Upcycle has in response to critical measures required, through its innovation hub of Upcycle Creative, quickly restructured its resources, capacity & redistribution of staff to work at home. Innovation of creating new products from the core principal of the Upcycle way – utilising “waste” products that would usually make landfill because of branding right restrictions & the cycle of waste product in the consumer behaviour ecosystem. Upcycle sanitises / de-brands corporate waste stream & redistributes into the economy by developing products & projects that feed social impact in development & enterprise. Redirecting & minimising the impact on the environment while creating social equity & community dignity.

In response to the global crisis & the redistribution of focus on innovation, Upcycle has prototyped & redirected business capacity to introduce two alternate facial mask covers. Both these facial mask options are made from cotton T shirts that are part of a landfill avoidance project that Upcycle handles sanitisation / de-branding processes for. These cotton T shirts are new, virgin material, not worn before, but branded excess product. Upcycle’s sanitisation of this product is to de-brand the material & innovate new products through the innovation hub & filter this product development into the training utilities available in communities to produce a new product stream.

The first option is known traditionally as a “buff”. The primary use for the buff is for cyclists that avoid insects from going into the mouth whilst cycling. Upcycle introduces the traditional buff as an interface reminder of the social distancing that is required to stop the fast track spreading of the virus. It is worn over the mouth & the nose, leaving your eyes exposed for vision. We are sociable beings & we believe that this buff as a social reminder as a facial mask will enable an effective level of preventative masking as a whole.


face maskThe second option as a facial mask is the Upcycle facial mask made from virgin T shirts. The traditional resemblance of a medical facial mask, with material enclosing the mouth & nose area & neatly tied around the head behind the ears is the most popular go to for facial covering.

The process of prototyping around the concept of facial masks showed an undeniable need for the traditional facial mask that represents the medical mask. Upcycle has placed resources aligned to the making of these facial masks.

The design to fit aspect of the Upcycle facial mask has maximised on a good fit of the mask around the nose & mouth. The shaping is defined to easily wrap around the contours that fold around these areas. The fit is comfortable & is easy to place on the face.

The facial masks are mostly a reminder of the absolute necessity of social distancing as we embrace a different way of living & behavioural adjustments required for the safety of people at every level.

The larger impact of this project is through the innovation of the business operations at this stage of quarantine adjustments. The sewing centre (usually set up at Upcycle), has been moved to each of the workers homes. Sewing machines have been distributed & the Upcycle facial mask is in full production. This is the only way that a business like Upcycle & many others can continue surviving safely & pay their staff from the support of the new product line innovation. It is during this time of global crisis that the understanding of thinking local deepens even further into the reality of what this could possibly mean for small & medium businesses from now & for a few months.

The support of your local small & medium size businesses is more critical now than ever before. Thinking local is now doing local by supporting the trusted businesses around you & in so ensuring that the important role these businesses play in economic flow in a community is continued. The pressure for the entrepreneur, small businesses & the self-employed is compounded now.

When you buy into a locally produced product, especially in response to drastic measures, you are buying into the whole chain of design thinking & innovation it takes to continue this business model of change management.

The Upcycle facial masks are available to order directly from Upcycle by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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