The only way is upcycling




Thursday 24th June marks the UK’s National Upcycling Day and as our own commitment to the creative reuse of materials wherever possible began in the early 2000s, we wholeheartedly support this awareness campaign. With one of the largest technical AV equipment inventories to be found in Europe, minimising waste has always ranked very high on our environmental agenda.






Over the years, we have found countless ways to give new life to materials which may otherwise have perished after single use. As a solutions provider for the creative industries, we have also collaborated with leading associations, helping to promote and contribute to their initiatives that champion sustainability in this sector.






In recognition of the importance of upholding the upcycling revolution, we caught up with some of our team who were happy to share their most memorable achievements or contributions to this cause.






  • Andy Smith – Fabrication and Special Projects: “To this day, we still use upcycled control desk hides, which I make using timber and black carpet fabric that come back to the warehouse after use on specific projects. I also recall a particularly challenging brief, for the Historic Royal Palaces ‘Tradition Retold’ event at the Tower of London in 2016. To project onto a corner turret of the White Tower, I had to build a custom platform on runners supporting two projectors, which jutted partially out of a window. To achieve this, I upcycled some stage deck and tower headplates to allow for a swivel and tilt mechanism. The finished result worked perfectly and the client was delighted!










Holly Clark Photography at The Tower of London.






Jim Dewhirst – Head of Broadcast, Events, Video and Audio Workshops: “When we formed a strategic partnership with ELP last January, we needed to quickly build a dedicated new workshop in the warehouse to house a lot of technical broadcast equipment. Then the COVID pandemic hit and due to the impact of financial losses, there was no budget available to facilitate this. I’m so proud of the team who really dug deep to find creative ideas for workarounds. From old Heras Fencing and Perspex sheets to racking units and storage cages, we practically built a whole department out of upcycled materials.”






  • Fanny Saint-Pasteur – Head of Marketing: “I remember back in 2008, we worked with Julie’s Bicycle to support the creation and launch of the Mayor of London’s new ‘Green Theatre Plan’.  The publication was full of practical tips and sought to demonstrate how London theatres could reduce their carbon emissions by 60% by 2025. It included a section about the reuse of materials, such as set pieces and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which saves embedded carbon from being released into the atmosphere.
  • Dave Isherwood – Technical Director: “Many vintage 5k and Patt 243 lighting fixtures have been given a new lease of life in rental stock and these are particularly sought after for fashion and film projects. We also upcycled our own version of long-life arc-lamped Selecon Pacific Profiles, using parts from old Studio Color movers, these have been used many times for the Covent Garden Christmas installation. I even remember creating some moving beam lights (nicknamed Wishpas), for one of multi-award-winning LD Paule Constable’s shows, crafted from obsolete Amptown Washlights, ACL lamps and scrollers. I would love to explore how our old DLCs and L&E battens could be re-purposed into window boxes, or upcycled by a creative genius out there into heaven knows what…?”






Covent Garden Christmas installation 2020






We hope that this has inspired you to try your hand at an upcycling project soon! If you could get your hands on some of our old batten lighting fixtures, what could you create?






Join in with the conversation on social media: #UpcyclingDay








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