Fraenck & Upcycling

Say what?
19 April 2019

Upcycling. Come again? More and more brands and companies are using this buzzword nowadays. Not very surprising. Upcycling is gradually gaining more attention of the consumer.  At Fraenck, we are guilty of upcycling – in a good way of course. How so? SImply by working with upcycled materials. We would like to explain to you what it means and how this applies to the collection of Fraenck.

Not long ago no one heard of upcycling. Nevertheless, the term was already introduced in 1994 by Reiner Pilz from Pilz GmbH – a family run business from Germany, active in the field of industrial automation. A lot of upcycling was done previously in the industrial sector, but with the call for sustainability, upcycling is more and more finding its way into other branches, the fashion industry included.


If we have to believe the all-knowing Dikke van Dale (Thé Dutch dictionary), upcycling is a non-existent word. Nothing could be further from the truth. The word isn’t just a made-up word with three syllables, it actually means something really valuable. Upcycling is making something with value out of a waste (by)product, giving this material another chance. We use it in a creative way by gathering scrap materials like sailcloth and vegan from local producers and manufacturers. And then take these cutoffs and generally unwanted fabrics and create a unique and diverse collection out of them.

Upcycling vs. Recycling

We can here you think out loud: but isn’t that just recycling? The answer: yes and no. You’re correct, but it goes one level deeper. Upcycling is a variety of recycling. Where recycling means reuse in the broadest of terms, upcycling is specifically the recycling of unused waste into something more valuable and extending its lifetime. Downcycling is also a way of recycling, but with diminishing returns. This could be making granulate out of used rubber or plastics, or recycling sailcloth into another type of sailcloth, usually of inferior quality compared to the original materials. This process also takes a whole lot of energy and needs quite a few chemicals. That’s is why we think ‘simple’ upcycling is the way to go. And there is plenty of upcycle worthy fabrics to go by, even at a local level.


So that is exactly what we do at Fraenck. We upcycle. We create shiny new fashion items from both used and leftover materials. This is a good thing for the environment and in the long run humankind. Fraenck provides a second life to discarded materials. We’ve chosen this road a few years ago, and there’s no turning back. And no, we’re not the only ones, but we think we have what it takes to make it stick and convince fashion minded individuals to take the leap and go sustainable. It starts with the first item!


Curious to see what we make?