Sustainable Design

Sustainable design in everyday products and transportation.




Why Vintage? (continued 2)

Why Vintage Clothing?
When vintage shops customers were narrowed between theater students and collectors, buyers didn’t have to continuously re-fill their racks. As the market grew so did most buyers strategies.

Buyers for Vintage Clothing Stores in the past are different from the buyers of today. When vintage shops customers were narrowed between theater students and collectors, buyers didn’t have to continuously re-fill their racks. As the market grew so did most buyers strategies. It seams some buyers are content with their techniques from the past, while others are forced to obtain their merchandise in other ways. Differences between the time and resources that the actual vintage buyers have, will predicate how and what type of merchandise each shop will carry. Some buyers choose to get their pieces by continuously spending there weekends hitting up vintage swap meets, garage sales, or estate sales. Everyone at one time or so, vintage collector or not, has spent a Saturday or Sunday morning driving from garage sale to garage sale. Some times it pays off and the buyer can find great eclectic pieces through shopping this way, but more times than none they’ll spend hours upon hours sifting through piles of clothes, or whatever the hunt is for, in peoples front yards to come up with a couple of pieces or none. A vintage collectors time is valuable, seeing how most buyers are in fact shop owners, and would rather spend time at there shop where they are needed most, instead of peoples yards. Vintage Clothing Swap Meets are a good alternative, if a city near the buyer even hosts one. Unfortunately most vendors at these swap meets are in fact shop owners themselves, trying to sling there second hand dead stock* for cheap, while they sell there good vintage merchandise at a retail price. Sometimes good deals can be found, but again, the time and effort to sift through these swap meets can be demanding, leaving buyers to many times empty handed.

Most Vintage buyers that need to purchase in bulk, skip over garage sales and vintage clothing swap meets completely, and go directly for the source. They hit a rag house, the end of the rode for most clothes. Rag houses are warehouses that collect every charitable clothing item that anyone, anywhere, has ever given away. They are kind of like the manufacturer for the vintage clothing industry, if you can accept that they are not actually manufacture anything. They are instead more like the ultimate supplier for the industry. Although supplying for vintage buyers is not what the company are set up to do. Some donated items are picked out and sold in second hand thrift stores. Nonetheless, it seems that more times than none, the clothing ends up at a rag house that will bail it, weigh it, and ship it to another country. Vintage shop buyers have bean hitting up rag houses for years now, asking them to sift through there merchandise and pull out pieces that would sell in a shop. Many rag houses have found that it is indeed profitable to separate vintage pieces from the rest of their rags, to sell to vintage collectors. For a little more per pound than the average bails, a vintage buyer can purchase 1000-pound bales of merchandise that they need for their shop. This is a better solution than hunting down single pieces at garage sales or swap meets, but it still leaves a lot to be un-desired.

CONTINUE

(Land of yogurt, granola, and vinatge Swapmeets. If youre lucky enough, like the folks in California, you might just beable to take a Sunday off and head to the Rose Bowl for a Vinatge Clothing Swapmeet. You may have better luck at one of these than at the neighborhood garage sales. Just be ready to bargain, because most vendors have a Vinatge shop somewhere else. FROM THE TOP One sunday a month in Los Angeles, California the Rose Bowl hosts a section for vintage clotheing at there swap meet. All pictires taken from Denim An American Legend. Iain Finlayson. p.36)

Recycled Clothing 101: 5 Simple Ways to Recycle Clothing

Vintage Clothing Marketing Notes

Some things in life are just that simple, like recycling your clothing. It does not matter if you are thirteen years old or 85 years old, there are a number of ways that you can recycle your old duds. If you are curious as to why you should recycle your clothing than think about this number for a second, one million tons.  One million tons is the estimated amount of textiles put into landfills each year, with most of them coming from household waste.

