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Upcycling. The Blog.

September 03, 2010

As a kid, whenever I complained that I was hungry, my father would say in his Eastern European accent, "Did you ever stood in a bread line?" In other words, I wasn't really hungry. He would tell me that when he was a kid and he asked his mother for a sandwich, she'd give him a piece of bread. He'd complain, and she'd give him another piece of bread, telling him, "That's a sandwich." Resourceful.

Let's just say I grew up with respect for what you can do with limited resources and some imagination. I am fascinated by architects who design houses out of steel box cars. And a guy who builds decks out of pallets that local stores throw away. I love artists who make earrings out of bottle caps and sculptures out of plastic water bottles. It's amazing what you can do with a plastic bottle. There's a science teacher who builds greenhouses out of plastic bottles, and there's even a guy who built an island out of 60,000 thrown away bottles.

All I do is make clothes out of old clothes. Not nearly as interesting. But still part of the movement. A movement that's come to be called upcycling. For some people, it's the ultimate green movement. For me, it's as much about the planet as it is about nurturing my own sense of imagination and practicing the art of resourcefulness. Nothing is more exciting to me than making something out of exactly what you have on hand. Artists call it making the task harder. You reduce the options. Make the box smaller. And see what you can do.

This blog is going to be a celebration of what really ingenious, creative people are doing with whatever they have on hand.

And it's going to be a joint project. I'll be posting, and so will my husband, Jim Sollisch. He's a writer and creative director. We'll label our posts at the top, so you know who's talking.