Marzipants GIVEAWAY

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Marzipants, luxurious cotton fisherman's pants with a modern, ethical twist, are in existence today, after one lady's passion for developing a more flattering fit, to the traditional fisherman's pants she saw through her travels in India.  

"I first came across these wonderful trousers on my travels in India. I loved their simple design and  endless versatility, and felt that, with a few key alterations they would be a huge hit back at home.

I worked tirelessly to perfect the final design, moving towards a more contemporary cut, which gives a more flattering fit, whilst allowing for a complete and free range of movement. I decided from the outset that they were going to be a luxury item; hand crafted from the softest cotton, cut and sewn by skilled artisans belonging to a fair trade workshop. 

I've chosen a collection of vibrant colour which transcend both the seasons & continents. Finally, each pair has been packaged in it's own stylish bag which can be worn over the shoulder to carry anything you should need." Maree Gecks, Marzipants.

Maree Gecks, Marzipants Founder

Marzipants are hand made, fairly traded, lovingly crafted.  Each pair comes in a matching bag, all ethically produced by a small family run factory in India. You can read more on each individual person involved in the family factory right here.

"Marzipants are 100% natural, cotton trousers ideal for; the beach, traveling, yoga, pregnancy, dancing, festivals, simply relaxing and most importantly, having fun"

Marzipants are not limited to adult wear, they are suitable for children too.  I have a pair of Marzipants age 3-6yrs for Jnr RF.  Out of all 12 colours available, I chose indigo blue.  His little Marzipants are gorgeous, so well made, and very reasonably priced:

The beauty of ordering Marzipants for children, apart from their comfort, is the wear they'll get out of them.  Due to the added feature of a button and loop adjustable leg length and elasticated waist, this means they'll last him a few more years, which is a rare bonus considering the pace of which kids grow in height.

The arrival of Marzipants, in a beautifully presented little bag with tag, great for travelling:

Marzipants are unisex, suitable for men, women or children. Their unique wrap-around design means they comfortably fit all shapes and sizes, and I can confirm, they are quick to dry:

Dry in almost half an hour after this particular tap playing incident on a hot day!

Marzipants are available in adult 3/4 length or full length which fit up to size 20, and children's age 0-3 and age 3-10.

Marzipants would make an ideal ethical present for any fun loving adult or child.  They'd be no concern the trousers would not fit, due to their one-size fits all design.

Marzipants are on twitter and facebook, and blog here.


One Recycled Fashion reader, will have a chance to win a free pair of Marzipants!  From either the normal range (adult or children), or limited edition range (small, limited edition runs, each pair numbered and signed by hand).  To enter the giveaway, we have a rafflecopter entry system below.  If you have any difficulties entering this way, please do contact me to let me know.

 Photobucket a Rafflecopter giveaway

Recycled Bags, Bowls and Beads Workshop in Melbourne

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On this Sunday, in Melbourne's South East Suburbs, I'm excited to be running a recycled craft workshop, in conjunction with The Junk Wave.

Sunday 4th November 2012, from 1pm - 4pm:
Chelsea Occasional Care Child Centre
72 Catherine Avenue Chelsea VIC 3196
Cost: $30 for three hours, including all materials, tea and coffee.
Suitable for adults, and children 10yr+ if accompanied by an adult

Recycled Bag Weaving

I'll be demonstrating how to weave food packaging, which can be made into an uber chic bag.

Paper Bowls

I will be demonstrating how to create a bowl from recycled paper, junk mail, newspaper, or magazines. Make a sustainable bowl, big enough to hold your fruit, or small enough to hold your keys. Make as a gift, or keep as a household item for yourself.

Cardboard Beads

Who would have thought, a cereal box would make a beautiful necklace? I'll be demonstrating a technique to make your own recycled beads which you can make into your very own unique necklace or bracelet.

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL.  More details here


Sponsored Video - Rent the Runway

Monday, October 29, 2012

I admit to admiring designer clothing, but owning a designer garment has never been top of my list, mainly due to its excessive price tag. I'd certainly consider buying a second hand designer garment if I happened across it, but prefer not to search specifically for designer labels on my recycled fashion shopping expeditions.

