Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. It’s no secret our planet is in serious trouble, as we struggle with the negative impact of landfill and ocean rubbish.
The good news? There’s a slew of innovative fashion houses and beauty brands that are dedicated to creating coveted collections from recycled and upcycled materials.
Rather than regarding as waste things like old seatbelts, inner tubes of tyres and plastic water bottles, these savvy producers find unique ways to take these materials, reuse them cleverly and give them a new, super-chic second life!
Matt & Nat Cerri Crossbody Bag- Clay, $95
This Canadian label that goes by the ethos, “Live beautifully”. In line with this, Matt & Nat vegan bags are created using eco-friendly, sustainable materials. Since 2007, Matt & Nat has been committed to using linings only made out of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. Approximately 21 plastic bottles are recycled for every bag they produce. Other vegan materials used include cork, recycled nylon, cardboard and recycled tyres.
The structured cross body bag in soft pink, with its removable, adjustable shoulder strap, is a fave of us here at The Vegan Company, because it basically ticks all boxes – it’s feminine, stylish and super practical!
Felvarrom Recycled Inner Tube Belt in Turquoise Orange, $59.50
Hungarian fashion house Felvarrom (AKA the Bicycle Upcyclery) has a strong commitment to the environment and reusing materials, in particular bike tyre inner tubes and other bike waste parts.
Handmade in Budapest by a dedicated team, each wallet, bag and belt is unique, with scratches, patches and even skids! The name Felvarrom sweetly translates to “I’ll stitch it up” and the design team behind this label really know how to use a needle and thread!
Just check out this belt, which is fashioned from old inner tubes, with black textile strips sewn on the side and the prong and buckle made from old bike metal.
Board Thing Recycled Skateboard Ring, $53.90
What happens when a group of skaters with an interest in art and recycling collaborate? Board Thing, that’s what.
A brand built on the Three R’s philosophy of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, Board Thing creates super-stylish handmade jewellery and functional items like smart phone accessories and magnets, from discarded skateboards.
The designs are not only beautiful, they are eco-friendly and specifically targeted at reducing global waste.
This handmade wooden ring is crafted from Canadian maple wood sourced from recycled skateboards and it contains seven colourful layers of Canadian maple. Every ring is 100 percent waterproof, so it won’t lose this stunning shine, even if it comes into contact with water and dirt.
Original Weekend – Jungle Floral Print Swim Short, $110
Here’s one just for the guys! Original Weekend, founded in Melbourne Australia, offers clothes that make him look good while he’s doing good (because the two should never be mutually exclusive).
Its collection of organic cotton tees is made from GOTS certified organic cotton, but it’s the swimming trunks that have earned Original Weekend a place on this list. Made from 100 percent recycled polyester sourced from old plastic mineral water and soft drink bottles, they’re quick drying, feature brief style mesh lining and come in a range of fashionable colours and designs.
This exclusive hand drawn print is inspired by the colours of the Australian outback and its native flora and is a signature piece from Original Weekend’s trunk range (pun not intended).
Clive Street Sassy Webbing Tote, $85
This Australian, Brisbane-based brand was born from a love a sewing and a passion for upcycling, ensuring materials otherwise destined for landfill become sustainable, ethically produced and super-stylish clothing and accessories.
Each item is handmade in a small studio, with materials personally collected, cleaning, cut and sewn by a solo designer. At least 80 per cent of each finished piece is made from previously discarded but now salvaged materials. And, as each textile is unique in its wear and markings, every piece is a one-of-a-kind!
This tote is a fave of ours – it’s crafted from seatbelt webbing, industrial canvas, and inner tube tyre and is water resistant, lightweight, and really durable. With a double internal pocket and an external pocket made from inner tube tyre, it also features a removable tassel made from inner tube. Available in two sizes and various coloured linings.
EcoTools Anniversary Collection Brush Set, $42.99
EcoTools is a beauty company founded on the premise of giving new purpose to old things. All products are crafted from recycled aluminium and plastic, together with renewable bamboo. Packaging is made from tree-free paper (bamboo and cotton fibres) and the brand is PETA certified, making it cruelty free and vegan.
This full-sized, seven-piece make up brush set, contains six brushes and a recycled aluminium brush holder and is perfect for our every make up need.
Main image: Matt & Nat’s Cerri Crossbody Bag, courtesy of Flora & Fauna.