June in July Recycled Bag Designs

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This lovely shoulder bag has travelled more than a few mighty miles to reach me in Australia with a delightful story attached. Claire Patterson makes bags, totes and accessories from recycled leather, selling via her business name June in July, formally Curl Girl Designs. Completely out of the blue, Claire offered to send me one of her beautiful bags because she loves this blog.

Claire didn't ask me to review her brand in return, but seriously, how could I not? Not only is her gesture both kind and sincere, but her bags are pretty darn creative. Claire uses a mix of colourful fabrics with the leather she chooses to work, adding a contemporary edge to her style. Also worth mentioning, Claire's prices are very reasonable too.

I'm always intrigued to learn more about the person/people behind handmade recycled products; their story, their working background, that sort of thing, so I have 'interviewed' Claire to share her 'June in July' story with Recycled Fashion readers:

:: Claire Patterson, June in July ::

Q: Tell us about you and your working life prior to 'June in July'

I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and am still happy to call it home. I live with my super supportive and wonderful husband and my two year old munchkin, June. I am a lawyer by trade, but am currently trying to make a go of this handmade business.

Q: How long have you been sewing for?
I was raised around sewing. My grandmother taught home economics in the 1960s and my mom always made outfits and other crafts for my sister and I growing up. I starting sewing for myself in high school when I wanted to make a purse and things just blossomed from there. I started working with leather about seven years ago and it was really a game changer.

:: June in July Designs ::

Q: Why did you decide to start 'June in July'?

I started just making purses and bags for myself, mostly because I couldn't find exactly what I wanted at the store. I never dreamed that people would want to buy them or that this would be my business. It's really inspiring that people love my bags as much as I do and want to support my creativity.

:: June in July Designs ::

Q: Where do you source your leather?

All of my leather is repurposed from vintage coats, pants and skirts. I buy most of it from second hand and consignment shops. Occasionally I do special orders where I transform sentimental leather pieces that are no longer used into bags so they can have a new life.

:: June in July Designs ::

Q: Is working with recycled material particularly important to you? If so, why?

There is incredible detail in so many of these pieces that are cast aside and forgotten about. It honestly feels like we are doing the original leather crafters a disservice by not continuing to use these items that they have worked so hard to create. I love being able to give the leather a new purpose while at the same time saving us from waste.

:: June in July Designs ::

Q: Aside from Etsy, do you sell your bags anywhere else?

I currently do most of my business on Etsy and sell in a few local shops and craft markets. My goal is to have an independent store on my personal website and hope to have that up and running in 2015.

Q: What would you say is your greatest challenge working on your business?

I have two major challenges. The first is my want-to-be-perfectionist personality. Working with recycled materials, it is difficult to have the exact size, shape or color available to perfectly fulfill my design vision. I spend a lot of time reworking ideas to make the most of the materials I have. My second major challenge is time. I have a two year old who is adorable, but also very very busy. As I'm sure any mother knows, there is a constant struggle of how to use my free time most effectively and efficiently. It is a struggle for me to make sewing and my business a priority.

Once again Claire, thank you for my gorgeous bag. Keep up your great work and long may your recycled leather bag business flourish!

You can follow Claire's adventures on Instagram, and shop her beautiful recycled creations on Etsy and her blog.


Op Shop Fail

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I spent a nice morning op shopping with baby Recycled today, in search of a few mundane containers for the kitchen, nothing worth writing about, until ... da-da-duuuuuuhhh, these things caught my eye:

:: Op Shop Fail ::

Is it a wedge? Is it a heel? Who would design such hideous things?

In other news, Mr Recycled spotted a couple of pint glasses on the side of the road that made their way back to our house. Cheers to a bit of curbside hard rubbish style.

:: Cheers to Hard Rubbish ::

Speaking of pints, Mr Recycled and I graced Melbourne's Princess Theatre on Saturday night for the official opening of Once the Musical, a story based in modern day Dublin, complete with a bar on the stage and Guinness too!  Once the Musical is such a beautiful show, you can read more about it here.  I donned my new-to-me frock purchased from the second Thrifty Fashionista Market held at Westfield Southland last weekend, although I completely forgot to take a photograph of it.  I did however, take a photograph of the Princess Theatre's stunning ceiling though!  Aren't theatre's grand?

 :: Princess Theatre, Melbourne ::

Lastly, I'll take this opportunity to mention my upcoming workshop that will take place at the next Nanna Cool Market in Frankston.  Will you join me in making pretty flower brooches out of fabric scraps? More details here.


Advanced Style Documentary: Ticket Giveaway

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ari Seth Cohen's beautiful blog Advanced Style heads to the big screen in a documentary directed by Lina Plioplyte covering the lives of seven senior New York women aged 65 - 92. Advanced Style: The Documentary, dispels the myth that style and fashion sense is lost later in life, instead emphasising that with age brings forth grace, beauty and an air of confidence that can be lost in a sea of youth.

