Space Invader Tee Refashion

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I almost missed this Space Invader Tee, hidden amongst the children's clothes in a local Op Shop. Wouldn't you know it, Space Invader Tee is an adult size, and cost me a big fat 50c.

:: Space Invader Tee ::

I didn't bother trying on Spade Invader Tee, I rarely do for that price, because if it didn't fit, I could always make a grocery bag out of it.

Anyway, the Space Invader Tee did indeed fit, although I felt lacked interest, so after a quick scissor snip, I now have a Space Invader Vest, with a side tie for added interest.

:: Sleeves and neckline removed ::

:: slit for side tie ::

In another news, it has been announced that Recycled Fashion has reached the 'Top 100 Green Initiatives 2015' list prepared by Green Match, making it to number 5 of the 'Top 20 Green Projects'. What a nice surprise!


Pea Green Sea: Repurposed Sari Silk Infinity Scarves

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Australian based designer Susan, under her business name Pea Green Sea, re-purposes sari silk into beautiful infinity scarves and sells them via her online store.

Susan is not new to upcycling, often refashioning shirts and dresses into clothes for her children, but it is sari silk that has taken centre stage with her sewing machine, after her infinity scarves grew in popularity with family and friends, and soon the Etsy community.

:: Infinity silk sari scarf in teal, black, blue/green, gold - "Aegean" ::

Susan sent me one of her designs last week.  We exchanged emails to establish my preferred colour, and my stunning scarf arrived in the mail within days; perfection.

Whether complimenting a sleek little black dress number or dressing up a casual t-shirt and jeans get-up, Susan's infinity scarves add a little bit of elegance to any outfit.

:: Infinity silk sari scarf in blue, grey and silver - "Azure" ::

All Pea Green Sea scarves remain the same price; a very reasonable $29 AUD (approx $23 USD), however, Susan is generously giving ALL Recycled Fashion readers a further 15% off all purchases from now until 31 May 2015. Type in RECYCLED15 at checkout.

:: Infinity silk sari scarf in crimson, maroon,burgundy, black -"Amaranth" ::

You might be interested in having a look through Susan's Pea Green Sea collection on Etsy and snap up a little sustainable luxury for your own wardrobe.  Be quick though, Susan finds it a little hard to keep up with the demand of her designs! (I am not surprised).

Further reading - if you would like to learn more about the creative work and ideas behind Pea Green Sea, do check out Susan's interview on A little bit of Jess blog here.

You can find Pea Green Sea here:

Instagram: @pea_green_sea


Minted: Online Art Marketplace

Monday, March 2, 2015

I'm always on the look out for art pieces around the home, and have been quite lucky with a few of my thrifty finds, but I have to say that I find it quite hard to find an ideal piece for a certain room or an area of the house when I have something specific in mind.

I love finding unique pieces of art in galleries, but going home with an original piece can be a costly affair, which is when online sites such as Minted can help. Founded in 2007, US based Minted is a design marketplace that connects worldwide designers and artists with art-loving consumers on a large web scale.

:: Minted: Online Art Marketplace::

Minted offers all types of products including customised graphics, fabrics and home decor, but what really caught my eye is Minted's collection of limited edition art pieces, each with a link to the artist's bio, found via a unique URL to locate the artist's entire collection sold on the site. Artists can submit their work to a worldwide audience, gain 'fans' for each piece via the Minted community, as well as enter design competitions and have the opportunity to reach the 'Editor's Choice' hall of fame. Once an art print is sold on the site, the artist will receive a commission.

For the art-loving consumer such as I, there is a wonderful collection of art prints to buy, from a selection of photography, sketches, paintings, mixed media work, graphics and more, which are then printed to the required size, and framed if reqired. I have my eye on these:

:: Field of Waves by Paper Sheep ::

:: Float by Betty Hatchett ::

:: Twinkling light by Lesley Ferraris Photography ::

Minted can be found on the usual social media channels; Facebook and Twitter.  Minted's art collection can be found here.


How to Integrate Indigenous Cultures into Modern Fashion

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The following guest post, How to Integrate Indigenous Cultures into Modern Fashion is written by Danica, Founder of ethical fashion brand Wild Tussah.

