The Upcycle Movement



Circular Concept


The Upcycle Movement

The Upcycle Movement is a design studio and community of makers specialising in transforming waste into worth. Their debut collection, Neo, offers bags and adventure accessories made from upcycled wetsuits.

The Upcycle Movement


The circular challenge

The Upcycle Movement needed to come up with a solution for the small offcuts and the pieces of wetsuit that don’t make the grade for turning into new products.

The circular design strategy:

  • Design for Minimal Waste

The NOW solution: What circular solution was prototyped and what are the companies short-term circular goals?

The Upcycle Movement are developing a new, multi-use material from shredded wetsuit. The goal is to find a suitable (and safe/eco) adhesive to bond the waste textiles together, as well as sourcing a service provider who can shred larger volumes of material.

What were the main hurdles and lessons learnt from your prototyping phase?

It was difficult to source adhesives and other resources needed.

The NEXT solution: What are your bigger / longer-term circular goals for your brand?

Once their new material from the scraps is perfected, they hope to develop and launch products from it such as bags, roll-up mats and shoe soles. They intend for these products in turn to be recycled again and again through The Upcycle Movement

Projected future impact: What is the expected positive impact - environmental, economic, social - from your longer term circular solution.

  • To employ 1-2 other people by Dec 2023
  • To be as close to zero waste as possible
  • Approximately 28 tonnes of wetsuits are discarded in Ireland every year. They hope to create the infrastructure and design innovation to redirect as much of this as possible into extended useful life.

What questions or uncertainties are you facing right now in terms of your circular development?

  • What financial support can I receive to help further develop my prototype?
  • Which local partners can I team up with to get it off the ground?

Call to Action:

To move from prototype to pilot,  the Upcycle Movement is looking for the following supports:

  • Financial support, partners, a team, facilities (shredding/moulding etc) and expertise

Learn more:


Twitter: @upcycle_ireland

Instagram: @the_upcycle_movement