Tin-can earrings from the Czech Republic are among the recycled goods for sale on Yiuco. Photo: REforma.
The website Etsy has become wildly popular by connecting consumers with small-scale craftspeople making original jewelry, artwork, home-décor items, and other goods -- many of which are more environmentally friendly than their mass-produced counterparts. Now a new site based in Greece has put the eco-angle front and center, creating an online marketplace solely for recycled handicrafts.Taking the name of a Greek word meaning "piled-up clothes," Yiuco hosts online shops run by crafty folks making rings from old computer keys, weaving purses from discarded plastic, and sewing necklaces from fabric scraps. Though most of the items currently for sale are fashion pieces -- clothes and jewelry -- the site's founders have optimistically made room for goods in a variety of categories, from items for babies and pets to home and garden supplies.
Website For Eco-Minded Mini-Entrepreneurs
According to the entrepreneurial news portal Springwise, "eco-minded minipreneurs" can create their own virtual storefronts on Yiuco for free and pay "no transaction or listing fees until spring 2011. Thereafter, Yiuco will charge vendors EUR 0.10 per listed item every three months as well as a 3.5 percent transaction fee on each sale."
In addition to its main site, Yiuco also has a blog highlighting new members' stores as well as clever reuse and recycling projects from elsewhere around the web.
So far, the pickings for sale are admittedly a bit slim, and the differences between goods that are "upcycled," "recycled," or "reused" -- a category that seems to include vintage clothes and hand-decorated household objects -- are not always clear. But TreeHugger can't help but root for a site that dubs itself "the online marketplace for happy recyclers."
More On Eco-Friendly Crafts and Crafters
Hold a DIY Farmers and Craft Market in your Home
Our Favorite Crafts (From Readers Like You)
Cause Crafts: Can A Crochet Hook Combat Climate Change?
Show Us Your Favorite Green Craft Project
16 Top Green Crafts To Do With Your Kids
Must 'Craftivism' (Craft + Activism) Have A Politically Liberal Bent?