up·​cy·​cle ˈəp-ˌsī-kəl How to pronounce upcycle (audio)
upcycled; upcycling

transitive verb

: to recycle (something) in such a way that the resulting product is of a higher value than the original item : to create an object of greater value from (a discarded object of lesser value)
The line upcycles single-use plastic bags that are cleaned and brought in from Bali, Indonesia, and parts of California for use as the main material in the shoes. In the company's first year more than 175,000 plastic bags were reused to create footwear and accessories.Melissa Magsaysay
upcycling noun

Examples of upcycle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Polartec has always been an early adopter around sustainability and environmental causes, and the fiber company has upcycled 2 billion plastic bottles into sustainable fleece since 1993. Sj Studio, Sourcing Journal, 17 June 2024 The pulp and the cocoa pods are generally discarded, so upcycling them instead of tossing them could reduce the land use impact and global warming potential of cocoa cultivation. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, 23 May 2024 What's more, food waste is minimized by the kitchen's upcycling team, which turns scraps into preserves, pickles, and stocks. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 6 Apr. 2024 Elsewhere, festival signage is made from wood so it can be reused, while thousands of square feet of plastic banners at stages are taken by upcycling company Rewilder after the event wraps and sewn into tote bags and backpacks sold at the following year’s merchandise stand. Katie Bain, Billboard, 29 Mar. 2024 The Hoxton opened last spring, upcycling a ho-hum '70s building into a kinetic homage to the district's early-20th-century heritage. Rick Jordan, Condé Nast Traveler, 26 Feb. 2024 Specializing in prom and wedding attire for men and women, while upcycling fabrics and garments, Vaughn creates custom clothing for any occasion. Cassell Ferere, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Purpura is a personal fan of upcycling aesthetically pleasing boxes to store smaller items and contribute to a clutter-free environment. Gia Yetikyel, Vogue, 11 Dec. 2023 But the best eco-friendly strategies, Piper says, are upcycling your current pieces or thrifting used items. Jenna Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 23 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'upcycle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1994, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of upcycle was in 1994

Dictionary Entries Near upcycle

Cite this Entry

“Upcycle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upcycle. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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