Upcycling, Repurposing, and Conserving

Going green, Peachy — By on January 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm

silkcat2 189x300 Upcycling, Repurposing, and ConservingHere at Peachygreen we are all about upcycling , repurposing  and conserving.  Use it up, wear it out and make it do is our motto and if you can take a worn out something and give it new life as a something else, that really gets our attention.

My friend Meg, who is a dedicated web entrepreneur and life long creative craftsperson is a case in point.

In addition to selling unusual, hard to find notions (things like silk thread and left handed scissors) on ebay and in her online store, she also quilts, sews, knits, does embroidery and needlepoint and  hooks rugs and a bunch of other things that I, who barely know how to thread a needle, cannot even name.

She and I are both yard sale and flea market mavens. We often spend fine Spring Saturday mornings checking out local offerings.  I go for the used books and antique silver while she makes a beeline for fabrics and laces– old clothes, bedspreads, curtains.  She loves fabric and has an eye for quality.

A couple of weeks ago she took an old charcoal grey wool blazer that had been silkcat3 255x300 Upcycling, Repurposing, and Conservinghanging in her closet for years and felted it herself( yup that’s why they call it boiled wool)  The thing was twenty years old and she was never going to wear it again so Meg decided to upcycle it.

A couple of days later she emailed me the pix you see here .  She had taken the old blazer, paired it with some  dupioni silk  bought when a fabric store went out of business several years ago, fashioned a pattern and created  delightful cat accent pillows, adding hand embroidery and bits of ribbon and lace. Each cat is unique. She even weighted the bottoms of a couple of them and is using them as door-stops– how green is that?

These little pussycat pillows have turned out to be big sellers online for her and she can’t keep up with the demand. She only had one old blazer after all.  I’ve told her that I have an old charcoal grey blazer in the attic she can have  and  I think she ouught to make more of these cute kitties, but Meg says when she’s done with them, she’ll go on to the next thing. The joy for her is in the creation and in finding new life for old but still beautiful fabrics.

Meg is part of a growing group of artists and craftspeople who are  upcycling and re-purposing all manner of items and who are definitely doing their part to lower our collective carbon footprint by re-using an amazing variety of things in miraculous and inventive ways.   Kudos Meg.  Keep up the good work.

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  1. Upcycling and repurposing are hot right now in the eco fashion market as well. We are seeing more and more garments and shoes, for example, made of recycled tires, duct tape, stuffed animals, etc. Pretty cool, considering it keeps carbon out of the air and provides useful products to inhabitants of spaceship Earth.

  2. Roberta says:

    Absolutely– I think it is a wonderful trend. The more we can keep out of the landfulls, the better off we are. I hope we are going to see more of this both in fashion and in art and home products.

  3. Joanna says:

    The cats are beautiful! No one would know they’re from recycled fabric!

  4. Linda says:

    Really cute items, creative, one of a kind type. Great way to re-use fabrics, whole yards and bits and pieces. Lovely workmanship – great gift ideas – items which won’t be found in your usual gift shops.

  5. ester says:

    Have you seen Sandhi Schimmel Gold’s upcycled junk mail portraits?

  6. Roberta says:

    Linda– thanks for stopping by and I so agree with you, especially about those kitty cat pillows. I just love them.

    Ester– thanks for the link– I went and had a look at Sandhi Schimmel Gold’s work– wonderful. I love the portraits. The variety and creativity involved in upcycled art is just astounding

  7. Such a neat little trinket!
    Several of my aunts love making comfy crafts, and have their fair share of cats!

    Can’t wait to pass this along :)

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