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Eco Criteria Series Part V: Recycled Fashion
Written by Magaly Fuentes-Sagan -



From Somewhere


Pulling from the old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” innovation in the fashion industry has taken on a whole new meaning.  Morphing a bazillion different types of used materials like vintage fabrics and notions, inner tubes, candy wrappers, seat belts, and recycled leather, into brilliant new pieces of clothing and accessories, designers and other product development junkies are setting little to no limits on what they will experiment with.

3 ways to recycle fashion:

  • Refashioning or ‘upcycling’ second hand clothing, including vintage wares, to give them new life.
  • Using recycled fabric made from things like recycled plastic bottles in creating new designs.
  • Utilizing unwanted factory surpluses, offcuts and other materials which would otherwise be thrown away.

Just a few fabulous examples...



Hetty Rose


Hetty Rose shoes are handcrafted from exquisite bright and colorful vintage Japanese kimono fabrics.   Check out more shoes from the Kimono collection.



Erin Templeton


Erin Templeton bags, wallets, belts and sandals are carefully tailored and handmade with recycled leather. If you are in Vancouver, stop by the Erin Templeton boutique to learn more about her story.


  Preloved creates one of kind clothing from reclaimed sweaters and vintage fabrics. They reclaim 100 000 sweaters a season!





Happy Cow

Happy Cow offers functional and stylish bags in all shapes and sizes made of leftover leather scraps from furniture manufacturing.



From Somewhere


From Somewhere womenswear collections are made using luxury designer pre-consumer waste such as proofs, swatches, production off-cuts and end of rolls.




Bag The Habit


Bag the Habit shopping totes and produce bags are made of recycled polyester and low impact dyes with a water resistant finish. View more style at their online shop.






Ecoist puts candy wrappers, rice bags, magazines, newspapers and vinyl records to good use in developing bags, gifts and jewelry that are sweet in more ways than one.





English Retreads


English Retreads uses recycled inner tube material to create bags and accessories.







Bilum takes used ‘landfill-bound’ billboards to construct one-of-a-kind bags for men and women on the go. 





Aire bags are made with recycled advertising banners from movie theaters. Check out a wide selection of iPad cases at their Etsy store.



Melissa Caron


Melissa Caron melts pre-loved jewelry and other metals down and turns the metal into something new, fresh and beautiful. This ring was a custom order made from recycled gold and diamonds reclaimed from heirloom earrings. Exquisitely hand crafted. 


Ada Zanditon


Ada Zanditon has a zero waste policy where all fabric pieces that are left after production are kept and used for quilting or shoulder pads.  

Recycled fashion is not about buying an old beat up sweater at a thrift shop and wearing it.  It’s about coming up with a new use for something old rather than tossing it into a waste pile or a landfill.  Recycled fashion is about using technology, science, and creativity to alter, transform, and ultimately, revolutionize. 

Stay tuned for Part VI of the Eco-Criteria Series, highlighting artisan work, the traditions involved, and the overall social benefits which may result. For a full outline of what is to come within the Eco Criteria series, read our 'Intro To Eco Criteria' article.

EFW US based writer Magaly Fuentes-Sagan has a broad range of interests spanning art, fashion, travel, environmental issues, health and wellness. With an AS in Fashion Design and a BA in International Business and Marketing as well as a comprehensive fashion career that has included couture bridal design, sportswear product development, visual merchandising, buying and marketing management, Magaly brings the scope of her experience and passions to her written work.

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 26 February 2012 )
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