The following is a list of Five (5) Simple Ways to Recycle Your Clothing

  1. Hand-me-downs This may be easier for the younger readers, but you can give your unused clothes to your younger brother or sister. Moms call this Hand-Me-Downs. It is a very simple concept but very effective if used properly. If you don’t have a younger brother or sister, give your old clothes to a smaller  neighbor or cousin. See…very simple.
  2. Resale Shop If you are the thrifty shopper or if you think that your are a trendy diva that doesn’t really know that many people possibly due to living in a new location or having a sour attitude, then why not take your old clothing  to the resale shop. Beware, there is a good chance that there might be a  chubster(1) behind the counter at the resale shop waiting to dish you out a piece of humble pie. This could bring some back down to the reality possibly realizing that their washed up style might not be so unique after all.  However, it is worth the chance to make some money on your old finds, and it shouldn’t stop you from moving on.
  3. Donate Your Clothes After picking up whats left of your ego, and your entire collection of last seasons rags from the by  counter at the resale shop, the chubster behind the counter will tell you that if you want you can donate your clothing to their clothing bin, and they will see that it gets to a charity. Of coarse you will want nothing to do with them,but they do bring up a good point, you could donate your clothing… maybe just not to them. If you don’t care either way leave your clothing at the resale donation bin, or if you want, there are plenty of other local charities that you can drop your old clothes at. Many of them will even pick them up from your front porch if you take the 1 minute out of your day to call them. They will see that your clothing is getting re-used. Just google local charities in your area.
  4. Local Clothing Swap If your hurting for cash , and you still cant get over the fact that the re-sale shop didn’t want a single item out of your collection, you could try a clothing swap. Most cities have volunteers that organize clothing swaps. You can find them by Google..ing “Local Clothing Swap” or checking your local Craigs List listings. A clothing swap is a gathering where a bunch of like-minded people bring their old clothing and trade out their old garments for others. If no one in your area is hosting a clothing swap then why not put together one for yourself. It can be done with neighbors and friends, or a through a church or local charity.
  5. Repurpose Your Clothing Ok I may have lied, I said that I had five simple ways to recycle fashion and this last one may or may not be that simple. This will depend on how creative you are, and how good you are with a sewing machine. If you don’t know how to sew, it is worth learning , if you do know how to sew then this will be simple. Any dress can be turned into a top or skirt. Any t-shirt can be turned into a bathing suit or t-shirt for a kid. Any pants can be turned into shorts.  It is a simple concept, but so often over looked. Sometimes you don’t even have to know how to sew, you just need to be able to use a pair of scissors.

Now make it happen. Next time you go through your closet and clear out two pieces or five bag fulls of clothing think about these five options that you now have before playing the fool and putting them into the trash.

(1) chubster: tacky overweight hipster girl or boy

Classic Vintage Wear & Tear

Retro Style Wear
Over the years Dust Factory developed a style that is synonymous with vintage wear and tear. The creative style captures the elegance and authenticity from the original wear on an item. The “used look” to the trained eye is a classic look, separating the item from its counterparts.

Some things just look better with Age

When it comes to particular fabrics or materials, some items just look better with age. Take denim and leather for example, years of wear and tear give these items an authentic look and comfortable fit. Contemporary designers are always trying to find new ways to make their denim jeans or jackets look like they are worn in. They add different washes, wholes, tears and  stretch marks in an attempt to make to items look “vintage”.

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Tips for Wearing Vintage Clothing

From: Huffington Post
By: Natasha Koifman


Image Source: http://hollywoodreporter.com


Sometimes, I even think about their original owner — wondering how differently we’re wearing the same piece, how different our lives are. There’s something magical and mysterious about the connection to a woman you know nothing about other than that you wore and loved the same piece of clothing or jewelry and that somehow it has lasted all this time ~ Natasha Koifman

If you’ve flipped through May’s magazines you will know that the fashion world is waiting with baited breath for this weekend’s release of The Great Gatsby. The classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald has been adapted by Baz Luhrman (of Moulin Rouge fame) and, if the trailer is anything to go by, it will be a visual and style spectacle.

It’s remarkable to see the impact this one movie has had on designers in recent seasons — it started even when the movie was just announced. Chanel Haute Couture, Oscar de la Renta, Miu Miu and Alexander McQueen are just some of the designers inspired by this era. Flapper-style dresses, dropped hemlines and luxe deco-inspired jewels started to make a big impact on runways that trickled all the way down to stores.

Now, with the release of the movie, Tiffany & Co. unveiled a new collection of jewels inspired by the latest adaptation…including the ring-to-wrist pearl and diamond stunner worn by Carrie Mulligan on the current Vogue cover.
[…]

While current designers and collections offer many options for those of us enchanted with these styles, we can also go right to the source. On a recent trip to New York, I went searching for some authentic vintage finds. The appeal is quickly apparent; not only can you find something truly unique and beautifully made, but there’s also a sense of history and character to the piece. I love the idea of mixing a vintage piece of clothing or jewelry with my more current and contemporary pieces.

