Monday, August 20th, 2018

The Girl Who Loves Broken Umbrellas

Published on October 26, 2009 by   ·   9 Comments Pin It
SUBSCRIBE NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

Taryn Zychal can be spotted out after a rainstorm looking for broken umbrellas wallowing away in trashcans, subway stations and gutters. Her company, Recycling Zychal, then transforms them into stylish and functional green products that are far from trashy.

Zychal says the idea came to her about 5 years ago while still living in her hometown of Scranton; she was shopping at a Salvation Army and came across a stylish little teal umbrella with white whales on it that she picked up for $1. When she got home, she realized it was broken, but loved the print too much to throw it away. She decided to strip it, wash it, and turn it into a dog coat for her pug.

“I didn’t want to just turn it into a handbag, skirt or something that really wouldn’t use it’s water-resistant properties to it’s fullest, I wanted it to do what it was intended to do, but better”, says the 25 year old ecopreneur.

From there Recycling Zychal was born. Taryn became obsessed with collecting not just some of the broken umbrellas around her, but all of them. She installed a “No Broken Umbrella Left Behind” policy and started hiring her friends to help her collect them. By 2009, when she officially launched her storefront on etsy, Zychal had a startling number of broken umbrellas collected, stripped, washed, tagged and ready to be made into custom made Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coats, which are her signature and most popular item.

Today, Recycling Zychal has expanded into more than just custom dog rain coats, and now sells Organic Cat Nip filled Kitty Toys, babushkas that Zychal calls HOODs, baby bibs, kitchen aprons, dog and cat beds, and placemats that are all made from the salvaged remnants of broken umbrellas!   Zychal recently found out that her Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coats were nominated for a Cooper Hewitt People’s Design Award.

Blue Paisley Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coat, $30 @etsy.com

Blue Paisley Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coat, $30 @etsy.com

The Hood, $16 @etsy.com

The “Hood,” $16 @etsy.com

Recycling Zychal is getting ready to launch a new program, “FLORA, FAUNA, FUNCTION”, that is designed to help keep the streets clear of broken umbrellas, help support non-profit animal organizations and act as somewhat of a bailout for her small green company. The FLORA, FAUNA, FUNCTION program works by having businesses volunteer to set up a Broken Umbrella Donation Bin, provided by Recycling Zychal, in their storefront for people to toss their broken umbrellas into to get recycled. When the bin is filled, Zychal will then remove the broken umbrellas and donate $1 for each one collected to an animal helping organization, the first one being the Morris Animal Refuge in Center City Philadelphia. As an active member of the Humane Society, ASPCA, and Humane League, Zychal, who is also a vegan, understands the importance of helping animals as the weather starts to cool down and shelters start to fill up.
“It’s a triple win”, says Zychal, “You’re keeping the broken umbrellas out of the trash by recycling them, helping animals, and supporting a green business, all the while, it helps the business hosting the bin out by supporting a green movement and bringing in new customers.”

If you are interested in hosting a Broken Umbrella Recycling Bin at your business, or if you would like to donate your broken umbrella to Recycling Zychal, please email Taryn at info@recyclingzychal.com www.recyclingzychal.etsy.com

The Girl Who Loves Broken Umbrellas

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Readers Comments (9)

  1. Michele Erez says:

    This is so awesome!!! :0) I love the recycling, creations, and that she helps the animals! We are lucky to have her as a member of Etsy for Animals http://efaartistshelpinganimals.org Go Taryn!!!
    Michele, mvegan5

  2. Spunky Dan says:

    This is seriously the coolest thing ever! I wish I woulda known that I could have been helping the shelters around here before I chucked my broken umbrellas. Thank you Taryn for finding a way to recycle these and help some animals along the way!

    P.S. – Do you think my cat would wear one of those coats? they are adorable!

  3. […] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » The Girl Who Loves Broken Umbrellas girliegirlarmy.com/blog/20091026/the-girl-who-loves-broken-umbrellas – view page – cached Taryn Zychal can be spotted out after a rainstorm looking for broken umbrellas wallowing away in trashcans, subway stations and gutters. Her company, Recycling Zychal, then transforms them into… (Read more)Taryn Zychal can be spotted out after a rainstorm looking for broken umbrellas wallowing away in trashcans, subway stations and gutters. Her company, Recycling Zychal, then transforms them into stylish and functional green products that are far from trashy. (Read less) — From the page […]

  4. so friggin cool!
    sooo many umbrellas get trashed every time it rains and I always wondered if somoeone would do this. perfecto!

  5. This is so awesome! Love the dog in this super cute coat! :) lol

  6. […] Source: girliegirlarmy.com/blog/20091026/the-girl-who-loves-broken… […]

  7. Ada says:

    So technically this isn’t about Recycling Zychal but it IS about umbrellas! So you should check out Belles and Bulls, they have a post about tons of cute umbrellas: http://bellesandbulls.com/bbblog/2009/10/29/you-can-stand-under-my-umbrella/

  8. […] cruelty free advocate recently gave recommendation and praise to the company in an article entitled,The Girl Who Loves Broken Umbrellas, while one of Philadelphia’s most talked about internet sensations, Karina Bradley, sent out a […]

  9. […] cruelty free advocate recently gave recommendation and praise to the company in an article entitled,The Girl Who Loves Broken Umbrellas, while one of Philadelphia’s most talked about internet sensations, Karina Bradley, sent out a […]




Shop GGA

  • Contributors
  • Press
  • Cheapskates
  • Sign Up
  • About
  • Advertisers
  • Contact Us
  • Style & Beauty
  • Lifestyle
  • Mamazon
  • Nosh
  • Wellness
  • Exclusive
  • Default
  • Get This
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008