Ari Seth Cohen's street photography project captivating older women on the streets of one of the most vibrant cities in the world, inspired his successful blog, a book, and now a documentary that cannot be missed. Watch the trailer for Advanced Style here:

Advanced Style opens in participating Australian cinemas on 2 October 2014:

ACT - Palace Electric Canberra
NSW - Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace
NSW - Palace Norton Street
NSW - Palace Verona Cinemas
NSW - Roseville
QLD - Palace Centro
QLD - Regal Twin Cinemas, Graceville
SA - Palace Nova Eastend
TAS - State Cinema
VIC - Cinema Nova
VIC - Kino Cinema
VIC - Palace Brighton Bay
VIC - Palace Como
WA - Luna Palace Windsor*

*Locations may change without notice.


Thanks to Madman, I have two double pass tickets to giveaway. To enter, leave a comment below or on Instagram by Sunday 5 October 2014, and two winners will be contacted. Tickets are valid in nationwide participating cinemas, conditions listed in the rear of the ticket.


Upcycled Collection on UncommonGoods

Monday, September 29, 2014

An online marketplace specialising in creative designs opened its online doors some 15 years ago. Established in New York and Headquartered in Brooklyn, UncommonGoods sells an interesting mix of merchandise including handmade jewellery and personalised jewellery as well as a collection of upcycled products with an emphasis on gifts created in harmony with the environment.

The range of products made using existing and interesting material available to buy through UncommonGoods includes:
  • Sari's redesigned as bags, scarves, satchels, skirts and robes:
 :: Upcycled Fringe Sari Scarf ::

:: Upcycled Sari Yoga Bag ::
  • Old tyre's turned into wallets and bags:
:: Upcycled Tyre Wallet ::
  • Bike tubes made into bags and belts:
:: Upcycled Bike Tube Belt ::

As well as baseball bats made into bottle openers, flattened wine bottle platters, snow ski wine racks and even a skateboard stool.
:: Upcycled Skateboard Stool ::

Interesting stuff. Take a look through UncommonGoods next time you're on the hunt for a cool gift for a friend or loved one.


Cake, Snakes and Heights

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another year has passed and the RF household reached another birthday milestone with the eldest turning 6, and Mr RF and I turning ...another year older. This year undoubtedly proved to be a tad different from previous birthday celebrations.

Deciding to go with something different for Mr 6's birthday party, we hired Animals of Oz to entertain the kids and it turned out to be the best decision we had made. Animals of Oz host Jesse introduced the children to a blue tongue lizard, frilly lizard, a baby croc, a Kookaburra, a python, a bat, two possums and a frog.

Mr 6 wore his gifted Indiana Jones outfit (second hand from eBay) which suited his role as 'Assistant Ranger' perfectly. After the frog wee'd on his Indiana Jones shirt, he changed into his Indiana Jones tee (also second hand from eBay) with the rather ironic caption "I Hate Snakes" - amusing when holding a python with a grin on his face!

I had a turn holding Tinkerbell (the python's name) too. I think Tinkerbell approved of my op shopped outfit.

:: Birthday Snake Cuddles ::
A great night followed, celebrating with friends, eating lots of cake and being completely spoiled with great gifts including this cute glass cake plate from pal ILoveToOpShop:

:: Thrifty Glass Cake Stand ::

The following day we ventured up to the top of Eureka Tower, to Eureka Skydeck 88 which is the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. No big deal you might think, except I'm afraid of heights!  I did it though, even ventured out onto the Edge - a glass cube with transparent floor, which projects 3 metres out from the side of the building. Terrifying? Yes. Great views though.

Another year gone and a few ticks off the bucket list.  What else can I squeeze in before the big 30+10?!


Ungalli Clothing Co. GIVEAWAY

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Canadian based Ungalli Clothing Co. describe their brand as 'a fierce determination to change the way people think about their clothes', offering a range of casual and active wear made from recycled plastic bottles, recycled cotton, and scraps from cotton factory floors.

Based out of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Ungalli Clothing Co. designs and produces a collection of t-shirts, sweaters, hats and tanks using 100% sustainable materials.

I first heard of Ungalli Clothing Co. on Instagram, intrigued by their designs inspired by African nature, and the recycled material used to produce them.

:: Ungalli "Sinbad" Men's Short Sleeve T-shirt ::

The two ladies behind Ungalli Clothing Co. are Hailey and Bree Hollinsworth, sisters born and raised on a farm in Northern Ontario, Canada surrounded by horses, hayfields, and the scenic Kaministiquia River.

