Upcycled Glassware and how you can make a difference!

Upcycling glassware is a hot topic right now. If you’re not in on the trend yet, you’re missing out!

In this article, we'll dive into the backstory of upcycled glassware, explore its benefits from both ethical and economic perspectives, and introduce you to A Second Round Glass — a company that’s making waves in the upcycled glass industry.

The origin of glass upcycling

The origin of upcycling glassware can be traced back to ancient Roman times when they’d reuse broken glass to make mosaics. Later on, Vikings would take these upcycled glass mosaic pieces and upcycle them again: 

“The ancient craftsmen in the earliest Viking Age around the year 700 used sophisticated and sustainable methods when they gave old Roman glass mosaics new life as glass beads” — Classicult

Upcycled Glass

Caption: Viking bead makers would melt the Roman glass cubes with remnants of gold and re-use them as accessories. 

During WW2, the concept of upcycling became something of a necessity due to shortages. One’s ability to repair, recycle, and make clothes from scraps suddenly became increasingly important:


But it wasn’t until the end of the 20th century that upcycling really started to gain mainstream popularity:

Newspaper Upcycling

Caption: In a 1994 issue of the architecture and antiques magazine Salvo, mechanical engineer Reiner Pilz explains that what we really need is not recycling, but upcycling, “where old products have more value, not less." 

Soon after, upcycling soft materials would turn into a popular way to customize clothing and a major trend in the fashion world. 

Glass, however, has remained a relatively underexplored medium, and as such, it offers numerous possibilities for large-scale growth under the upcycling market umbrella. 

The rise of upcycled glass

Today, with the Doomsday clock ticking and the rise of global warming disasters, people have started looking for more creative ways to reduce their footprint on Earth. And upcycling glassware is becoming increasingly popular due to its huge environmental and ethical benefits. 

By taking glass bottles, jars, and other containers that would normally be thrown away, and turning them into unique glasses, vases, and other household items, upcycling has become an easy way to reduce waste and create one-of-a-kind pieces.

The upcycled glass industry

But upcycling glassware isn't just about being environmentally conscious — it's also a financially savvy choice. 

On the base level, by reusing existing glass, upcycled glassware businesses can save money on materials and reduce production costs, which translates to savings for customers as well.

On a global level, there is great potential for this industry to boom. We've pulled out some recent stats to drive the point home:

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2018, Americans generated 11.5 million tons of glass in the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream, and only 33.2% of that was recycled.
  • The glass packaging industry is projected to reach $75.5 billion by 2028, according to a report by Grand View Research.
  • The global upcycled products market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9% from 2020 to 2027, according to a report by Allied Market Research.
  • The global container glass market size was valued at USD 61.3 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to expand at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% from 2021 to 2028. 
  • In 2020, the global recycled glass market was valued at $3.22 billion and is expected to reach $5.81 billion by 2027, according to a report by Grand View Research.
  • A report by ResearchAndMarkets.com stated that the demand for unique and eco-friendly glassware is on the rise, especially among millennials and Gen Z consumers who are willing to pay more for sustainable products.
US Container Glass Market

Caption: The data show a clear growth in demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products, including upcycled glassware. 

Upcycling can greatly contribute to building a circular economy. As the glass packaging market continues to expand, there is a huge potential for the green glass industry to tap into the demand and drastically reduce the amount of glass waste that ends up in landfills. 

With the rise of consumer awareness about sustainability and eco-friendliness, the demand for unique and environmentally responsible glassware for the home is only going to continue growing. 

All in all, the circumstances present a fantastic opportunity for a brand-new, sustainable, eco-friendly billion-dollar industry to be born. 

The problem with upcycled glass

However, there are some downsides to most upcycled glassware. 

Some products can have rough or dangerous edges, and customizing the design of each piece can be a challenge. 

Sanded Upcycled Drinkware Ready to be Fire Polished

And if cutting your lip while drinking water doesn’t bother you, there still aren’t many businesses dealing with glass upcycling in the US.

That's where we come in.

The solution to the glass waste problem: A Second Round Glass

We are  A Second Round Glass Second Round Glass, a company based in Texas that specializes in manufacturing upcycled glassware with a fire polished rim and custom engraving!

We are one of the first, and one of the few, to turn this from a backyard DIY project into a solid, sustainable, growing business.

Global Glass Market Value

Caption: We take all those glass bottles that would’ve ended up in landfill, and we give them a new life. 

What sets A Second Round apart? It’s simple — no one out there does it like us (and that’s us being humble!)