I do however, welcome the idea of renting a designer frock for a special occasion. A dress that is rented out by a company to one person, which is worn to an event.  Once finished with, the dress is sent back, mailed to the next person, and so on. 

There is one such company, an online site called Rent The Runway is amusing, but does not give much of an insight into how the process works:

So I've signed up to their site to find out more. (sign up to Rent the Runway is free)

Here is the process, as taken from Rent The Runway's FAQ's:

How do I rent from Rent the Runway?
  1. Search the closet of your dreams! Enter your zip code, size and event date and our calendar will help find 1,000s of dresses and accessories available for your event. Select the date you want your order to arrive (up to 6 months in advance) and keep it for 4 or 8 days. Same day delivery is available in NYC and next day delivery throughout the U.S.
  2. Receive the dress via FedEx, UPS or courier service in the comfort of your home, office or hotel.
  3. Return. When your rental is over simply pop the pre-paid, pre-addressed return envelope into any United States Postal Service blue mailbox. No need to worry about the dry-cleaning—we take care of it!

Here are some dress rental examples:

Renting a frock is surely better than buying a new one to wear to each upcoming event? One might say, renting a designer garment, would be a 'recycling fashion' in a different context.  My only concern would be what might happen if the garment were to get damaged in some way, although my concern appears to be covered in Rent The Runway's FAQ's:

What if I accidentally stain or damage the dress? 
We understand that some wear and tear may be inevitable and beyond your control. Our dry cleaner can take care of most minor damage, and the $5 insurance charge included on each dress you rent will cover these types of situations. Although very rare, significant destruction (the dress is torn apart at all the seams, you accidentally run over the dress with your car, the centerpiece catches fire and chars a hole into your dress) or theft is not covered under insurance. If the dress cannot be repaired and we are unable to rent it to future customers, your credit card will be charged immediately for the retail price of the dress.

Readers, do you, or would you, consider renting a designer fashion item for a special occasion?


* This post is sponsored by Rent The Runway

Wearable Pillowcases

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rectangular or square pieces of fabric, known mostly as covers for fluffy pillows on which we rest our weary heads, and usually accompanied by matching bed sheets; the modest pillowcase.
The 1940's 'make do and mend' culture encouraged working class women to recycle textiles, and pillowcases were often used to sew into clothes such as white shorts.
We are lucky to live in a society today where we are not reliant on rations, however, much of our resourcefulness is non-existent as a result. Wouldn't it be great if we all continued with the make do and mend mentality of the 1940s, and used our existing textiles to make new, rather than throw away usable fabric.

Is it still possible for us to be resourceful with a pillowcase, in a throwaway culture that exists today? Can the humble pillowcase be made into a piece of clothing or accessory that we can wear with pride?  I think so!

I'll give you some examples:

A dragonfly top was my own first venture in transforming pillowcases into clothes:

More here
This inspired a second summer top, made from another thrifted floral pillowcase:

More here

You may or may not be familiar with a project called Dress A Girl (Around the World), a global campaign which encourages individuals with sewing machines to create dresses which are sent to underprivileged little girls, all over the world.  Each dress is based on an original dress design, usually made with a pillowcase.

Pam of Threading My Way, used pillowcases and a strip of curtain 
for her gorgeous little Dress A Girl project dresses:

More here

 Jillian aka the awesome ReFashionista made a dress for herself,
using a pillowcase from Goodwill:

More here

Pao of Project Minima made a Tunic from a King Size Pillowcase

More here

Debbie of On The Banks of Stony Creek,
made a summer top from a jersey pillowcase, which looks super comfy:

More here

Bag Again's Large Tote Bag is made from a re-purposed pillowcase

LargeTote Bag Repurposed Pillowcase Belt Strap Bag Again

Listed here

Picked Green's Vintage Inspired Full Apron is made using
upcycled geometric pattern pillowcases:

Vintage Inspired Full Apron Upcycled From Pink & Brown Geometric Print Pillowcases - Ready To Ship
Listed here

Mena made a sassy yellow pillowcase dress, based on an idea seen in a magazine she saw 20 years ago,
it took her less than 30 minutes to complete:


More here

A tutorial by Rain Blanken can be found on DIY fashion
how to make a skirt out of a pillowcase, her skirt includes cute little side ribbon ties.

