Eco Chic Solutions. Exquisitely-crafted fashionable items made from eco-responsible natural materials

Posts tagged “Recycled and Repurposed

Grassroots Innovation | Abject Project, LA ~ design as a gamechanger

Abject Object is a design enterprise that supports homeless individuals and shelters through the design, production, and sale of retail accessories made from reclaimed materials. A hands-on rather than handout model for social and economic empowerment, Abject Object teaches valuable job skills including sewing, production, and business strategies, to homeless individuals.

The Los Angeles team of Project H partnered with the Downtown Women’s Center, a shelter in central Los Angeles, to develop four retail products that could be made using basic sewing skills, and whose function would have retail marketability, as well as tell stories about the women who made them.

The design team and women from Downtown Women’s Center worked side by side for three months on the development and prototyping of four products, each with a double-function:

1. A Bag that transforms into a hammock,

2. A “pocket scarf” that can be used as storage,

3. A hood garment that doubles as a tote bag, and

4. A cloth mat whose pieces can be used as pot-holders.

All materials were scavenged or donated, and included recycled bike inner tubes, parachutes, donated clothing, and rope. The sale and proceeds of all four products, which will be sold through local and online retailers, go back directly to the individual who made the item, and the shelter.

Using the Downtown Women’s Center as a first client, the team has now developed a manual, user guide, training program, and resource kit for additional shelters in the area to launch their own in-house Abject Object enterprises.

Inspiration: Project H Design


Adopting a green lifestyle is easier than you think

By Dian Hasan | September 22, 2010

By now, most of us are aware of the importance of being green, but plenty of us (more than we’d like to admit!) often fester about WHAT & HOW EXACTLY do I become green and take better care of our planet.

Here are 10 easy tips on how to do it in a simple, intelligent and doable way… even a kid can do it (well they can always get adult supervision when changing light bulbs!):

1. Switch It Off!
About 35% of all electricity produced is used to run homes. Switch off the lights when you leave a room, and enjoy natural sunlight instead of overhead lights during the day.


2. Make A Change
If every household in America changed just one light bulb to an energy-efficient model, it would reduce global warming pollution by more than 90 billion pounds! Change all your bulbs to low energy models to enjoy lower bills and a better world.

3. Ride A Bike
One of the best investments, for your health, your wallet and the environment. Most people don’t get enough exercise and gas prices are through the roof. Every time you walk or bike instead of driving, you reduce your contribution to global warming by lowering the amount of car exhaust released into the atmosphere.

4. Share A Ride
If walking or biking isn’t possible, carpool or use public transportation. Personal transportation is responsible for up to 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and more than 45 percent of toxic air emissions!

5. Check The Oil
Keeping oil filters clean and tires properly inflated can increase a vehicle’s fuel efficiency by more than 15%. Almost a third of all trucks and SUVs on the road have at least one under-inflated tire, and any vehicle that’s running inefficiently releases more harmful emissions than a properly maintained one.

6. Plant A Seed
Trees reduce the impact of greenhouse emissions and act as a filter for the atmosphere. Twenty trees can offset the pollution from a car driven 60 miles daily! More green spaces in cities also help to offset the heat island effect, where urban areas are up to 10% hotter than surrounding rural areas.

7. Be A Star
Switch to Energy Star appliances that use less electricity than your old appliances. Save money on your electric bill while you lower your impact on the earth.


8. Fix A Leak
A leaky faucet can waste 50 gallons of water daily and that’s just from a slow drip! Fix your drips and reduce the amount of electricity used to pump water into your home.


9. Teach A Child
Teach your kids the importance of living green and ensure that their world and their children’s world will be less polluted than ours, not more!


10. Be Heard
Contact your local and state government representatives and encourage a review of current environmental policies. Let your representatives know that you support green programs for city projects and green building codes. Be heard and make a difference!

Inspiration: Engage Green

Nature Needs Heroes, a cheeky campaign to promote recycling

By Dian Hasan | September 22, 2010

Timberland, the US brand synonymous with outdoor active lifestyle that celebrates ruggedness, is already closely associated with enjoying nature. Maybe not always in an eco-responsible way, so the New Hampshire-based company came up with an ad campaign that pokes fun at just how far an “eco-lover” would go to save the planet from one more trash item. In this case it’s a empty plastic water bottle. Watch it! It’s both inspiring and humorous. Let’s hope Timberland’s message gets across… and of course you’d want to do all the “water bottle chasing while maneuvering through the treacherous terrain” in Timberland boots and attire!!

