© Carsten Trill
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography


Home accessories by ''Upcycling'' at Lockengelöt - a place where barrels turn into tables and records turn into egg cups.

What lies behind the rare name 'Lockengelöt'? Discover the world of Upcycling – the creative transformation of waste at the Lockengelöt store in Hamburg.

The so called ‘upcycling’ or ‘from old to newer, cooler, fancier, better’ could be the motto of this small company with the unusual name. In the heart of the popular ‘Karoviertel’ district, the little neighbor of the famous Schanze district, one can discover cabinets made of old oil barrels, key holders that once were books or lamps made from vinyls. Almost every piece is a unique product that makes a lasting impression, in both senses of the term, as a present or at home. “We want to deal with raw materials in new ways, see things differently and confront the throw-away society with ingenious ideas” say the founders of Lockengelöt on their Facebook page.

Visiting the shop in the Marktstraße can also feel like a trip to a German childhood. Characters of famous children books are placed on key holders and bizarre records and novels from Grandma’s closet are now functioning as funny yet useful objects like toilet paper holders.

“Look, that’s crazy!” is probably one of the most common outcries Dennis Schnelting and Carsten Trill are hearing every day. The two of them belong to the founders of the ‘upcycling’ movement. Since 2004 they have been reanimating the ‘waste’ of the throw-away society with great passion and commitment. They put all their spirit in rebuilding old table football figures into bottle openers or skateboards in egg cups.

It’s almost self-explanatory that they make the products themselves in a local space in Hamburg, often with self-constructed machines powered by sustainable energy.

Yet, the question remains, how the funny name came about? Was it while drinking beer in the student flat of the founders? The German word ‘Locke’ means curls, so maybe they first wanted to open up a hairdresser? If one googles the name, a group of comedians called Studio Braun that is mainly known for their prank phone calls come into focus. According to them, a ‘Lockengelöt’ means an indefinable technical advice. This might be a suitable description for the business, because what at first glance seems like a “Lockengelöt” turns out to be a towel holder.

Perhaps, the name can be understood as homage to the creative and artistic Hamburg, where the Beatles ones celebrated their first success. This would explain the mini-concerts and readings that occasionally take place at the store – or it's just for fun.  

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© 2012 Sven Schwarze

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