 :: Wild Tussah ::
How to Integrate Indigenous Cultures into Modern Fashion
When it comes to sustainable and ethical fashion, conscious consumers all around the world can't seem to get enough of new, innovative ways to ensure that the clothes and accessories they spend good money on don't contribute to the exploitation of sweatshop workers - or to the destruction of the environment.

Apart from the financial support and fair treatment that modern companies are expected to offer their workers, it is also vital to help them conserve their cultural identity and their traditions, and to show respect towards their way of life.

This is why the integration of authentic ethnic elements into modern sustainable fashion is so important; it doesn't just offer a valuable source of income to people who so desperately need one, it also celebrates and appreciates indigenous cultures and their traditional handicrafts for the art form they actually are.

:: Wild Tussah Weavers ::

I know from first-hand experience that there are a few ways you must work with and integrate cultures into your design so that you end up with happy artisans and happy consumers. My 10 months of living in Vietnam, working directly with the ethnic communities and designing a sustainable handbag line, Wild Tussah, has taught me this.

:: Wild Tussah Cham Weaving Workshop ::

If you are interested in making your own clothes and accessories by working with local artisans, or would like to learn about the process behind ethical designing that happens on location, this is where you will find the inside scoop!

Choosing an ethnic culture
There are a few things to consider before attempting to create modern fashion with ethnic elements. Some questions you need to ask are:
• What specific skills do you need to source?
• What artisanal products would you like to bring to an international market?
• Will the artisans you work with be able to keep up with capacity needs?
• Will you be able to do their skills justice, to pay them a fair wage and still end up with a profitable product?
• Are these artisans comfortable working with foreigners?

:: Mrs Diem using a Loom ::

While your initial love for a culture or location might drive you to design, you have to think on a practical level before starting if you are going to create successfully.

Sourcing the artisans and their skills
The process of finding and selecting the best group of people to partner with involves a lot of research, so let's face it; having a reliable assistant on board who speaks the national language is a must! I really couldn’t have created a handbag line at the speed that I did without my Admin Assistant, Khuê.

From my experience, most local information online is not in English, and depending on the country, most people do not speak English. I found that having Khuê there to translate was invaluable and enabled me to build a relationship with my suppliers.

The initial research process will go something like this if you are on location:

1. Find information on the ethnic group, their skills and traditions.
2. Locate their local shop where they trade or where the closest artisan village is that you can visit.
3. Call beforehand to schedule a meeting time and let them know why you are coming.
4. Speak to the person you’ll be working with once you get there either directly or through a translator about partnership opportunities.
5. Organize time to spend with the artisans and learn about their making process and local traditions.

Delving into the artisan’s culture is extremely important, so allowing yourself time to research and visit their village is crucial. You’ll be able to understand how people live in these communities, and check out the artisans' working conditions. Make sure you take notes on any aspect you think you could help improve in the future should the partnership be successful. Seeing with your own eyes how your products are actually going to be made will help you pay your workers fairly.

:: Wild Tussah visits Cham Kindergarten ::

If you aren’t able to be in the country where your artisans live, you can find other alternatives to sourcing handicrafts. There are online businesses that do the hard work for you; they source the handicrafts themselves and act as a liaison between you and the artisan.

Culture preservation
The next part to this process is to work on the design specifications and create something that will preserve your artisans’ traditions. Culture clash is a major faux pas, so keep in mind the way their handicrafts traditionally look, the tools they use and the way they work. All are building blocks to creating the culture you have come to love and want to preserve. You might think that an old loom, for example, needs to be replaced with a new one, but that isn’t the case if they traditionally use these old looms. What part of the culture are you preserving; the skill; the process of creating; the actual handicraft product; or all of the above?

:: Loom Weights ::

Giving credit
After creating, you can now show your design to the world, and... give credit to your artisans! Giving them a voice; it brings more meaning and depth to your product. They are the reason you started in the first place, so share with the rest of us those who inspired you. When the person wearing your clothing or accessories understands that it took the maker months to complete, they can see more beauty in the piece and the value of it.

I find this part to be the most enjoyable because I get to share amazing stories from real people, and prove that my design has purpose and it is changing lives.