More here

Thrift stores, opportunity shops, jumble sales or even our Mother's or Grandmother's linen closets (ask first before rummaging!) are often filled with good quality cotton pillowcases with pretty patterns, and intricate embroidery.  Maybe it's time we all start thinking about ways to restyle our pillowcases into fashion pieces, we can start a thrifty pillowcase fashion revolution!

Have you made a pillowcase fashion piece? If so, feel free to provide a link below, I'm sure we'd all love to see!


Breast Oasis Bra Donating Project

Saturday, October 27, 2012

You may recall an upcycling sewing project I tried a few weeks back, transforming a bra into a bikini top. This project worked for me, but may not for everyone. So what do you do, with your unwanted bra's? 

I received an interesting email in my inbox, from About Plastic Surgery, who have recently linked to a project called Breast Oasis under their Surgeons Give Support Program.

Dr. John Pedersen, founder of Breast Oasis

Breast Oasis is a US based non-profit charitable organization dedicated to supporting communities by providing women who may not be able to afford them, with clean, certified, gently used bras.  Find out more here

Why did About Plastic Surgery link to Breast Oasis?

"Three years ago, Dr. John Pedersen, a plastic surgeon based in Akron, Ohio, questioned one of his female patients undergoing breast augmentation what she planned on doing with her existing bras. Her answer was quick and obvious, 'I guess I’ll just throw them away.'
Dr. Pedersen decided there had to be a better answer and sought out ways to make use of these perfectly good and often expensive bras. He went straight to his wife Sejal, whose first thought was to contact the local battered women’s shelter since many women staying at shelters have fled dangerous situations with nothing more than the clothes on their back. He did just that!"  More here

The program runs until Nov. 2, so if you can spare five minutes to go through your wardrobe before then, there are a few ways you can donate your unwanted bra's. There are a selection of participating surgeon's around the US that are accepting used bra donations.  If however, you do not have a surgeon near you, bra's can be sent to:

About Plastic
Attn.: Alisa Vilabrea
345 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014


Redesigned Thrift Store Runway

Thursday, October 25, 2012

You may recall a blog feature written in June, promoting a project called Thrift Store Runway, which is a US based monthly online contest that encourages the idea of thrift fashion.

Thrift Store Runway (TSR) encourages contestants to submit their thrift purchased fashion outfits looks to an online monthly competition. Whilst the project remains a monthly contest, giving away $500 per month (if they receive submissions from 50 or more entrants), TSR have launched a new site to incorporate editorial and multimedia content:

A snap shot of two September winners:

 Matthew won the judge's pick with his Double Breasted Pinstripe suit ensemble
His entire outift cost just $37.46!

NeShanta found her African print dress for just $5.95 in Goodwill

 Matched with blue heels, and a yellow clutch

Are you based in the United States? If so, I'd encourage you to submit your thrifty fashion outfits to Thrift Store Runway, it is free to do so, and you could land yourself a nice monetary prize for your efforts!

Thrift Store Runway is a non-profit initiative, their goal is to promote the value of Thrift, through fashion.



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

You may wonder, why I talk of chemical free cleaning on a fashion related blog? For some, the choice of buying and wearing second-hand fashion, is an ethical decision. Recycled fashion could perhaps be considered one stem of a large umbrella which covers the overall choice of living sustainably.

If one follows an ethical lifestyle, their choices can be many, but are not limited to:

* Consuming homegrown vegetables, herbs and/or fruit
* Shopping for local produce i.e farmers markets
* Leaving the car at home, in favour of public transport, a bike or walking
* Buying second hand fashion to wear
* Buying second hand furniture for the home
* Choosing to buy organic vs non-organic produce
* Ditching plastic, in favour of reusable grocery bags
* Using a reusable coffee cup for take-away hot drinks
* Rejecting chemical infused products for the face and body
* Greening the laundry (see here for 'Recycled Fashion's Guide to a Greener Laundry')
* Following a chemical free cleaning regime in the household

The latter, as part of my own lifestyle choice, has been a relatively recent decision.  Any chemical laden cleaning product has since left the building, and been replaced with good old fashioned bicarb soda, vinegar and eucalyptus oil.  Our household no longer co-exists with a single bottle of window cleaner, or container of bleach.

