For those hoping to make being more environmentally conscious an upcoming New Year's resolution, this month's On: Design introduces a few Japan initiatives that look into repurposing waste in a novel way.

New used favorites

Kenelephant — a small products company with several brands of souvenir miniatures, vinyl figures and artists' goods — also oversees upcycling initiatives that create particularly novel goods. One interesting project, Recycle Standard, which introduces a raw scrap material online and then follows it up with the release of inventive products created from it, has laid low for a couple of years. But Newsed — a portmanteau of "new" and "used" — has become a particularly successful brand in Japan.