What has become of the award-winning upcycling idea?


The winning project ‘un Tragbar – un Carrieble’ of the 2014 ‘Young Creations Award: Upcycling’.

That it is possible to produce anything worthwhile with tattered t-shirts was demonstrated by the extraordinary upcycling idea of using them to make a stool. What then has become of the award winners in the six months or so since they receiving their awards at this year’s Heimtextil?


The project ‘Companio – Feuerlöscher-Kontaktgrill’ (contact grill made from a fire extinguisher) won the Visitor’s Award.

“We received some serious purchasing inquiries”, says Johanna Diepenbrock who, together with Thijs Barendsen, won the Upcycling Visitors’ Award. The story of the heated little fellow called Companio touched the hearts of many Heimtextil visitors. Savaged by rust, the former fire-fighter was threatened by an abrupt end on the scrap heap. Until a good fairy appeared in the form of Johanna Diepenbrock, who transformed the ancient fire extinguisher into a contact grill, a task that required the student to improve her handicrafts skills. “I used almost all of the machines and tools in our university’s metalwork shop”, she explains. Nevertheless, this is not all she learnt by taking part in the competition: “It confirmed me in my resolve to always look at first what is there and what can be used”. However, she still has to find a manufacturer before more companios can be awakened to a new life.

The stool made of rags by Jacqueline Theurer is also waiting for a manufacturer. The winner of the Young Creations Award has travelled the country, from auditors Ernest & Young in Stuttgart to the Upcycling Fashion Store in Berlin. And undergone a variety of durability tests. Nevertheless, the award winner is no longer prepared to part with the seat made of three sacks full of rags. Instead, she is concentrating on her final examination. And, to this end, is once again working on a new piece of upcycling furniture. The award encouraged Jacqueline Theuer to pursue her own ideas in this field. And Johanna Diepenbrock can report the same experience. However, Jaqueline does not want to become just an upcycling designer. “In the future, I want to help make the idea of upcycling an integral part of the design and production process.”

Entries are currently being received for the Young Creations Award 2015. Cash prizes totalling € 5,000 show that nowhere else can waste be employed so effectively for financial gain.

Jane Pabst, zweitleben.de

In 2015 Heimtextil will present the Young Creations Award: Upcycling contest for the third time. Register by 15 August 2014!

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