At Reco Jeans, we’re big on upcycling(if you’re asking, “whats upcycling?”, click here for our explanation of the difference between recycling and upcycling). We’re trying to make the fashion industry more environmentally responsible through our upcycled denim process. We can hardly claim credit for the idea of upcycling, and even though the term has become more widely used in recent months, it’s been around since the mid 90′s. The concept however goes even farther back than that.
Case in point: In the mid 60′s, premium beer brewer Alfred Heineken had Dutch architect John Habraken design a “brick that holds beer” after a trip to the Caribbean, where he saw an excess of trash on the beach and a deficiency in building supplies. Dubbed the “WOBO”, which was short for world bottle, it was designed with flat sides to be stackable with recessed bottoms so as to be interlocking.
100,000 bottles were produced, but the idea was unfortunately ahead of its time and never went into full production. A wall at the Heineken museum and one small shed are all that is known to currently exist, but with an exploding global population and limited amount of resources, this brilliant idea from the past will hopefully be revisited in the future.