:: Hailey and Bree Hollinsworth, Ungalli Clothing Co. ::

Hailey and Bree have shared their inspiration, vision and beautiful story behind their unique brand with Recycled Fashion readers:

What inspired you to start your clothing line?

Our mother read us a story every night about a group of African animals struggling through a great hunger.  The childhood story that inspired our business idea is called The Name of the Tree by Celia Barker Lottridge. The story takes place during a drought in Africa and none of the animals can find food or water.

:: The Name of the Tree by Celia Barker Lottridge ::

All the jungle animals decide to work together to find food and they come across a tree filled with luscious fruit. The branches are too high for any of the animals to reach and the tortoise remembers his great, great grandmother telling him to chant the "name of the tree” to get the branches to come down. Only the king of the jungle knows the name of the tree and all the animals must come together to find the king. After finding out the name of the tree, they all chant the word and see the branches lower before their eyes. The name of the tree is Ungalli and it is seen as the animal’s saviour from starvation. This is exactly the message Ungalli Clothing Co. wants to represent. We want our customers to understand that we need to work together to make this planet a happier and healthier place for all.

:: Ungalli Clothing Co. ::

Who designed your clothing brand artwork and will there be more designs in the future?

Ungalli is incredibly lucky to have such a talented graphic designer as part of the team - Jordan Danielsson of Lost Art. Jordan is responsible for all custom clothing designs and product layouts. Jordan has already established quite a reputation and continues to emerge as a leading creative mind in the ThunderBay area as a graphic designer, creator of his own clothing line (Lost Art),and as the designer of Ungalli Clothing Co. There are many more exciting designs in store for the future including 3 new ones that will be printed for Christmas 2014 on hoodies, zip-ups, and long sleeves. Ungalli’s vision could not have come to life without Jordan!

Do you only sell online or do you stock in stores / sell at markets?

Ungalli sell’s online as well as at markets, carts and kiosks in malls, with plans to sell wholesale into stores where the brand will be always be available.

Where are your clothes produced?

One of Ungalli's goals has been to keep all production in North America. So far we have managed to keep everything within North America, other than our trucker hats which we have imported. Everything else is produced in West Virginia and North Carolina, USA.

Do you donate a percentage of your sales to charity?

We donate $1 from each sale of specific charity inspired products. So the lion 'Sinbad' shirt will raise $1 from each one sold o Sinbads daily care, and the Born Free Foundation's future rescue missions. The sale of footprints and Gary Oak shirts go towards the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

What do you think is the greatest challenge in running an eco/ethical clothing brand?

The greatest challenge right now is competing with “green washed” products. Greenwashing is when a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impacts. It’s really hard for consumers who are doing their best to be kind to the planet to navigate through the “eco friendly” clothing world. Having said that, consumers are getting better at spotting green washed products, and we are always excited to meet customers who truly understand the impact they make by choosing recycled or upcycled clothing.

:: Ungalli Women's Back Long Sleeve T-shirt ::

What are the future plans for Ungalli Clothing Co.?

The Ungalli team is dedicated to creating a line of sustainable and casual clothing that defies all misconceptions that eco friendly clothing is “earthy” or “crunchy”. Doing good for the world by changing what you wear, does not mean you have to sacrifice your style and the way you express yourself to the world. We believe that sustainable fashion should be suited to your everyday life, no matter where that life may take you. Ungalli plans to keep moving with fashion forward designs, connecting with new charities and organizations we can help, educating people on sustainable fashion, and adding more variety to our line. This winter we have winter hats, scarves, hoodies, zip ups, long sleeves and jewellery in the plans too.


I love my Ungalli long sleeve tee, you can win one too ..

Hailey and Bree have kindly offered to worldwide giveaway a Ungalli Clothing Co. clothing product to one Recycled Fashion reader. To enter, follow the steps below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T-shirt to Treasure: Upcycled Macramé Necklace Workshop with Colour Box Studio

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kirri-Mae Sampson of Kirri-MaDe has developed an upcycled t-shirt necklace design that blows all others out of the water.

 :: Kirri-MaDe Upcycled T-shirt Necklaces ::

Using the art of macramé, ethically minded creative Kirri-Mae has developed an on-trend statement necklace design using unwanted t-shirts no less.

Obviously a design like this would not be simple to master at home, unless you were already skilled in macramé craft, which is why you should join me in Kirri-Mae's brand new T-shirt to Treasure: Upcycled Macramé Necklace Workshop held in conjunction with Colour Box Studio on 25 October 2014.


That's right my friends, you too could go home with your own eco-fabulous statement piece, with the added bonus of taking away a new craft skill to try out at home. Kirri-Mae's 2.5 hour class will take place at Pozible's Headquarters in Collingwood from 1 - 3:30pm at a cost of $60.  T-shirts will be provided, or you can BYO tee if you prefer a specific colour.

Book your place here. I hope to see you there!


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