Recyclart is a unique site that offers a wealth of innovative ideas for recycled, repurposed, and upcycled ideas. The brainchild of co-founders Quentin and Dimitri, the site has a combined following of close to 150,000 readers, spread out across various social media platforms. With healthy website traffic, the site is fast becoming one of the most popular and most visible of its kind on the Internet today.
The origins of Recyclart can be traced to the founder’s own eco-friendly store in France, which had a green blog associated with it. During the store’s period of operation from 2008 to 2009, the focus was on promoting the projects of various green designers. At the same time, the pair was becoming aware of a number of different initiatives from like-minded entrepreneurs and designers, all of which planted the seed for another green blog, which would soon be unveiled to the public as Recyclart
Today, Recyclart features a variety of environmentally friendly projects that include everything from home and office accessories to leisure items and more. With a strict focus on innovation and creativity, the products on the site aren’t exactly geared toward mainstream tastes. Nevertheless, Quentin and Dimitri both remain committed to providing their readers with a range of innovative products that are more like crafts than the typical commercial products offered by other sites.
These products reflect the core principle behind Recyclart, which is to encourage people to think of ideas for recyclable products and processes that they can incorporate into their everyday lives.
Interview with Dimitri and Quentin – Founders of RecycleArt.com
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with us! We see that you guys have close to 150,000 followers on multiple social media platforms and your website traffic stats are through the roof! Tell us a bit about where the idea for the website came from and who is responsible for putting this sustainability project together
There are two of us behind the scenes at Recyclart: Quentin and Dimitri. From 2008 to 2009, we had an eco-friendly store in France, with a green blog associated with it. We wanted to promote green designers, and we were coming across so many related initiatives around the world that it gave us the idea to start another green blog dedicated to recycled, repurposed, and upcycled ideas.
We have seen everything on your site from eco-friendly skateboards to benches made out of tennis balls–the creativity is endless! Why do you think the public isn’t exposed to these types of eco-friendly recycled products more often?
Yes, the creativity is endless, but most products aren’t intended for the mainstream. Manufacturers often use non-standard materials or materials that can’t be sourced in quantity. Anyway, the idea is not to find these products at IKEA, but to provide inspiration. The recycled projects we feature are really more like crafts than industrial products. The ideas we feature are intended to be more like vintage objects, with a unique look that sometimes even borders on the ephemeral. The basic idea is to make people think.
We recently wrote an article about futuristic tech that we are looking forward to. Have you come across a lot of similar progress in the recycling industry? Could you share an example of your own progress through RecyclArt.org?
There are two types of eco-friendly projects: high tech and low tech.
The former promotes the idea that “
technology will save the world“, and the second is based on the idea that
we need more simplicity.
I’m not quite sure that all the inventions you feature in your post will end up in our children’s houses, for example. There is currently a major shift from products to services all over the world. Bike-sharing programs and similar initiatives are good examples of these.
Technologies like GPS, apps, and more are helping develop a new world of users and are getting people closer to their food producers, for example.
What was your mission at the outset? Has it changed, simplified, or evolved over time?
The mission is the same since the beginning. We don’t say “do this or that”, but instead provide materials for inspiration. It can be serious, futile, big, or small. As long as it makes us think, it is useful. Our website is more a tribute to creativity than anything else.
Do you run your own store? Are there plans to possibly create a marketplace, or do you still see Amazon as an effective marketplace?
We used to have a store, but the products we wanted to feature were not mass-produced items. Every single one of our products was crafted with love by their designers. They were all so unique that it was hard to sell some of them because of the contractual aspects of the pictures.
We soon realized that what were interested in wasn’t so much starting a business in which we had to manage logistics but rather setting up the project. We therefore subsequently decided to stop all selling activities. The marketplace already exists and is called Etsy.
Right now, we are primarily focused on promoting designers without necessarily worrying about the logistics.
You seem to have become the voice of artists and small business owners, giving them the exposure that they need but don’t have access to. Do you have any success stories to share?
We don’t really measure the influence we have. Most recently, our attention was captured by ISassiDelladriatico an artist who does stone paintings with a twist. We also featured Mykl Wells back in 2011 to 2012, in an article that you can read here: Our primary goal right now is to help these and other artists by promoting their products.
We all have positive influences that have helped us along on our entrepreneurial path. Have there been any community members or other people that have help your website grow?
We actually receive a lot of contributions from our readers. They come across a website or an initiative and share it with us, so in a way, they feed the website and help the community grow. The social networks we use–mainly Facebook and Pinterest, both are really effective places for interacting with the community. We can ask our readers any question and we can generally be sure of getting an answer.
What are you working on now and how can we help?
Our latest project is called “palletaholic“. We were pleasantly surprised at its rapid growth, especially considering that we started it well after Recyclart. It seems that pallet projects are a diverse and multifaceted subject matter. In fact, we’ve received so many contributions from all over the world that it has all become a bit overwhelming.
We hope you have enjoyed our interview with Quentin and Dimitri, please check them out over at RecycleArt.Org
We have more lined up for you guys next week.
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