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THIRD WORLD SYMPOSIUM
ON SUSTAINABILITY
SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
Sustainability Futures: Challenges and
Opportunities Towards a More
Sustainable World
April 8, 2021
Challenges and opportunities for scaling
up global upcycling towards sustainable
production and consumption:
Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
De Montfort University, UK
INTRODUCTION: Upcycling
- Creation/modification of a product utilising used/waste
materials, components and products for equal/higher quality or
value than the compositional elements
- Umbrella concept: ‘creative’ or ‘advanced’ repair, reuse,
repurpose, refurbishment, upgrade, redesign, remake,
remanufacture, recycling, …
- Increasing resource efficiency + reducing solid waste and
industrial energy consumption in processing and manufacturing
with virgin materials + creating new job opportunities +
encouraging sustainable behaviour + money-saving +
psychological well-being
Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards
sustainable production and consumption: Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
INTRODUCTION: Scaling-up of upcycling
- Upcycling as a niche practice at the current time
- Scaling-up of upcycling: moving from a niche to a mainstream
practice > realise the full potential
- Rising academic and industrial interests
- Upcycling research at the embryonic stage lacking multiple-
industry, multidisciplinary and international results
- Development of upcycling theory and practices across
industries, disciplines and countries required for growth
(scaling-up)
Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards
sustainable production and consumption: Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
INTRODUCTION: Aim of the research
- Understanding challenges and opportunities in the global upcycling value chain > an
invaluable first step for significant development in practices
- Existing studies: often industry- and country-specific
- Knowledge gap: whether these factors are common across industries and countries
- Aim: critically review existing literature on challenges and opportunities in global
upcycling in order to provide cross-industry and cross-country common factors, and
offer meaningful insights on how these factors could be reflected on scaling up
upcycling
Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards
sustainable production and consumption: Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
METHODS: Theoretical narrative review
- Keyword-based search on Google Scholar (as a sole bibliographic database providing
sufficient coverage and publishers’ contents)
- Search keywords combinations: [“upcycling” AND “challenges”] and [“upcycling” AND
“opportunities”]
- 1st Screening inclusion criteria: (i) English publication; and (ii) type of publication (journal
article, conference proceeding, academic book and book chapter, PhD thesis, and
research institute report)
- 2nd screening content check: title and abstract for relevance
- Total reviewed publications: fifteen (15)
- Search, screening and review: February – March 2021
Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards
sustainable production and consumption: Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
KEY RESULTS: Descriptive analysis
Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards
sustainable production and consumption: Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
KEY RESULTS: Descriptive analysis
- 9 journal articles, 4 conference papers, 1 book chapter, 1 report
- 5 in fashion and textiles, 2 in furniture and interiors, 2 in both fashion and furniture, 1
electronics, 1 construction, 1 multiple industries, 3 for any industry
- 6 in the UK, 2 in Sweden, others (Australia, Ghana, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, New
Zealand, Romania, Sri Lanka)
- Focus: fashion & textiles and furniture & interiors
- Authors: UK and other European academics
Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards
sustainable production and consumption: Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
KEY RESULTS: Cross-industry & -country challenges in upcycling
Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards
sustainable production and consumption: Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
KEY RESULTS: Common opportunities for successful upcycling
Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards
sustainable production and consumption: Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
MAIN CONCLUSIONS
- A good starting point to achieve comprehensive understanding of global challenges and
opportunities in upcycling value chain across industries and countries
- Future research: further validation of the factors using Interpretive Structural Modelling (a
qualitative and interpretive method for generating solutions for complex problems)
- Practical implications for the actors: main challenges to tackle first (in production, materials
and consumers’ perceptions) paying more attention to identifying suitable new
technologies or existing techniques as well as innovating in the design and production
processes and technologies, improving materials provision, and working on consumers’
awareness raising and education
Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards
sustainable production and consumption: Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
