The Upcycle Show

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Proposal for “The Upcycle Show”

UK’s first conference and exhibition highlighting the reuse industry

Aim: To encourage the reuse of goods and materials and to demonstrate good practice in these fields including goods and items already available using this process.


Upcycling is the art of transforming old materials into new goods by reusing, repairing or adapting.

Upcycling converts items previously considered ‘rubbish’ into new creations. Today you can find wallets made out of bicycle tyres and purses composed of post-consumer pop tabs. Upcycling was coined in the book “Cradle to Cradle” which flips the ‘cradle to grave’ idea of products into a closed loop ideal. For Cradle to Cradle, each component of a product is designed to continually be upcycled, creating no waste. The vision is to create a world, in which waste does not exist, only items that can continually evolve into new things or biodegrade back into nature.

 Upcycling is becoming a rapidly expanding sector and whereas the emphasis has been on recycling, it is now acknowledged that the future is towards reuse with upcycling at the forefront of this arena.

The exhibition

Up to now there has been no showcase to exhibit upcycled goods and apparatus associated with the trade in the UK.

Last year there was a successful exhibition in the US in October which drew good publicity and hinted at the potential for such an event here in the UK.

There is a huge demand from the public to offer alternatives to landfill from waste. In five years between 2005 and the present day, recycling has reduced the amount going to landfill by one million tons in the UK.

The internet is alive with mail order companies specialising in fairly traded, sustainable and recycled products, made from everything from old discarded tyres to electrical components from computers and TVs.

There are already hundreds of items made from recycled materials here in the UK. (eg All potential exhibitors at the exhibition. A list of possible customers is listed below.


  • Building material reuse and reclamation
  • Tools for renovation and repair
  • Furniture reuse networks
  • Biodiesel manufactures
  • IT materials exchange
  • Scrap clubs
  • Reclaimed materials artists
  • Recycled gift objects
  • ”Upcycled” fashion
  • Freecycle
  • Vintage clothes
  • Ebay and other online exchange services
  • Exchange and Mart
  • Friday ads
  • Gumtree etc


  • Conference
  • Fashion Show
  • Art Exhibits


This exhibition has the possibility of standing alone and being held at a major exhibition venue and run as a public event.

It could also be a trade exhibition for professionals in the waste and recycling sector with custom from Local Authorities, retail buyers and other interested parties.

It could piggy back on to other related exhibitions such as The Recycling & Waste Management Exhibition held in September at the NEC in Birmingham that has over 10,000 visitors.


The Upcycle Show has the potential to attract major sponsorship opportunities. It may catch the imagination of an online sales company that specializes in second -hand goods such as Ebay.

The Team

Des Kay   Show founder.

  • 21 years running a major environmental event, Kingston Green Fair – One day bank holiday event with average 10,000 visitors. Founder, layout designer, manager, graphic designer, site manager.
  • Involvement in two environmental shows at Olympia Exhibition Hall.
  • 25 years involvement in recycling including committee setting up London Community Recycling Network.
  • Founder. Glastonbury Green Police; 150 green police at Glastonbury Festival encouraging recycling every year.
  • Founder of Save the World Club. Award winning charity started in 1985. Works with local communities using recycled materials.

Margaret Mongan

  • 21yrs space selling experience with the past 3yrs being on exhibitions
  • Organised healing field. Kingston Green Fair.