The experience of making a pen using old wine corks and paying a visit to a modern upcycling centre operated by St. James’ Settlement is truly rewarding.
The programme consisted of various parts, first being the introduction of the centre and its business operation model and also the concept of upcycling, then touring of the whole centre and making our own wine cork pens. It is really eye-opening for me to know how this upcycling centre operates under the model of a social enterprise, as the idea of upcycling is such a foreign concept that I have not encountered with before, let alone knowing the details of operation, from the donation and collection of used and disposed materials to finding suitable designers to make them into fashionable and chic products with the help of disabled members of St James’ Settlement. This inspired me that upcycling or some other industries that may seem trivial or not worth bothering may actually have the potential to be the next hot industry in Hong Kong.
Moreover, the mission of the centre to empower disabled people and encourage creative inventions from local designers touches me. Since the disabled often face very few job opportunities in society, making unique upcycling products that require skills and hard work is truly a way to empower them. Plus the creative works of the designers should be put more emphasise on in Hong Kong so that their hard work and talent would be recognized. All these can be done by buying their products and supporting them while spreading the idea of upcycling in Hong Kong instead of throwing away all the waste.