Sustainable Consumption and Production by Upcycling: Advances in Science and Practices

Website: Special Issue on Sustainable Consumption and Production by Upcycling

Deadline for submissions: 31 December 2020 

We invite contributions for a Special Issue on "Sustainable Consumption and Production by Upcycling: Advances in Science and Practices", to be published by Sustainability (Impact Factor: 2.592).  

This Special Issue is seeking papers that enhance our understanding of upcycling as a design, production or consumption practice in different socio-cultural contexts. We welcome articles disseminating high-quality research of: (a) conceptual studies; (b) empirical work including experimental studies, interviews and surveys; (c) best practice case studies; and (d) holistic reviews. 

Mass production and consumption based on virgin materials have been the mainstream practice for decades across industrialised nations. During this period, many useful skills or maintenance and repair have been lost with the rise of the consumer society, while planned premature obsolescence has become commonplace, leading to significant environmental impacts. Reducing the current unsustainable levels of resource consumption requires slowing and closing material cycles.

Upcycling - the creation or modification of a product from used or waste materials, components and products of equal or higher quality or value than the compositional elements - is a promising alternative to mass production and consumption based on the use of virgin materials. In theory, upcycling reduces waste and extends the lifetimes of products and materials, thereby increasing material efficiency and reducing energy consumption. It has the potential to create new employment opportunities, support a "prosumer" culture, and encourage sustainable consumer behaviour. However, despite the numerous anticipated benefits, upcycling remains a niche practice. There has been a growing academic and industrial interest in upcycling, particularly related to the emerging circular economy, but research in upcycling is still at an infant stage. The development of upcycling theory and practices is required if there is to be a transition in upcycling from niche to mainstream. 

For all questions about this Special Issue please contact Kyungeun Sung ( 

Guest Editors

Dr. Kyungeun Sung - School of Art, Design and Architecture, De Montfort University -

Dr. Jagdeep Singh - The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University -

Prof. Tim Cooper - School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University -





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