Spring’s approaching fast and what could be better than sprucing up your wardrobe with a few stylish accessories that fit the season. Even cooler if they’re also easy on the environment. We’ve found ten that are stylish and simply ecolicious.
1. The Tab Bag
via Escama Studio http://www.escamastudio.com
Believe it or not, this stylish handbag is made from hundreds of recycled aluminum pull-tabs. Yes, those tiny tabs we throw away without giving them a second glance after opening a can. Luckily, San Francisco-based company Escama Studio and various Brazilian crafts cooperatives have been working together since 2004 to create great fashion accessories from them. And their approach is personal: Each fashion piece comes with a tag bearing the signature of the person who made it. Customers can then click on that person’s profile on the company’s website to find out more about the artist. We love it!
2. The Wrapper Bag
via Ecoist http://www.ecoist.com/
Staying with hand bags, we’ve found some in the Ecoist online store that are made from recycled candy wrappers. That’s right, candy wrappers, another item that we thoughtlessly throw while focusing on the chocolate instead. This line of bags made from almost 500 repurposed candy wrappers, newspapers, soda packages or soda labels per bag proves that recycling is chic. Each bag is handmade in Mexico and Peru and comes in a range of colours to match any casual or business outfit.
3. Wrapper Wallet
For those attached to their favourite drinks and other wrapped junk food, there’s good news – a women’s cooperative in the Philippines recycles candy wrappers, drink packets and other waster products and turns them into everyday useful items like this wallet. A colourful reminder that packaging is valuable!
4. Circuit Board Business Card Holder
Almost a must for any green entrepreneur who’s a bit of a geek is the business card holder made of old circuit boards. Finally, a stylish way to deal with electric junk! Or what would better emphasize the fact that we’re all wired? Cool stuff just waiting to hit the business circuits we think.
5. Seatbelt Cushions
Few may have thought about what ever happens to all the seatbelts in old cars. Not so London-based design company TING that’s turned old seatbelts into stylish and sturdy cushions, bags, hampers and even hammocks. Quite ingenious we think.
6. All Star Bracelets
Remember the All Star craze, those high or low canvas sneakers in all colours of the rainbow, lovingly called chucks? Well, looks like they’re going to live forever. Arkansas-based entrepreneur Sean has given them a new lease of life by turning them into bracelets and wallets. For him, the idea is about finding the perfect object and turning it into something else, using all its parts in the process. Small wonder his company is called Refinding.
7. Tie Skirt
via Betsy Finkelhoo
The men in your life got some old ties that are just collecting dust in the cupboard? Worry not, here’s a way to put them to great use – create a tie skirt. SoCal-based eco-fashion line Finkelhoo offers to customize any old clothes that you want to use for recycled fashion! The tie skirt idea really blew our mind because it’s stylish and practical and seems perfect for those warm spring days.
8. The Statement Bracelet
If you want to wear your convictions on your sleeve and find a colourful bracelet for yourself or your kids, then Shains is the place to go. The company manufactures bracelets, necklaces, pet collars, hair bands and key chains with interchangeable icons and letters – all eco-friendly and certified lead-free. We especially like the Jane Goodall’s “Save the Animals” kit: It includes one of Shains trademark bracelets that come in many colours and 50 endangered species icons. In addition, Shainsware contributes 10% of net sales to the Jane Goodall Institute.
9. The Pocket Belt
via Betsy Finkelhoo
Tired of lugging a purse everywhere or stuffing your pant pockets like a squirrel its cheeks? Then try the pocket belt, also designed by tie-skirt creators Finkelhoo. The company describes itself as bringing a “Burningman genre of couture into everyday wear while incorporating environmental compassion by up-cycling” and all clothing and accessories are handmade from recycled fabrics. In case of the pocket belt, don’t forget – hips don’t lie, especially not about the amount of stuff you carry around.
10. Biodegradable Flip Flops
Ah, flip flops! Whoever has a great demand for this casual piece of footwear and has felt guilty about it in the past, here’s a pair that is at least biodegradable when you’re done with it. Made from recycled paper with soles of recycled and natural rubber, there’s no need to feel guilty for owning more than one pair. The shoes even come in a biodegradable bag and the company claims they’re suited for vegans.
There are lots more great ideas out there when it comes to recycled accessories. Maybe reclaimed materials challenge artists and manufacturers more than new ones to be creative and think outside the box. We’ll keep scouting and are pretty sure that an extension of the list is just around the corner.
The following was a guest post by Simone of the incredible site EnvironmentalGraffiti.com. You can follow them online at Twitter here or check out even more incredible stories and lists here. Thanks also to the guys at 1-800 recycling for the inspiration.