seeking to mobilise supercycling as a form of waste management and an alternative to throwaway modes of consumption, Rossler and King’s project is threefold. Firstly, they work with plastic waste in order to produce homewares for their Plastic Fantastic range. Secondly, they run workshops where they transfer their supercycling skills to the public as a means of generating DIY plastic homewares. Thirdly, they organize exhibitions and events and run a website representing similarly oriented designers—or supercyclers—from around the world as a means of advancing the design and supercycling phenomenon. The overall aim of Supercyclers is to advance both eco-sustainable design and consumption practices and to transform the public’s engagement with common urban waste. As the Supercycler’s website states:


“Supercyclers are people who take things that are no longer being used and instead of throwing them into the great pacific garbage patch they make something beautiful, clever and useful,active immediately without sending the stuff to the processing plant … We are Supercyclers and we hope you are too.”