If you’ve already caught up on our crash course on recycling in St. Petersburg, you are probably aware of the variety of recycling opportunities and the significance of waste sorting in general. Nevertheless, the culture of recycling in Russia is, overall, an emerging phenomenon: according to Greenpeace’s recent studies, even the waste that’s reached recycle bins or is potentially recyclable is still highly likely to end up at the landfill. The reasons behind it are numerous: from the packaging’s complex composition to the lack of recycling plants. But despair not, for there are successful cases, too! One of the most creative ones is upcycling – the practice of transforming by-products into new, high-quality, and valuable items. 


Do you fancy a skateboard or a pin badge made from ground bottle caps? What about a spacy backpack that used to be a tent? The St. Petersburg-based brand 99recycle has it all – here, basic recycled materials become nifty furniture, bags, and other accessories. Their key feature is a self-assembled 3D printer with melted plastic for ink.

The brand actively cooperates with local organizations: now, the Consulate General of Finland boasts its own merch produced from their old banners, while tables of the Bushe bakery chain are adorned with minimalistic table numbers.

To promote environmental education, 99recycle runs workshops and lectures on the global experience in waste recycling for kids and adults, as well as organizes guided tours of their production site.

Where to shop: 99recycle online store; No plastic it's fantastic (St. Petersburg)

Recycle Objects

At a glance, it seems that jewelry by Recycle Objects was carved from marble, but in fact, the recipe is way more mundane: plastic, ABS mostly, provided by 3D printing studios, is sorted by color, crumbled, and pressed at high temperatures to start over as an earring, bracelet, or necklace. Nevertheless, the final product isn’t lacking in beauty or elegance: every piece of jewelry looks like a work of art.

Where to shop: Recycle Objects official website, No plastic it's fantastic (St. Petersburg), Garage Museum (Moscow)


If the material can’t be recycled it doesn’t mean there’s no second chance. Polyarus knows this firsthand. The eco-friendly brand creates all kinds of bags and accessories from materials that are considered indestructible, and that’s where seat belts, as well as car or bicycle inner tubes come in handy. They could’ve been burned at a landfill, but were saved and turned into durable and minimalistic items. The brand's calling card is a rather postapocalyptic and conceptual bag made of a gas mask.

Where to shop: Polyarus Store 


Suit up! Hailing from Moscow, Dogrose uses fabric scraps to create unique clothing. Inspired by the patchworking, the designers sew sweaters, shirts, and T-shirts together to create a single Frankenstein-like item. The brand offers a wide choice of ready-made sweatshirts and hoodies, or, if you’d prefer something even more special, lets you bring your own old clothes to merge them into a piece of modern fashion.

Where to shop: Dogrose on Instagram

Revived skateboard

A skateboarding trick for a pro: don’t throw away your broken skateboard deck. Why not give it a new life with this brand? Enthusiasts from Samara joined their forces to make jewelry, eyeglasses frames, and even interior items from recycled skateboards. Trendy among American skateboarders, this idea is relatively fresh and unexplored in Russia, revealing a world of opportunities for new products to be upcycled.

Where to shop: @ws_revived_sb on Instagram

Learn more about recycling in St. Petersburg in this article and take your first step towards conscious living by joining the ITMO.Green student club!