My question to you is, what part of the creation process do you think is the most important when you are integrating indigenous cultures into modern fashion? And which do you think is or would be the hardest?

For more information about women’s empowerment, sustainable fashion, culture preservation, weaving, eco-tourism and anything Vietnam-related, check out Wild Tussah’s blog. To see our handbags, which incorporate Lu and Cham weaves, visit our online shop.

:: Wild Tussah Handbags ::

About Danica
:: Danica Ratte - Wild Tussah ::

Danica Ratte is a travel addict who grew up and went to university in the US; moved to Australia for 3.5 years; and now resides in Vietnam, living out her dreams of designing consciously. She was inspired to start her sustainable handbag line after a life changing 5-week trip through South East Asia. Danica was blown away by local ethnic weavers’ skills and their excitement to teach others about it. After she found out that these weave cultures were endangered of going extinct, she decided she had to work with the artisans directly to help preserve their traditions. Now she asks this question every day: “Do you know where your bags come from?”

Melbourne Frock Swap at Seaworks 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Due to the popularity of last years successful indoor second-hand fashion market held in the historic Seaworks in Williamstown, Melbourne Frock Swap is back, with the first event of the year taking place on Sunday 15 March 2015.

Seaworks is a big and beautiful old boathouse filled with old charm and character, which is now used for functions, exhibitions and events throughout the year. The ladies behind Melbourne Frock Swap have chosen this delightful venue to host their second-hand market, positioned on the waters edge with beautiful views across Port Phillip bay. Melbourne Frock Swap boasts 70+ stalls selling pre-loved gear from fashionista's selling excess clothes and accessories from their wardrobes.

Expect to find frocks, shirts, pants, shoes, tops, handbags, blouses and more, all for a fraction of their recommended retail price. What better way to update your wardrobe, than to shop up at Melbourne Frock Swap; not only are you saving cash but you're also being nice to the environment by buying clothing already in circulation.

If you are looking for a way to part with some of your own wardrobe pieces, why not consider booking a space with Melbourne Frock Swap. You could host a stall on your own, or gather your friends and set up a combined stall together. For the 2015 market at Seaworks in Williamstown, the cost per stall is $60.00 for a 3 x 3 metre site. You will need to bring your own table, racks and chair/s, and think about pricing your wares (highly recommended) prior to the day. Stallholders have access to free parking and loading bays, making it easy for you to set up, and pack up. Check here for more details on how to book a stall with Melbourne Frock Swap.

For all you bargainistas looking for some fancy new wardrobe additions, Seaworks is easy to get to by car, just 10 minutes from the Westgate Freeway, with free parking found nearby, or metered parking at the front of the building. Note there is a $2 entry fee, and it is advisable to bring cash with you to shop for your loot. The good news is, Seaworks is an indoor venue, so the market will run rain, hail or shine.

Williamstown's cafe precinct can be reached within a quick 2 minute walk from the grounds of Seaworks, where you will find an ATM if you run out of cash, otherwise make the most of your day and stop for lunch or a coffee after your shopping spree in the historic harbourside town. Find Melbourne Frock Swap online, and follow on Facebook for all the latest news.


Cut Out + Keep: Around The USA In 50 Craft Projects BOOK GIVEAWAY

Monday, February 16, 2015

In 2003, student Cat Morley started a craft blog to share tutorials for crafts she was making. After publishing over two-hundred of her own projects, Cat's boyfriend Tom built a system to enable other crafters to join up, using the site as a platform to share their own creativity to the world.

That site is Cut Out + Keep; an online community where anyone can make and share their tutorials. There are currently over 50,000 projects found on Cut Out + Keep, covering every type of craft, from over 100,000 contributors all over the world.

The successful couple have now released their first craft book; Cut Out + Keep: Around The USA In 50 Craft Projects.

The book combines craft tutorials with the couple's epic road-trip, where as a reader, you can take a journey through 50 states and craft your way through 50 step-by-step tutorials inspired by each of them.

Cut Out + Keep: Around The USA In 50 Craft Projects is an alternative craft book filled with fun projects inspired by American places, landmarks and fables and legends.