Our commitment to quality and safety is concrete. Each glass’ rim is fire polished to ensure that it is perfectly smooth and completely safe to use. 

At A Second Round Glass, we create handcrafted glassware from rescued bottles while supporting our community through sustainability. Our Vision is to create something real out of emptiness.

The best part? We offer a range of amazing designs that can make a unique budget gift: 

Upcycled Drinkware Collection

Caption: We can sandblast any custom design on, or we can laser-engrave it for the more intricate ones. Either way, these beautiful upcycled glasses make the perfect gift for anyone.

How do you know we’re legit? Ask Topo Chio — the 220 million dollar Coca-Cola-owned company that’s been working with us for over a year now. We have also partnered with multiple local texas wineries such as Barnhart Winery and West Sandy Creek Winery who have been an integral part of our success. 

We believe that upcycled glassware should be both sustainable and stylish. That's why we put in the extra effort — so we can really take pride in creating high-quality, unique glassware that is safe to use and easy to personalize. 

Whether you're looking for a set of cocktail glasses, wine bottle glasses, or simply a beautiful cobalt blue glass vase, we've got you covered. Check it out — https://a2round.com/ 

Wrapping up

Upcycled glassware is a trend that's here to stay, there’s no doubt about it. 

And by choosing to support businesses like A Second Round Glass today, you won’t just make a positive impact on the environment but you'll help support our local community, and you’ll be adding some truly unique, 100% handcrafted pieces to your home. 

So why not give upcycled glassware a try?

Contact us today to learn more about our products or check out our shop to see our selection firsthand. (We respond super-fast!)

Our Story

Who We Are

In a small town called Montgomery, Texas – that has a population of a little less than 1600 – there sits a house, deep in a cove off of Lake Conroe. In the garage of this house sits a short, hairless gentleman with round welding goggles on his eyes and a smile on his face. In his hand lies a torch being used to carefully cut a glass bottle into what will eventually become a smooth, functional drinking glass.

A Second Round began as a simple passion project. After a dinner consisting of homemade spaghetti and meatballs, and of course a bottle or two of red wine, Brent Stokes saw an empty glass bottle sitting in a recycling bin and wondered “What if I could make this into something else?” After many long hours of torching and scoring, Brent, with help from his wife Scarlett and children, Joseph and Morgan, finally took a long, well-deserved swig of iced tea from a glass cup fashioned from an old wine bottle and a little hard work.

At that moment, Brent and his family realized there might be something to this little hobby that he embarked on. Thus, A Second Round was born. Specializing in glass drinking wear derived from 100% recycled bottles, A Second Round now boasts upcycled cups in a variety of sizes and designs. From classic-plain sets, to custom business logos, to personal engravings, and more, A Second Round is a family-owned business that hand-makes products with their customers in mind. Don’t just take our word for it though, check out our gallery and see what our little passion project started in Montgomery, Texas has to offer!

Our Mission

A Second Round’s mission is very simple: produce a high-quality, upcycled drinking glass that is hand-made and customer-inspired. We believe the key to achieving this mission is by making each and every glass with three key principles in mind:

  1. A quality drinking glass is a hand-made drinking glass. We’re a family-owned, small business; that means that whether you’re getting a small, clear glass with a monogram on it, or a set of large tumblers, you’re going to get a product that is hand-made uniquely and excellently. We’re also a company born and raised in Texas; therefore every glass that we produce is not only made with pride, but with the intention of impressing and pleasing anyone using our products.

  2. We recycle used bottles to create quality, upcycled glass drink wear. From day one upcycling has been our bread and butter. We pride ourselves in knowing that every drinking glass held in the hands of our customers was once an empty glass bottle that was destined to either be in a landfill, or in the back of a recycling truck. Sustainability is the backbone of A Second Round, so we make sure that we’re making the world a better place, one glass at a time.

  3. Our products are customer inspired, and our company is customer focused. Be it our purpose-driven attention to detail, variety of available sizes and styles of drink wear, or personal customizability options, A Second Round exists to please our customers. We understand that you want a product that can’t be found in a superstore or wholesale catalog; therefore we strive and love to make our products to your specifications.

Please contact me at scarlett@a2round.com if you have an inspiration! Take a look for yourself, and see why we take so much pride in doing what we do!

A Second Round Glass also helps you promote your business with one-of-a-kind logos. We custom brand the drinking glasses made from upcycled bottles helping you create awareness and increased success. We invite you to raise a glass and by you doing so, you help make the world last!