Sometimes, I even think about their original owner — wondering how differently we’re wearing the same piece, how different our lives are. There’s something magical and mysterious about the connection to a woman you know nothing about other than that you wore and loved the same piece of clothing or jewelry and that somehow it has lasted all this time.

But there’s another reason to think about shopping for a vintage piece; it is both ethical and green. I’m not saying that I’m only ever going to wear vintage clothes… but shopping occasionally for vintage is a small way of buying something lasting and special […]

Here are some more tips for shopping vintage:

(1) Follow your heart and your style: When you’re submersed in that vintage shopping experience, it’s easy to lose sight of your own style. Remember you’re not looking for a period costume, but for something that can be incorporated into your existing wardrobe. For me, this means sticking to my trademark palette of black. Think about how you’ll wear the vintage item, how you can update it (with either complementary or juxtaposing items). Vintage is one area where you can really follow your heart and make that impulse purchase because if you wait, you’ll never find that item again.

(2) Ignore sizes and embrace alterations: We all know that sizing has crept up in recent years. This means that what was a size 6 in past decades may be significantly smaller that what we call a size 6 today. If you’re buying online, ask the seller for waist and bust measurements to be confident the item will fit. If you’re buying in person, be sure to try on. Most vintage store-owners can also make recommendations about where small repairs and alterations can be made on a piece too. Don’t rule out a little bit of tailoring to get that perfect fit!

(3) Make a statement: With so many options for great basics in every style, shape and colour today, look specifically for something DIFFERENT when you’re shopping vintage. Seek out bold accessories and embellished clothing, like beading or lace work. Your vintage piece should be a conversation starter… and one secret you’ll gleefully share!

Vintage style is not just something to admire on the silver screen. With a little exploration and experimentation, you can give a vintage piece a new lease on life, a loving home and in the process, give yourself a new fashion outlook!

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Garden Compost used to Make Sustainable Furniture

Compost Furniture

© Adital Ela

Most of us by now should be making our own soil by composting our left over scraps and papers. We know that compost can be beneficial to our gardens, but did you know it can also play a part in making more sustainably-designed furniture? That is exactly what Israel-based designer Adital Ela of S-Sense Design found out when creating Terra, a line of furniture that’s made entirely out of compost, which she actually cultivates and gathers near her studio.

Home made furniture

© Adital Ela

Ela calls herself a “designer-gatherer” becasue she creates stools, cups, lampshades and other pieces of furniture by blending organic matter like vegetation, dirt and various fibers in a proportional recipe, and molded using compression, provided by her feet. According to Ela’s research, the foot-mixing technique for earth-based construction is quite old, being used in ancient times in places like Iran, Iraq and Palestine.

Sustainable Furniture

© Adital Ela

On FastCo.Design, Ela describes how she first got the idea for making these biodegradable works when sipping a cup of chai tea in a clay cup:

 

I was absolutely fascinated by the way those sun-dried clay cups were tossed to the ground and blended back to become earth again within minutes. Seeing this, I started asking myself, ‘How can products, like people, come from dust, and to dust return?’

This strikes a chord with us at Dust Factory because things are very much the same in the textile industry.

Compost Furniture

© Adital Ela

There are interesting implications in Ela’s project because not only are these materials available everywhere, the time-honoured technique is something that anyone can use to create their own low-impact and easily recyclable furniture. In developing her methods, Ela realized that her own grandmother built ovens in the past using similar techniques.

Find Out More at S-Sense Design

 

Clothing Recycling Goes Curbside as Demand Rises

Donated Vintage Clothing

goodwill donations source USA Today

Did you ever wonder what happens to your clothing after you put it into a donation bin? Sometimes it ends up in a thrift store, sometimes it ends up in a vintage shop and sometimes it ends up being processed to be reused as a wiping rag.

Wendy Koch, an investigative reporter at USA Today recently took a look into the recycled clothing industry, where the clothes end up when you donate them and where they end up if you don’t. With the average American throwing out over 70lbs of used textiles a year, each one of us is responsible for what we do with our old duds.

From: USATODAY

Clothes recycling is expanding with curbside pickups and in-store collection bins, but what happens to donated items? USA TODAY’s Wendy Koch finds out.

Clothes recycling is going curbside in more U.S. towns as global prices rise for the used apparel, shoes and linens that Americans often toss in the trash.

