First, let’s get one thing straight: Hipcycle.com is not Etsy. While the site does offer picture frames made from old vinyl records and lampshades crafted from discarded (and cleaned) chopsticks, it’s not a hippie artist free-for-all.
“A lot of people think we’re like Etsy, but we’re more like Amazon — we’re a much more curated site of upcycled products,” says founder and “Chief Hipcycler” Andrew Sell of the site, which he runs out of Asbury Park, N.J.
As Sell points out, “upcycling” — or finding new purposes for previously used materials — is certainly nothing new: Necessity has made previous generations get crafty with old floorboards, and drinking glasses made from wine bottles have their trendy moment every couple decades. But what was missing, as he saw it, was a one-stop online shop for creatively recycled wares.
For now, Hipcycle — which debuted late last fall — skews heavy on the furniture and homegoods. And while the focus is on environment-friendly products, it’s not necessarily the main draw. “We’re not leading with a message that ‘Hey, this is green’ — we’re offering products that are as attractive and durable as mainstream products,” says Sell.
Sell’s favorite pieces now available at Hipcycle.com:
1. Picture frame made from a tin roof ($46)
2. Candelabra crafted from reclaimed wooden spindles ($90)
3. Glass tumblers made from Perrier water bottles ($40, set of four)