Timberland’s new “Nature Needs Heroes” TVC campaign to promote their new Earthkeepers eco-friendly line of footwear.

Inspiration: Timberland’s Earthkeeper Blog

Escama ~ from aluminum pull-tabs to über chic

By Dian Hasan | September 15, 2010

It’s no secret that well-designed, chic products with a handmade, recycled, eco-chic vibe are a huge trend today. Brazilian brand, Escama’s etro-glam Socorro Shoulder Bag takes the concept of recycling to another level. Escama has embraced an ethical, sustainable method for manufacturing their handcrafted bags. Over 700 aluminum pull-tabs rescued from the top of discarded soda cans have been artfully hand-crocheted together to form a sizable, versatile bag, whose shiny metallic texture is akin to fish scales.

Each Socorro Bag has been carefully handmade by a member of a self-controlled, skilled cooperative of craftswomen in Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil. Escama practices wage equality and sustainability and each bag comes with a special card that has been hand-signed by its creator.

Escama’s commendable Mission Statement, from their website:

To achieve our singular aesthetic, the Escama Studio team adapted traditional crochet techniques used in Brazil and imbued this tradition with a modern design sense and new materials. With designs originating from both San Francisco and Brazil, the bags are hand crocheted in Brazil by women’s collectives who are not just contract manufacturers, but an integral part of Escama Studio.

The result is an elegant and striking collection of accessories that illustrates our mission: creating innovative and stylish products from post-consumer and other sustainable materials, through partnerships with producers in underprivileged communities.

Inspiration: Keetsa

Modulab Ecodiseño ~ from celluloid to chic bags

By Dian Hasan | September 15, 2010

From celluloid to chic and eco-appropriate bags from Modulab Ecodiseño

Ever wondered what happens with the actual film that is projected onto the big screen at the cinema?, One creative company based in Chile, Modulab Ecodiseño, is using a Mexican weaving technique to refashion used 35mm film into a stunning collection of handbags.

Modulab Ecodiseño also works with other movie-related material, like film billboards and posters.

Inspired by the magic of the film industry, Modulab previously recycled movie billboard banners into a diverse collection including a messenger bag, laptop bag, yoga mat holder, tote bag and clutch with wristlet. The billboard banner material provided a strong quality base with impressive graphics. With the recently completed collection, the Modulab ecodiseño team looked to put an updated twist on a well known weaving technique through the use of yet another unexpected material. Strips of previously used film are interwoven then lined. The bag styles offer the option to wear as a clutch or shoulder bag and are available in a variety of colors for the strap and handle.

From celluloid to chic and eco-appropriate bags from Modulab Ecodiseño

Inspiration: Eco Fashion World

Bags made from recycled juice packs

By Dian Hasan | September 14, 2010

They do amazing things in the Philippines with all those discarded portable juice packs people sip on here, there & everywhere!

Enterprising women from a fair trade certified NGO (non-governmental organization) cut recycled juice packs into strips, fold and weave them together to create some very cool stuff!  Under Rebagz brand name, this US-based company presents a line of well-made, vibrant, fashionable and functional handcrafted creations, which also happen to be water-resistant.

And knowing that you’re doing a little part in alleviating our planet’s waste problem is a “feel good” factor that you don’t always get from other bags.

At Organic Bug you can find tousands of nice gifts, clothes, cosmetics, etc. Sustainable, organic, recycled, and handmade items.

Inspiration: Ideas Inspiring Innovation

Trash 2 Treasure | Repurposed fire hose

By Dian Hasan | September 14, 2010

“One Man’s Trash is another Man’s Treasure” is an adage that we hear all the time. In today’s raised awareness of the benefits of “going green” turning recycled material into new use and even fashionable items is no longer a novelty. Here’s a look at what happens in the after life of fire hoses when they’ve extinguished their last flame and reached the end of their productive fire-fighting lifecycle.

UK-based brand, Elvis & Kresse, creates beautiful fashion items that belie the material, repurposed fire hoses. So now we know simple “invisible” daily objects that go unnoticed and discarded after reaching the end of their productive life, can come back to life. Viva Reincarnation! Viva Sustainable Fashion!

Inspiration: Ideas Inspiring Innovation