Since September, more than a dozen local governments — in Arizona, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington state — have begun curbside pickup of textiles, often in special bags next to bins containing paper and cans. New York City has put clothing collection bins in nearly 250 apartment buildings in the last two years.

Businesses, too, are placing collection bins in parking lots and gas stations. In the last year, The North Face, H&M and other retailers have begun using in-store bins to offer customers store vouchers for donating clothes — whatever the brand, and sometimes, whatever the condition.

The nation’s robust recycling industry is increasingly targeting clothes — even those that are stained, ripped, mismatched or out-of-fashion. Companies and non-profit groups are partnering with cities eager to reduce landfill costs. They pick up the clothes, sell or reprocess them into wiping rags and other goods, and give the cities or local charities a cut of the pie — often pennies per pound.

“”It’s a trend more cities are considering.” says Tom Watson, a recycling official in Washington state’s King County, where the Seattle suburb of Issaquah has teamed up with waste collector CleanScapes for curbside pickups. As a result, he says non-profits such as Goodwill Industries International and Salvation Army face more competition for donations.

Queen Creek, Ariz., launched a curbside pilot project in September that collected 27,000 pounds of material in four months and earned nearly $3,000 for both the city and its Boys and Girls Club. It partnered with United Fibers, a company that turns textiles into insulation

“This is stuff I wouldn’t want to give away,” says Ramona Simpson, the town’s environmental programs supervisor, referring to items that are no longer wearable and wouldn’t sell at Goodwill or other charity stores. She says the town, after developing a stronger bag for collecting clothes, will soon relaunch the program.

Salvation Army began partnering this year with Massachusetts’ Brockton and Worcester to pick up clothes curbside. Community Recycling, a for-profit that sells clothes for reuse, started pickups in October in Pennsylvania’s Newtown and a dozen neighboring communities and will do the same next month in Westville, N.J.

“Anything that is clean and dry can be reused or recycled,” says Jackie King, executive director of Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association, an industry group. She says nearly half of donated clothes are sold for reuse, mostly overseas where demand and prices have risen.

Goodwill’s Michael Meyer says per-pound international prices vary but have risen from a low of about three cents to 20 cents. He says his non-profit, which requests “new and gently used” items to fund job training programs, sells the “vast majority” at its stores, outlets or auctions. What’s left, he says, is sold to companies that recycle the material into other products or sell them for reuse overseas.

King says the average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing, linens and other textiles each year. Textiles account for 5% of municipal waste, because only about 15% of them are recycled — compared with 72% of newspapers and 50% of soda cans, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement,” says Jennifer Berry of Earth911.com, a website that lists, by ZIP code, places where myriad items can be recycled.

“Clothes clog our landfills. They don’t decompose”, says Kelly Jamieson of Planet Aid, a non-profit with bright yellow collection bins in many metro areas. “We’re very privileged people. We throw away things many other people never would.”

Her group placed bins on college campuses nationwide last week as part of the “OneShirt Challenge” for Earth Day, aimed at educating students on the need to recycle even the rattiest T-shirts.

“My friends just let things pile up in their rooms, which is a pretty big waste,” says Jan Nguyen, a University of Maryland student who’s donating old athletic shoes. She says she rarely throws anything away and uses socks that have lost their mate as chalkboard erasers.

With super-cheap manufacturing. clothes are falling apart and being thrown away at a faster rate, says Heather Rogers, author of Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy is Undermining the Environmental Revolution. “There’s been a transformation of clothing into a disposable item.”

Watson, the Washington recycling official, says consumers should consider buying fewer but higher-quality items that will last longer, noting the average American buys at least twice as many pieces of clothing as 20 years ago. He suggests they avoid impulsive purchases, take good care of their clothes and, when possible, buy used items at thrift stores.

Shades From Broken Skateboard

Skatebaord shades

The guys over at Shwood make a great pair of shades from a broken skateboard deck. What a great way to recycle and reuse materials! “These sunglasses aren’t for sale, we just wanted to try something new and show people what’s possible,” Shwood’s Taylor Murray wrote in an email to GOOD.

Skateboard sunglasses

Shwood is a eye-wear company that makes wood sunglasses born out of a philosophy that we can all connect with nature a little bit more, and in more creative ways. Their goal is for us to appreciated the natural beauty of things around us and wear it.

Watch the entire video below, a little skate secsion in downtown LA, then a trip to the work-room to build a cool pair of shades out of a broken deck.

