Sustainability is a hot topic. The dialogue around ecofriendliness covers anything from buying food from local farmers to shopping second-hand to help dilute overproduction. Another great tool in the quest for a more sustainable future? Repurposing!
Repurposing is a way of giving material goods another chance at life. From fashion to furniture, all our things can live many lives—and they deserve to. All it takes is a little imagination to create a new future for your favorite finds.
At Enticing Trees, we take wood that might’ve been tossed aside and turn it into a vanity staple—one that provides a safe place to display your favorite jewelry, fills your home with light, adorns your walls, holds your wine bottles, and more.
But of course, we’re not the only ones! Here are some other creative people who are pioneering a positive future for repurposed goods.
If you’ve been sleeping under a rock, or you’re simply just not that into Instagram, you might have missed a viral post of a bikini that had been reworked from Carharrt pants. While this was many people’s first introduction to Nicole McClaughlin, the designer has been repurposing clothes and shoes for quite some time now.
She turns tennis balls, balloons, and old backpacks into the unthinkable, and then she scraps it all and saves the materials for future works. Not only does she create pieces that are functional and artistic in their own right, she spends her time educating future designers and brands on how they can repurpose clothing on their own time and dime.
The Repurpose Project is a non-profit resource for those looking for anything they can...repurpose. A quick look at their Instagram will show what they’re offering to anyone who is interested in reworking an old desk or retired shelves.
However, they also highlight people who are repurposing items from their shop. Old baking tray-turned-Van Gogh-esque-work-of-art, anyone?
Napkin Apocalypse is an Instagram account and brand run by Courtney, a cool mom to three kids. There’s a lot this lady does (she’s also a mom to 42 pigeons), but we’re bringing her to your attention because she creates clothes from old fabrics that are either being tossed or sold for dirt cheap at her local swap meets. She’s turned quilts into coats and bedsheets into the coolest pants any kid would be eager to wear; and when her kids grow out of them, she sells them here.
We are obsessed with Martinus and Adrian Pool, a duo that takes old skateboards and turns them into works of art. We’re familiar with turning old wood into something worthy of another chance--and they are too!
If you’re not familiar with skateboarding, you might not know that skateboarders go through boards like crazy—meaning most of them go to waste once they’ve been used to their full potential (for skating purposes, anyway). They actually can be recycled, though. This pair takes the boards and turns them into supremely functional items.
Karri Paul is an artist who forms art from forgotten materials. She creates sculptural paintings from repurposed items, breaking them down and combining them until she strikes gold with her finished piece. Her art uses a brilliant mix of bright colors, but you can still see the imaginative reworking beneath.
Have you ever wondered what happens to old, unused saddles?
(Alright, we haven’t given it that much thought either.)
But Caroline Strecker, the designer behind Rag of Colts, has, taking gorgeous saddles and turning them into functional bags that are perfect for everyday wear.
Unique jewelry is so hard to find, but Monique Weston makes it possible with her eclectic mix of gems. She turns to repurposed materials like postage stamps, clock hands, antique watch cogs, door hinges, keyholes, chandelier parts, and more for inspiration—yielding an unexpectedly delightful collection of jewelry.
(A collection that would look pretty good hanging on one of our jewelry trees. <wink>)
Last but not least, we have Zak Foster. As a master maker of beautiful quilts, he’s no stranger to scrap fabric, and he’s using it to change the way we think about snail mail with his undeniably cute and nostalgic approach to postcards.
Taking scraps of old quilts and fabrics, he creates postcards that arrive with just a little extra joy and coziness.