What I will admit, is the amount of time and elbow grease our family has since put into our cleaning ritual has certainly increased, and lets face it, there are much better things to do with our time, than boring old cleaning.

Image c/o I'm so Vintage

A friend of mine suggested trying ENJO products, and I have to say, after doing so, cleaning the house (or bathroom at least) has definitely become easier, and much, much quicker. 

I have been cleaning my bathroom with ENJO's bathroom glove and microfibre cloth (called the 'miracle').

 Hello ENJO!

Whilst I am not a sales consultant, and cannot tell you exactly why ENJO's products work so well (although you can read a bit more about the science behind them here) they really do work.  I use my glove with hot tap water and nothing else, followed with a wipe clean with the miracle cloth.  Great cleaning results in minimal time with no chemicals, and absolutely no fuss.

It is hard to show you how well ENJO products work via a photograph, I've tried to, but you're probably going to be playing spot the difference here...

 You'll have to take my word for it; sparkly clean, in less than 10 minutes

ENJO's products have revolutionised my bathroom cleaning, so much so, I am considering the investment for further household ENJO cleaning products. I hope you'll agree with me, because I have one complete ENJO bathroom cleaning kit (value AUD 128) to giveaway to one Recycled Fashion reader.

Whilst ENJO products can be found worldwide, this particular giveaway is only open to Australian residents to enter.

To enter, do one or more of the following, each activity entitles you to an entry.  The winner will be drawn at random in a week from now.  Good luck!

*Some readers have indicated they are having difficulty entering via rafflecopter below, if this is the case, please just leave a comment as your entry*
 Photobucket a Rafflecopter giveaway

lur™ apparel, fashion for change

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'd like to introduce you to a new sustainable fashion line; lur™ apparel, which not only focuses on being an environmental brand, but also embraces commitment to produce garments within a socially responsible manner.

Founded in 2012 by Mark Heiman and Alan Brown, two entrepreneurs dedicated to creating disruptive, positive change within the apparel industry, embarked on a plan to develop their new recycled fashion brand lur™.

 lur™ apparel founders Mark Heiman and Alan Brown

All lur™ products are made from 100% recycled fibers; a combination of blended recycled polyester and recycled cotton (55% pre-consumer recycled colored cotton / 45% post-consumer recycled polyester).

Would you like to know how that works?  Here is a helpful diagram taken from lur apparel website:

The eco-friendly production path for all lur products.

No harmful dyes are used in the creation of lur™ apparel fabrics, additionally, their fabric finishing process saves 60-70% of the water and energy spent in more traditional manufacturing methods required of dyed fabrics.

 "We think our approach is unique because we knit beauty, sustainability and social responsibility into every product. And yes, we even think this could change the world!"  lur™ apparel

Some ethical fashion brands can be expensive to buy, but I do find lur™ apparel reasonable in price, with tops starting from USD18, and pants from USD32, their products also appear incredibly comfortable to wear.

Some of my personal picks include:

Waterfall Top 

Beautifully draped and layered top, with 3/4 sleeves and raw edges. 

Lodgepole Pant 

Straight leg fit with ribbed elastic and drawstring waist, and ankle-cuffed.

 Bellflower Dress

Slight bell-shaped sleeves, a fuller skirt, and a flowing cowl neck 

Passion Flower Poncho

Flowing drape, poncho-style hooded sweater with bell shaped sleeves and front zipper

lur dedicates a portion of profits to Friendship Bridge, a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to provide microcredit and education to help impoverished women establish their own businesses and to help themselves, their families, and their communities to rise out of poverty.  Additionally lur have started supporting Miracles in Action, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide Guatemalans living in extreme poverty with opportunities to help themselves through educational, vocational, and other sustainable development projects.

lur™ apparel can be found on facebook, twitter, and of course a website.