Fast Fashion and the Destruction of Developing Countries
I mentioned this adorable handbag a few weeks ago, and now it’s up for grabs. These bags are handmade by artist Lisa Miqueli from old VHS tapes! It’s a fabulous idea for creating new life from something that’s no longer useful. This one is called the Candice, and it’s lined on the inside with leftover fabric bits.
TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog post by midnight Sunday, October 2, 2010. You must include an e-mail address or phone number so we can contact you. Drawing will be held on Monday, Oct 3.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We’re expecting (OK, hoping anyway) that the winner will provide feedback on this bag. Our intention is to bring them in for sale before the holidays – both this design and some others as well. The artist is willing to work with us to address anything we’d like to change, so your input will be extremely valuable.
If you want to know how this idea came about, here’s a little story from our artist:
“It all started one day when I ran out of yarn and wanted to start a new project, not wanting to go to the store, I looked around the house to see what I could use. I had twine, so I made a basket. I had plastic bags and had actually seen them crocheted so I tried my hand at that. One thing led to another and I have come to this. I think tapes are one of my favorite mediums to work with, I love the fabric it creates. The texture and shine are wonderful. Then I started noticing all the VHS and cassette tapes in the thrift stores that I frequent. Always the same ones there, never seeming to sell. I thought, if they don’t sell them they will eventually throw them away. More usable stuff in a land fill!
So I started buying them up. I make my rounds at least twice a week and buy up the 8-tracks, cassettes and VHS tapes. As well as necklaces (for straps) and any clothing that will make a nice lining.
I love taking new materials, visualizing and sketching a new design, and then watching it come to life. A lot of care is taken to choose just the right recycled materials to make my bags.” — Lisa Miqueli
I’ve looked at it, held it and played with it a bit myself and here are my thoughts.
With all that said, it’s now time to leave your comment for this fantastic give-a-away. Guys, you’ll definitely want to participate in this one too, as this makes an awesome, totally unique gift for any women in your life. 🙂
FaeriesDance.com ships everything through the US Postal Service. Both UPS and Fedex have better tracking information and more integrated web-based solutions which would make switching to one of those carriers faster and more efficient for our office staff. Unfortunately, there are 3 big downfalls to both of those options.
First, both UPS and Fedex are more expensive than the US Postal Service when shipping small items to individuals. If you’re shipping large freight and/or mostly to business addresses, that is not true. But for us, the good old USPS is cheaper for more than 95% of our everyday shipping needs – including overnight.
Second, while this may seem odd, USPS is actually faster for standard shipping than either of the other carriers. Priority Mail is a standard mailing option that generally takes 2-3 business days to anywhere in the country. Faster, cheaper shipping generally makes happier customers, so those are both good points for us. And despite the jokes often heard about their reputation, we’ve not had a single package “lost in the mail” within the US since we’ve been in business.
Finally, although UPS and Fedex have been “greening” their trucks and delivery methods, the fact is that the US Postal Service visits almost every household in America every day anyway. I live in a community with 89 homes. USPS delivers to at least 80 of them every business day, whereas I’ve often seen the UPS and Fedex trucks come into the community to deliver a single package. I have to believe that a lot more fuel is being wasted on “special trips” to single homes here and there rather than just adding a package to a destination that is already being covered. (Though in truth, I have no data to back this up – but it seems sensible to me.)
This year we’re trying to ship more items in the cardboard envelops rather than the Tyvek bags whenever possible. Besides the flat rate cardboard being slightly less expensive to ship, it is easier to reuse and recycle. We are happy to point out that all of the USPS shipping supplies have achieved the environmental cradle-to-cradle certification for sustainability and health concerns.
Also, don’t worry if your package comes with some packing materials or even bubble wrap. All of our packing materials (except the recycled tissue paper we wrap undergarments in) are reused from shipments we get in. We like wrapping purses with metal zippers as well as jewelry in bubble wrap. Even though we don’t use very much, early on we found we wanted more bubble wrap than we were getting. Then a local tech company moved their offices and I got a great idea. After the move we asked them what they were going to do with their packing supplies. They were reusing boxes, which is good, but they were going to toss out the mounds of bubble wrap and packing materials they had purchased just for the move. Viola! We scored enough bubble wrap to last us for years to come and diverted it from becoming a big landfill mess. We also bring all packing peanuts we get in to a local mailing center for reuse. We hope you reuse the packing materials you get from us as well. Most of these things can be reused again and again.
We’re happy to hear suggestions on packing and shipping. One person suggested we try Freecycle to get reused packing supplies. We’ve posted want ads, but thus far haven’t had any response. We’re always looking for new ideas to minimize waste though; so keep the suggestions coming.
Happy New Year everyone!
November 15 is America Recycles Day. (Of course, looking at the name, I immediately wonder why there isn’t a World Recycles Day.) In 2009, I wonder why we need this. By now, recycling should be a gimme. There are recycling drop off stations in almost every city and town; many of us now enjoy curbside recycling; and there are tons of information sources from Real Simple and E-Magazine to the Environmental Protection Agency on how to recycle just about anything. In addition, there are fabulous groups like Freecycle and resources such as Craigslist where you can sell, swap or just give away your old stuff to someone who might want or need it.
November 15 isn’t the one day in the year when you should recycle. It’s a day marked out to evaluate how you are doing on recycling. Let’s all try to improve recycling efforts both at home and in our workplace. Of course, the less you use, the less you need to recycle. Maybe November 15 is the day you finally buy that reusable Starbucks cup (or the equivalent at your favorite coffee shop), start packing your child’s lunch sandwiches in Tupperware instead of zip lock bags or put out a bin in the office to collect cans. (Hint: if you don’t want to recycle them yourself, you can often find a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop leader that will pick them up for you.)
Whatever you do, make one change starting now. Add one small step to live greener. You may be surprised by how good it feels.
I had planned on doing a post about eco-wrapping later this holiday season. Today I was going to write a bit about the first ever Eco-Model, Rachel Avalon, who won the Project Green Search eco-model competition. I had the chance to meet Rachel very briefly last week at the first ever Green Bloggers Convention. (On a side note, it’s thrilling to see all these new environmentally-focused events popping up. More and more people are taking action to dance lightly on our planet.)
If your child is asked to sell gift wrap through a school or event fundraiser, be sure to mention to the coordinator that you’d like to see recycled gift wrap on offer next year. Many of the fundraising companies don’t receive a lot of requests or feedback, so letting them know what you would purchase can really make a difference. If you have a chance to write or e-mail the company directly, take it.
Folks who live in Los Angeles have a unique opportunity to swap their old Halloween costumes with other eco-savvy swappers. Swap-O-Rama-Rama is hosting a Halloween costume swap in Venice, CA. What a great way to reduce our holiday footprint. You can also bring pre-loved clothing items and swap them for new-to-you fashions – a true eco-fashion initiative. Both adult and children’s costumes are welcome.
After you’ve found your treasure, design stations are set up where you can hem, silk screen or appliqué your new clothing to make it unique to you. What a fun idea! Here are the details:
Saturday October 10, 2009, 12 noon to 5pm
Swap-O-Rama-Rama – Halloween Costume and General Clothing
Venice Center for Peace with Justice and the Arts,
located at Venice United Methodist Church
2210 Lincoln Blvd (at Victoria, just north of Venice Blvd)
Venice, Ca 90291
For more information, visit: http://www.hiplinemedia.com/swaporamarama.html