#Umbrelladelphia — Rescuing Philly’s Broken Umbrellas

upcycled style for people + pets

Seeing the things that people are doing with Ponoko is inspiring and truly rewarding. I want to share with you a project I came across when Taryn Zychal, of Recycling Zychal, posted a pic of a stencil she had lasercut with Ponoko.

#Umbrelladelphia is a new Twitter campaign to locate discarded and broken umbrellas in Philadelphia. Zychal and her team of umbrella rescuers keep an eye out for tweets, and then go out and grab the umbrellas for use in their line of recycled products.

“…you can simply tweet the location of the broken umbrella that you spot [and] give a short description or score BONUS POINTS by taking a photo.

…make sure you include the tag #umbrelladelphia in the tweet so that it will come up on our live feed. One of our umbrella rescuers, or even myself, will come and rescue it and bada bing bada boom, everyone wins! Tweet us 5 different broken umbrella locations and guess who gets a present!? YOU DO!”

To spread the word, Zychal and crew are marketing guerilla style — leaving chalk stencil tags all over the city.

So what are some of the things made with these broken umbrellas? Take a look at these rain coats for pooches. Or these happenin’ hoods in either button-up or babushka ties style. All available at the Recycling Zychal Etsy shop. (Pssst. 10% off until Halloween. Get the promo code HERE.)

For more about Recycling Zychal, check out this interview with Tayrn from the Philly Swap blog.

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Shelley Noble

Genius use of Twitter.
Genius reuse of broken materials.
Brilliantly designed products (have the gotta-get factor).
Brilliantly clever use of Ponoko!


Won’t chalk stencil tags wash off while it’s raining; the key time to make sure folks know to tweet the dead umbrella locations?

Hey Ponoko, just wanted to send you a photo of the full stencil IN ACTION! It’s so awesome, thank you so much for your help with materials and just helping me spread the word, it means alot to me! 🙂

also, @Kate: I did alot of research on Chalk Spray Paint and I went with an industrial strength type that is mostly used by State Workers to mark areas where there’s a gas or water line on the sidewalk. I did some testing and it will generally last and be readable for 3 storms. Some spaces with high traffic lasted about 2 storms, while others that weren’t as busy lasted out 4-5, so on average 3 storms 🙂

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