Some of my recycled craft favourites:

* Licence Plate Notebook inspired by Michigan's Motown,
* Jackalope Jewlry Holder inspired by Wyoming's local legend,
* Playing Card Bouquet inspired by drive through wedding chapels in Las Vegas,
* Red Ruby Shoes to feel like you're not in Kansas anymore!

These are obviously just some of many other cool and crafty projects covering crochet, paper craft, sewing, origami, decoupage, lots of yummy food recipes too (UFO cake pops, anyone?) and more.

Cut Out + Keep: Around The USA In 50 Craft Projects is released on 16 February 2015 in the UK, and 17 March 2015 in the USA. Get your hands on a copy via Amazon or publisher Laurence King.

To get you excited, here is a snippet from Cut Out + Keep: Around The USA In 50 Craft Projects; a tutorial to make a Bottle Cap Ring.


In an exclusive Recycled Fashion and Cut Out + Keep promotion, we have one Cut Out + Keep: Around The USA In 50 Craft Projects book to giveaway to one reader. Enter via Rafflecopter below.

Happy Crafting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Great Handkerchief Comeback

Friday, February 6, 2015

The following guest post is written by Marion, co-founder of TSHU

Today, I’d like to tell you why I think the handkerchief is about to make a great comeback, with 6 excellent reasons why:

Be prepared for anything. Having a handkerchief on you means you will always be ready to deal with the unexpected. Spill some coffee? Forgot to grab napkins with that sandwich? Suffering from the heat? Feeling emotional? Submitted to your toddler’s impromptu tantrum and left to pick up the pieces? Affected by seasonal allergies? Sniffling because of a cold? Pull out your handkerchief and save the situation with style.

Every Day Handkerchiefs
Photo by Daniel Bernard

Chivalry. Now, this is one that does not only apply to men. There’s an old saying that one must always carry two handkerchiefs: one for show, and one for blow. Indeed, keep the one you have been using (no matter how) and be ready to offer a clean hanky to the less clever one (aka those who don’t carry a handkerchief around and are facing unexpected messes).

Practicality.We have already covered the unexpected aspect, but having a soft, absorbent cotton handkerchief is also practical. You may not be comfortable blowing your nose at all times, but if you are outdoors in cold rainy weather, enjoy outdoor sports such as skating or skiing, or if you love to bike in the heat or train outdoors in warm weather, you will instantly see the benefits of being able to mop the sweat off your brow or wiping your nose without having your tissue disintegrate.

TSHU Moshe (two-ply)
Photo by Jimmi Francoeur

Environment. That is an easy one. Do you have any idea what kind of waste goes into producing, commercialising and using paper tissues? Every year, more than 3 billion kilos of paper tissues are used and wasted. That is the equivalent of 70 million trees. Just think of how many trees you can save by opting for handkerchiefs?

TSHU Ian & TSHU Andy
Photo by Jimmi Francoeur

Style. Of course, any piece of cloth can do the job, but you can also decide to show others proudly that you are making a statement for the environment. Choose a colourful, bold handkerchief you love – that way you will actually want to carry it around and pull it out in front of others! Handkerchiefs can even work as practical pocket squares – a stylish addition to the suit yet practical if need be.
Are you ready to adopt a handkerchief?

TSHU Elvis
Photo by Jimmi Francoeulr


About Marion

Photo by Daniel Bernard
Creative, passionate and determined, Marion loves to travel, adores sushi and enjoys a good dry martini. She has three boys who keep her feet on the ground. Marion loves new challenges and immediately dive into a new universe and make it her own. In the past, Marion studied painting and drawing as well as art history, managed cultural organizations, worked in communications, coordinated big and small events and worked as part of teams which launched large scale projects. Now, Marion dream of changing the world, one handkerchief at a time.. through TSHU.

Learn more about TSHU:

1. The TSHU Commitment: one tree planted for each handkerchief sold.

For each hanky sold, TSHU will plant one tree.

2. Discover TSHU's collection of fashionable yet practical handkerchiefs:

Ladies: here
Gentleman: here

3. Learn how to fold your handkerchief into a stylish pocket square here.

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