Consumers nowadays are smarter than ever. They are learning about what to not put in their bodies and what to not dump on the environment. Apart from reading product labels to see which junk to avoid, they are also in search of junk they can use, or rather re-use. So if you are looking for something to sell in your market stall that will be a sure hit, then recycled products would be it.
In addition to making profit, this is your chance to do Mother Nature some good. In this guide, we will be telling you what you need to know about recycled merchandise, why people love them, plus some really interesting goods that will surely pique the interest of market-goers.
The Many Names of Recycled Products
Handmade Crafts. Photos by PeavyPieces and Tina McNeill
Recycled products no longer look like tacky grade-school projects. Moreover, their tags do not always contain the lone word “recycled”. Rather, you'll find packages claiming that “post-consumer recycled materials” are used, and shops that sell upcycled items.
Post-consumer materials are stuff that has served their purpose like old tissue cardboard rolls, plastic soda bottles, etc. These materials will then be made into a new product like a plastic container, a Frisbee disc, or stationery. More than 90% of the time, people will no longer recognize the used materials these items are made with.
On the other hand, upcycled items are similar in the sense that they are made with used materials. However, upon closer inspection of the product, the original form of the material used can be identified. An example of this would be pillows made with old coats.
Adorable Custom-made Letter Pillows. Photos by juchilka and magicfelts
Products made from recycled or post-consumer materials, and re-purposed items are becoming more and more popular. Apart from the obvious positive impact on the environment (namely, less waste and more trees) most of these items, if not all, have that one-of-a-kind appeal that you just can't ignore! Walk into any store that specializes on them, and you'll find yourself in a wonderland of originals. Made by true artists who can turn trash into treasure, these items display their ultimate creativity.
Why People Love Them
People are now more aware about how their choices as a consumer affect the environment thus their growing support for establishments that use recycled materials. Buying recycled merchandise is the simplest way for them to lessen their waste. It is more than just an act of purchasing - it's a way to make a statement, a way for them to contribute to the cause.
We want to help you get started so we gathered some interesting products for inspiration.
Recycled Paper Products
Paper would have to be the most recycled material considering how easy it is to collect and process. Not to mention all the products that you can make with it.
Don't worry about your paper merchandise getting wet in a downpour though, you can use gazebos like the OZtrail Deluxe that has an awning to keep the rain out. Other market stall gazebos can also be attached with wall kits so this shouldn't be a problem.
Fill your stall with our awesome finds:
Creative Recycled Paper Products. Photos by judgebyaBOOKScover and BlueTangDesigns
PopMat Paper Placemats
These incredible paper placemats are made with 30% post-consumer paper. Families with small children will love these storybook-inspired additions to the dining table. People looking for something quirky for a special dinner event will be attracted to these, as well. Get them at PubliQue.
Paper-made Letter Opener. Photos by Uncommon Goods and publiqueliving.com
Paper-made Letter Opener
Yep, you read that right. This letter opener from Uncommon Goods is made with 100% post-consumer paper mixed with water-based resin.
Comic Book Envelopes. Photos by JustKeepCreating
Upcycled Comic Book Envelopes
Comic book lovers and people who love all things old-school will flock to your stall with these in display. It's also a good way to make use of your old comic books collecting dust in the attic. If you are in not in the mood to D-I-Y though, you can just get them from Etsy.
Post-Consumer Plastic Products
Useful, sturdy, hard-to-dispose-off plastic. Thanks to new technologies, plastic can now be melted safely and transformed into new fantastic products that are high on longevity.
Take your pick from these or better yet, put them all together in your stall:
Recycled Plastic Cutting Board. Photos by Green Home
Cutting boards like this one made by Green Home are made with 100% post-consumer plastic. They are tough and would endure many years of use. And thanks to the differently-coloured plastics used, they have awesome swirl designs that will add a splash of colour to any kitchen.
Recycled Plastic Pizza Parlor. Photos by Green Toys
Kids and kids at heart will love these. Green Toys uses recycled milk jugs as the main component of their cute toys. Moreover, their mission to go green extends to their packaging - 100% recycled cardboard, no plastic, to twist ties.
Plastic Ottoman and Cushions
Upcycled Plastic Floor Cushions. Photos by Upcycle Studio
Just how cool are these cushions and ottomans? Very. Made with plastic bags and comes in totally amazing colours. These amazing things can be found in Upcycle Studio.
Eco-Friendly Dog Beds
Comfotable Beds For Dogs. Photos by West Paw Design
These dog beds from West Paw Design would interest dog-lovers who are concerned with the environment as well. Believe it or not, the filling of these beds are made with plastic bottles!
A glass is the only material that can be recycled infinitely without losing its strength. Most recycled glass products are functional: water pitchers, wine bottles, flower vases. Plus, recycled glass décor are simply awesome and would definitely garner admiring fans at the market.
Creative Recycled Glass Bottles. Photo by RookieCreates and Liftingupspirits
Upcycled Fashion Items
Fashion accessories such as bags and jewellery never fail to attract customers at markets. Except this time around, what you'll be selling will carry more history than the average tote.
Creative and Stylish Bags. Photos by upcyclestudio
Upcycled bags from Upcycle Studio.
Upcycle Studio has a pretty extensive offering of upcycled bags from different parts of the globe. Like the Leo Duffel Shopper pictured here, which is made with old German kit bags and leather jacket!
Upcycled iPad Sacks and Pouches
Creative Gadget Sack. Photos by Uncommon Goods
Made mail sacks and ultra-suede collected as scraps from factories, these sacks from Uncommon Goods are sturdy and oozing with character.
Elegant and Stylish Jewelry. Photos by Uncommon Goods
Talk about one-of-a-kind. This cuff, again from Uncommon Goods, will turn heads toward your stall. The artist used bullet casings to create this edgy arm candy. Items like this along with other types of jewellery made from recycled items will surely make for a winning stall.
A Few More Things to Remember:
- Add banners to your market stall. Since the recycled products you are selling look anything but recycled because they are so pretty, this is how you let potential customers know from a distance that you have something above average to offer. OZtrail Deluxe Gazebos can be readily attached with banner kits.
- Use the right gazebo for your market stall. If you are still a bit at a lost about which to get, you can take a look at our Buying Guide for Market Stall Holders.
- Present your merchandise beautifully. Go here to read about our top tips to help you sell more.