Trash to Treasure – A Circular Dream

Trash to Treasure – A Circular Dream

Bringing businesses together to explore the potential of upcycling

Norwich BID was proud to host its first Upcycling Fair on Wednesday 17th November, giving businesses the opportunity to learn how upcycling would benefit them, and the planet. This event was organised as part of Upcycle Your Waste, and built on the foundations of the BID’s upcycling hackathon ‘StartUpCycle’ in July 2021.

Small & Medium Enterprises (SME’s) across the Greater Norwich Area attended, learnt from upcycling experts, and discovered the solutions to reducing waste and repurposing rubbish.

Exhibitors at the fair ranged from large commercial organisations such as Aviva, waste experts like Norfolk Recycles, and sole traders such as Tamara/Stand who upcycle material to produce couture clothing. Also present at the event was Scoop who won the hackathon in July by creating an app to allow business to business upcycling, maximising cost and efficiency.

Martin Blackwell, Head of Operations at Norwich BID, opened the Fair by summing up the events ethos “It’s not about doing 1 thing 100% better but doing 100 things 1% better.” Martin continued, “What we are trying to do is find ways in which we can collectively work together to make the best eco system, by looking at how materials can be re-used and upcycled…Trash to treasure!”

The Fair was organised as part of Upcycle Your Waste, with Norwich one of only 6 cities participating in this EU funded project through Interreg 2 Seas. Sadly, due to recent Covid restrictions in Europe our Dutch colleagues were unable to attend the fair in person but did pre-record an interview describing the free upskilling training available on the Upcycle Your Waste website.

Max McMurdo, designer, author and TV presenter, gave the keynote speech, and inspired the audience with stories from his vast experience of upcycling waste: from turning old shopping trolleys into chairs and shipping containers into floating homes during his appearances on George Clarke’s ‘Amazing Spaces’ on Channel 4, Max explained why he had made a career from upcycling waste. It seems that following the event Max too was inspired, “What a fantastic day with Norwich BID talking all things Upcycling! Good things are definitely happening in the world of waste, lots of discussions about how we can match waste producers with creative designer makers.”