A platform/app where people can trade unwanted items for free. No buying or selling is allowed. Only bartering. Everyone lists the items they are willing to trade, then people contact each other with offers.
Upcycling is the process of creatively reusing items or objects that you would normally recycle or throw away by transforming them into products of artistic and environmental value.
In 2009, Belinda Smith from Reuters observed that upcycling was gaining traction worldwide yet people in poorer countries were doing it out of necessity rather than for environmental reasons. By providing a platform for upcycling, it could bring convenience to those in need in an organized manner.
Many people often advocate for recycling or downcycling as the traditional methods of disposing of unwanted products. However, in some cases, such as creating secondhand clothing, upcycling is a much more viable option that not only saves cost but reduces the energy required as compared to recycling.
Upcycling can also be a form of art therapy for everyone, especially seniors or retirees, or a source of revenue for some too!
How it works
I propose a platform or app that allows people to trade unwanted items for free. (Similar to carousell) For example, an old shirt could be traded for a broken radio. Many upcycled creations require a variety of materials and ingredients, especially for clothing as can be seen in this video (which was also my inspiration for this idea). Thus, users are able to source for the products required to make their creation without spending a single cent.
The platform can also encourage users to provide "recipes" or instructions for different kinds of upcycled products. In time to come, with many users on the platform, it could also suggest ideas for users and they simply have to input whatever materials they have on hand!
Workshops could also be organized by creators who want to share their ideas and guide other people in creating them. There should also be an option who want to sell their handmade products on the site. However, the main goal of the platform should still be to facilitate free trade among users.
What are your thoughts? How can we improve upon this idea?
Goldsmith, B. (2009, September 30). Trash or treasure? Upcycling becomes growing green trend. Reuters. Retrieved January 1, 2022, from https://www.reuters.com/article/smallBusinessNews/idUSTRE58T3HX20090930
User points to enable buying used items in addition to trading
Povilas SJan 04, 2022
Trading is difficult because you have to have something equally valuable for another person in order to get what you need from them. Therefore for someone looking for many different materials to realize their upcycling project, trading will not work well.
In addition to trading, users could simply donate used items, and by donating they'd get user points which would then allow buying some used items that others don't want to give away for free and you don't have anything to trade them off with. User points would be the local "currency" of the platform. You could get them either by donating something or by selling a used item to someone.
I'm just not sure how a donated item would be evaluated in user points. This could be done by moderators, or a person donating something could suggest how many user points they want to get by donating the item and the moderators would evaluate the item and either approve the request or suggest another reward amount. Or to make things simple all donated items could have fixed user points reward.