Valerie Moody

Eco Fashion – Reuse, Recycle, Accessorize

By - Jul 16th, 2011 04:00 am
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I grew up in California during the 70’s and 80’s, where numerous recycling and anti-litter campaigns were pushed through the media. Remember the “Keep America Beautiful” campaign? The thought of the crying Indian still gets to me! Since then, I’ve been a faithful recycler, a steadfast proponent of “do not litter” campaigns, and an environmentally-conscious citizen.

In efforts to be kind to the earth, many products now focus on recycled and sustainable materials — from shopping bags to wine glasses, people are finding funky and creative ways to go green. How does this apply to fashion? One of the hottest trends emerging from the style world is “eco-fashion,” which uses recycled materials in the creation of clothing and accessories. Some are repurposed from items we are very familiar with, like candy wrappers, soda cans, plastics, fire hoses, computer circuit boards and other waste-bound materials.

One of the great things about upcycling/recycling in fashion is that creativity has run amuck. Designers have found unique ways to re-use discarded materials to create one-of-a-kind pieces that are chic and environmentally responsible at the same time. And because I love the unusual, my head is spinning from the choices. Yes! I want a handbag made of Snicker wrappers, a bangle bracelet made from recycled soda can tabs, jewelry from computer circuit boards, and even jewelry made out of long-forgotten Legos. I want to use a fashionable reusable bag when I’m grocery shopping!

Take a look at these eco-fashion accessory finds. They’re sure to make you smile, and you can feel good about wearing these items too, knowing you saved one (or ten) more plastic bottles, soda cans or trash bags from the landfill.

Soda pop lovers, unite!

Check out this AWESOME (Did I say AWESOME?) hand bag and bracelet made from recycled soda pop can tabs. Who knew that drinking all those sodas could yield something other than weight gain? I absolutely adore them! The handbag has a chain mail-esqe feel but is definitely lighter and easier to care for. Buy a few of the bracelets and stack them to create a bold cuff effect. Both of these pair perfectly with a pair of blue jeans for a casual lunch or a night on the town!
The “Leda” pop tab bag by Ecoist. Photos used with permission.

Pulltab bracelet by Ecoist.

Sweet Tooth?
I’m a sucker for sweets. Are you? Now you can own an accessory made from recycled candy wrappers and coca cola labels. Wear with extreme caution as they may make you feel like eating them. (I kid!) Check out more fun wristlets here,  perfectly sized to fit your phone, lipstick and necessities. Also great to slip inside a larger handbag for quick retrieval or to use as a clutch for a night out.

Every/Any M&M’s Red Mix bag by Ecoist.

Take a look at this braided silver tote made from recycled candy wrappers. It looks great, but this bag is very practical! It’s strong and sturdy, expands, and can hold up to 35 pounds. Great for the beach, a trip to the farmer’s market or to use as an every day handbag.

Braided Tote by Ecoist.

Don’t forget the guys!

Men can take advantage of the eco-fashion trend, too. There are tons of great accessories for men made from upcycled tires, innertubes and fire hoses. Perfect for the fashion-mister in your life. Take a look at these items from Ecoist that are both eco-friendly and have a great urban look!

AG Belt by Ecoist

So long, plastic grocery bags!
These fabulous re-usable designer bags by Envirosax are my favorite! They are eco-friendly, fashionable and roll up into a compact size that you can throw in your purse, glove compartment or trunk. They’re also available in oodles and oodles of colors, patterns and sizes for adults and kids!

Ultra-chic reusable grocery bag by Envirosax. Photos used with permission.

Cookie Monster bag by Envirosax

Who says Legos are just for kids?

I don’t, and apparently Emiko Oyo doesn’t either! Browse her Re-Ware store on Etsy and go gaga over her unique accessories made out of Legos — they are amazing and funky! True Blood or Star Wars fans, there’s even something for you!

Fruitstripe 1×6 bracelet by Emiko Oyo. Photo used with permission.

For the techie in all of us
I’m sort of a tech geek and fell in love with these accessories from Debby Arem. Her jewelry pieces are fashioned from vintage circuit boards, and her steam-punk-meet-silicon-valley creations have garnered national attention. If I only I were so creative —  I’ve sent many a circuit board to computer heaven.

Recycled steam punk circuit board earrings by Debby Arem. Photo used with permission.

Check out these other great sites featuring eco-friendly products

0 thoughts on “Threads: Eco Fashion – Reuse, Recycle, Accessorize”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Awesome article, Valerie — so many great pieces and links!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Love the suggested styles! Would love to see some fabulous recycled and organic clothing to go with these great accessories…

  3. Anonymous says:

    i just love all the bags they are so cute

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