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Interior Design & Extraordinary Repurposed Furniture

What is the difference between upcycling and recycling?

Upcycling. Recycling. We’ve heard these words often, but do we know what they mean?

diff btwn upcycle and recycle

Recycling. We know this is when we take something that we might have discarded as waste, and putting it back into “the cycle” to reuse. Recycled plastic. Recycled paper. However in the case of recycling the materials undergo a physical change to become something useful again – and most times this is done at a chemical plant.

Upcycling. This is when useless products are processed and worked on to become better quality or have a higher environmental value. Usually this means the original item is not degraded or destroyed to achieve a new function.

While we do recycle at REcreate, both at home and at the studio, the work that we do and our products that we product fall under “upcycling”. We love how the great people at Intercongreen  explain the differences and also why upcycling plays an important role in our world of “green”.

Leave us a comment on how you recycle and upcycle at home.

Creative Walk

Here at Recreate, we try to get out and get inspired as much as we can… This week we went for a stroll in and around Cape Town CBD, saw a few things, collected some stuff and went and had a bit of fun with it in the workshop. Sometimes inspiration is just outside your front door… Go find your inspiration!




Our local South African fabric collection

The new local fabrics we have discovered this year have made us more excited than ever to grow our collection of locally designed and printed fabrics.

Some of the collections on display at our studio include Maradadhi, Fabric Nation and Design Team. All the fabrics are designed and printed locally, ranging from R250 to R600 per metre

All of the fabrics are suitable for upholstery, cushions, blinds and soft furnishings. Chat to us about using them in your home.

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What is regenerated cotton?

regenerated cotton

Regenerated Cotton is an innovative recycled fibre.

An estimated 40% of cotton that is grown is wasted between its harvest in the cotton field and the manufacturing of a finished garment, equalling approximately 1.2 billion pounds (roughly 6 00 000 tons) of cotton fibre which is disposed of by spinning mills, weavers and fabric manufacturers every year. This pre-consumer “waste” goes directly into landfills and contributes to the formation of leachate as it decomposes, which has the potential to contaminate both surface and groundwater sources.

Using scraps of new cotton cloth left over from clothing manufacture waste, this process is called cotton “regeneration” because it creates new yarn from pre-consumed fabric that is otherwise bound for the incinerator.

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Image source here, here, here and here

You’re helping diminish the amount of waste going into landfills as well as saving all the water, chemicals, incinerator emissions, electricity, sewage and transportation energy it would take to make the same things from virgin cotton.

These Eco Cottons are available from Recreate in over 20 varying colourways. Chat to us about using them in your interiors for upholstery or soft furnishings.


We’re in Italy!

dentroCASA is a monthly magazine of furniture, art and culture, a stylish and colorful publication, effective in “telling and photograph” the diverse world of living.

We love the spread we’ve been included in. What a great eye these Italians have :) 
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Creative Problem Solving

At Recreate, we love the Cape Craft Design Institute and all it offers! We recently took part in their creative problem solving workshop and visited their incredible product support space.

As well as being a beautiful team building day out, we learnt the following things: Admire is a perfectionist, Katie is the messiest of us all, Vusi is the numbers guy and Michelle loves a challenge.

The greatest thing we learnt was that all 4 of us are much more in tune and alike than we think. We all chose the same patterns and similar tools to work with but we all came up with original and different ways to solve problems.

Have a look at what we got up to…










Bottle caps for coffee

tuesday chalkboard template

Yes, that’s right! If you bring us a mug full of bottle caps, we will return the mug to you full of coffee!

“Why?”, you ask? Well let’s start from the beginning.

This man with the beautiful smile is Phanny Mangwiro. He is a craftsman that uses discarded bottle caps to make the most exquisite products, from coasters, condiment carriers to giant works of art.


Just look at what he has made from beer bottle caps that are usually tossed before you can say “cheers”.
bottle cap craft

We know that Phanny works long hours and goes from place to place to collect bottle caps to make his amazing pieces, and so we’ve been collecting bottle caps on his behalf. Once our collection fills a big bin, we give Phanny a call and he is able to collect it all in one go. We help him save time and he in turn inspires us with his craftsmanship.

If you would like to help Phanny out, you can also drop off bottle caps to add to our collection for him at our studio in Salt River and if you bring in enough to fill a coffee mug we think you deserve a free coffee!

Custom made furniture with vintage style and contemporary functionality

We were delighted when we received a call from one of Cape Towns well known architectural and interior design studios requesting what would soon turn out to be one of our most challenging and exciting bespoke pieces to date.

The design from our client was clear. A baby compactum reminiscent of a vintage travelling trunk but the with qualities and finishes of a contemporary functional piece of furniture.

The detailed finishes included sealed vinyl wallpaper, vintage style brass corners and handles and timber beading.

Have a look at our process below.

What do you think?

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admire concentrating

michelle measuring


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I love creating functional art from discarded non functional junk

Katie Thompson

recycle - redecorate - redesign

Katie Thompson | Cell: 076 989 0871 | Fax: 086 689 0939 |