In an age when consumerism and waste is damaging our planet and natural resources, the concept of recycling and upcycling needs to be paramount in our choices. Debra Regis left her job in Education Welfare last year having made the decision to start her own upcycling business and delve into the more ethical ways of living imaginatively with what we have.
"I don't know what I want it for yet, but it may come in handy" is one of my favourite sentences when I’m collecting discarded items for re-use. When my children were growing up and I struggled to survive on a low income, I repaired things and painted old furniture that was either given to me or found. Some years later, I realised that we had started living alongside the throwaway culture, where purchases are not made to last, making way for the next fashion or craze. It’s hard to not get caught up in it, trying to fit in to what others see as acceptable.
It saddens me to see waste. To pass by homes with perfectly good furniture thrown out or pallet wood that can be reused, just left to rot or thrown in a skip. With a little imagination, leftover paint or wallpaper and fabric, an item can be put back into good use. This results in less waste, a cleaner environment and something unique.
I would always recycle things within my own home, but I couldn't find the time outside of full-time working to make all the difference I wanted. So I chose to make my passion my job. I'm just starting on this journey and plan to encourage future generations to enjoy getting creative and re-imagine, rather than spend money on new things.
Visitors to my Facebook gallery /craftsbydebra can find more inspiration, ask questions or let me know if you've been inspired to upcycle.