The store launch and upcycling party for our Grand Central Terminal location last Thursday was a success. Our guests enjoyed wine, cheese and music from our DJ (and Store Design Assistant!) Devin. We shared the definition of upcycling with our guests (“The re-use of an object in a new or more valuable way without degrading the material it is made from”) and the story of how Brooklyn Industries came to be through the idea of upcycling trashed billboard vinyl to make durable messenger bags. Not only did those in attendance see the store fixtures that had been upcycled for the location (i.e. a cashwrap made out of repurposed wood pallets) but they were able to take home a tip sheet with suggestions for upcycling, provided by BKI employees.
Below are some of the tips we shared!
“My roommate and I found old shutters on the side of the road and we attached cork board to the back. Now the shutters frame what we’ve turned into a bulletin board.” – Jessi, Graphic Design
“I used old cardboard boxes I found at Brooklyn Industries headquarters to make birdcages. The base and roof of the birdcage is made with the cardboard and the bars of the cage were made with Bamboo skewers I found at my mom’s house. Both materials could have been trashed, but I was able to make something cute out of them.” – Simone, Customer Service
“My boyfriend made a guitar stand out of an old vintage suitcase he found on the side of the street. He was featured in Make magazine for it.” – Emily, Production
“Instead of recycling metal containers from canned food items I’ll upcycle them, using them to hold things like writing instruments, plants and loose change. I’ll decorate the cans with old newspaper articles or with the pages of 19th century literature I’ve found for a $1 at Strand Book Store.” – Nicole, Public Relations
There are some woodworking companies in our building here at work. They often fill up dumpsters with nice leftover wood scraps. I’ve pulled out short planks of wood and brought them home to make shelves by adding some L-brackets.” – Michelle, Operations
“Using upcycled small hooks and an old piece of wood, I put them all together, painted them and made a necklace holder for my wall.” – Ellen, Retail Store Operations
“In my backyard, I converted an existing fire pit into a planter and used bricks I found to line all of the flower and garden beds.” – Lauren, E-commerce