Experiment No. 1 – Skateboard Shades from Shwood Eyewear on Vimeo.

How to Merchandise Womens Vintage

It is good for a buyers to communicate with their store merchandisers how the products should be grouped together. Just because each vintage piece is one off, does not mean that you can not merchandise mixes together. A well thought out marketing plan and creativity can help any store owner or buyer maximize their return on their products.

The following are different ways you can group ladies vintage mixes together

Dust Factory products used in image groupings

TOPS

  • Poly shirts
  • Western Shirts
  • Delicate Tops
  • Scout Shirts
  • Hippy Tops
  • Ethnic Tops
  • T-shirts

 

SKIRTS

  • Vintage Elastic
  • Wrap Skirts
  • Hippie Skirts
  • Denim Skirts
  • Long Skirts
  • Plaid Skirts
DRESSES

  • Poly Party dress
  • Antique Dress Mix
  • Cotton Dress Mix
  • 50’s House Dress Mix
  • Plaid Skirts
  • 80’s Prom Dress Mix
  • Summer Strapped Mix

 

OUTERWEAR

  • Sweaters
  • Car Coats
  • 80’s Lightweight Jackets
  • Faux Fur
  • Leather Coats
  • Trench Coats
  • Sweatshirts
  • Baja’s /Ethnic Wear
  • Denim Jackets
PANTS

  • Ladies Cords
  • 80’s Color Denim
  • 70’s Jeans
  • 70’s Polyester

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Science Friction

recycled magazine chair

Paper is hands down one of the biggest success stories when it comes to recycling. We are slowly gaining ground with aluminum, plastic and textiles but we still have such a long way to come. Designer Merryn Haines-Gold has come up with a way to recycle paper other than throwing it into the blue bin, he made a chair. To make this great chair he used the recycled wooden frame from an old directors chair and old magazines along with loose bits of paper to remake it into a functioning chair.

Friction from the design holds the chair together, not glue. Each piece of paper is laid over each other, similar to like when you are shuffling a deck of cards wrapped with a a single strip of plastic. The seat bonded to the chair by tie wraps that are connected through small holes that are drilled into the paper.

The design is a available for sale, but the designer also presents it as a DIY project for you go getters out there.

That is the beauty of the idea, it is very simple and can be recreated anywhere with any magazine you wish, it also does not even have to be a magazine, it can be loose bits of paper, as long as they are roughly the same shape and the surfaces are able to engage with each other, the friction will do the rest…..just don’t leave it outside.

This looks like a fun weekend project for just about anyone out there. Next time you see a beat up directors chair at a garage sale or flea market keep this idea in mind. With a collection of some old magazines you can have a cool green project to work on. At the very best you will have a great new art piece that people can sit in, at the very least you will learn a little bit about how friction works.

Source courtesy of Treehugger.com and http://www.mezhg.com/
Image Courtesy of http://www.mezhg.com/

Functional Food and Sustainable Packages

cardboard people
This weekend was the annual gathering of ancient grains, coconut water, fair trade chocolates, protein bars, and organic pet food in Orange County, that is at least where where baobab and sea buckthorn joined acai, goji berry and chia seeds, the reigning antioxidant-rich superfoods. There was overwhelming sea of 3,000 exhibitors, displayed across the exhibit floor of enticing organic foods, healthy items and green goods at the annual Natural Products Expo West convention and conference, March 10-13, seemed like all the world eats well and lives sustainably. But then reality struck.

There are mMore than 56,000 gathered for this 31st fest, with an increased visibility on non-GMO foods and eco-packaging. With aisle after aisle of vendors from Nature’s Path to Earth Balance, from omega-rich supplements to “pure” and “smart” items, it’s clear the message was healthy and environmental. Compared to two years ago, it was hard to find a plastic bottled water booth, through other drinks overflowed from teas to brain tonics, digestive beverages to chillout elixirs.

Green Packageing container

To us, one of the big hits of this event was Seventh Generation’s new cardboard bottle for its Natural 4X Laundry Detergent. We love great designs, but green packaging is just one small part of a sustainable design and product. Designed with Ecologic Brands, it features a recyclable and compostable outer shell of recycled newspapers and cardboard and a recyclable monopolymer film pouch inside with no nylon or laminates. It reduces the plastic by 66 percent and when empty, it’s stackable. so nine times more efficient to ship.


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