CONTACT DETAILS OF THE AUTHORS
Author: Dr. Kyungeun Sung
Affiliation: De Montfort University
E-mail: Kyungeun.sung@dmu.ac.uk
Author: Dr. Amal Abuzeinab
Affiliation: De Montfort University
E-mail: amal.abuzeinab@dmu.ac.uk
Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards
sustainable production and consumption: Literature review
Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab

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Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review

  • 1. THIRD WORLD SYMPOSIUM ON SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE AND RESEARCH Sustainability Futures: Challenges and Opportunities Towards a More Sustainable World April 8, 2021 Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab De Montfort University, UK
  • 2. INTRODUCTION: Upcycling - Creation/modification of a product utilising used/waste materials, components and products for equal/higher quality or value than the compositional elements - Umbrella concept: ‘creative’ or ‘advanced’ repair, reuse, repurpose, refurbishment, upgrade, redesign, remake, remanufacture, recycling, … - Increasing resource efficiency + reducing solid waste and industrial energy consumption in processing and manufacturing with virgin materials + creating new job opportunities + encouraging sustainable behaviour + money-saving + psychological well-being Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
  • 3. INTRODUCTION: Scaling-up of upcycling - Upcycling as a niche practice at the current time - Scaling-up of upcycling: moving from a niche to a mainstream practice > realise the full potential - Rising academic and industrial interests - Upcycling research at the embryonic stage lacking multiple- industry, multidisciplinary and international results - Development of upcycling theory and practices across industries, disciplines and countries required for growth (scaling-up) Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
  • 4. INTRODUCTION: Aim of the research - Understanding challenges and opportunities in the global upcycling value chain > an invaluable first step for significant development in practices - Existing studies: often industry- and country-specific - Knowledge gap: whether these factors are common across industries and countries - Aim: critically review existing literature on challenges and opportunities in global upcycling in order to provide cross-industry and cross-country common factors, and offer meaningful insights on how these factors could be reflected on scaling up upcycling Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
  • 5. METHODS: Theoretical narrative review - Keyword-based search on Google Scholar (as a sole bibliographic database providing sufficient coverage and publishers’ contents) - Search keywords combinations: [“upcycling” AND “challenges”] and [“upcycling” AND “opportunities”] - 1st Screening inclusion criteria: (i) English publication; and (ii) type of publication (journal article, conference proceeding, academic book and book chapter, PhD thesis, and research institute report) - 2nd screening content check: title and abstract for relevance - Total reviewed publications: fifteen (15) - Search, screening and review: February – March 2021 Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
  • 6. KEY RESULTS: Descriptive analysis Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
  • 7. KEY RESULTS: Descriptive analysis - 9 journal articles, 4 conference papers, 1 book chapter, 1 report - 5 in fashion and textiles, 2 in furniture and interiors, 2 in both fashion and furniture, 1 electronics, 1 construction, 1 multiple industries, 3 for any industry - 6 in the UK, 2 in Sweden, others (Australia, Ghana, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Romania, Sri Lanka) - Focus: fashion & textiles and furniture & interiors - Authors: UK and other European academics Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
  • 8. KEY RESULTS: Cross-industry & -country challenges in upcycling Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
  • 9. KEY RESULTS: Common opportunities for successful upcycling Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
  • 10. MAIN CONCLUSIONS - A good starting point to achieve comprehensive understanding of global challenges and opportunities in upcycling value chain across industries and countries - Future research: further validation of the factors using Interpretive Structural Modelling (a qualitative and interpretive method for generating solutions for complex problems) - Practical implications for the actors: main challenges to tackle first (in production, materials and consumers’ perceptions) paying more attention to identifying suitable new technologies or existing techniques as well as innovating in the design and production processes and technologies, improving materials provision, and working on consumers’ awareness raising and education Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab
  • 11. CONTACT DETAILS OF THE AUTHORS Author: Dr. Kyungeun Sung Affiliation: De Montfort University E-mail: Kyungeun.sung@dmu.ac.uk Author: Dr. Amal Abuzeinab Affiliation: De Montfort University E-mail: amal.abuzeinab@dmu.ac.uk Challenges and opportunities for scaling up global upcycling towards sustainable production and consumption: Literature review Dr Kyungeun Sung and Dr Amal Abuzeinab