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ethical. ecological. beautiful.

Upcycled and Chic.

Posted on October 18 2015

Top: Stix and Roses | Jeans: Upcycled | Shoes: Upcycled | Bracelets: Mantraband | Necklace: Meeka Meditation

 Upcycled and Chic.

The other night, while having wine at a girlfriend’s Lincoln Park walk-up, I couldn’t help but notice her fabulous wine-bottles-turned-candles that she had made herself. I’d seen these before, and absolutely love them, but I couldn’t help but wonder—how hard could it be to make them myself? My girlfriend told me that she had been making reclaimed candles for years, using empty bottles of wine and collecting them from her friends, cutting the glass herself and using soy wax and DoTerra essential oils from Sararose on Oak to make them. How fabulous is that? While upcycling is nothing new, it’s good to be reminded how amazing it is to take something that would otherwise be useless to us, and breathe new life into it.
Later, I wondered about upcycling fashion and how that might apply to us fashionistas. As a designer, I have enjoyed using reclaimed denim to create new pieces, but what can we do beyond that? I have a dear friend named Sherri. Beyond being an incredible person, is a missionary in Africa. Sherri has been back in the states for a few weeks now, and on a recent shopping trip, she confessed to me that she is overwhelmed by the scale of our fast-fashion supersize malls. I’m with her on that one! Sherri wondered aloud to me why everything has to be new. Another dear friend of mine, Emily, recently gave me a generous donation of bags and bags of pieces she was no longer wearing. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to fashionably upcycle. I took these donated garments and helped Sherri style herself in more “state side” pieces. Just because you don’t love a jacket or a pair of jeans anymore doesn’t mean someone else will!
The best part of this upcycling exercise? Sherri looks chic and current, and you’d never know she was wearing clothes previously enjoyed by others. Just like styling old pieces, reinterpreting an outfit for someone else can be wildly creative and an expression of something new. In fact, revered style icon Iris Apfel has been known to do this for years.
Through the kindness of a few others, Sherri is going back to Africa with a ton of great current looks. Finding new life in old pieces, and that is a truly beautiful thing. After all, beauty is more than what is on the outside.
Until next time!


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