Recently we were contacted by ABC radio to do a segment for ABC Open's Rubbish Wrangler series. The series focuses on people from Northern Tasmania who are doing innovative and creative things with waste materials. To listen to the segment and find out more about the Recycle Creative story click the link:
Would you like to see your upcycled product design become a reality? This week we are asking you for ideas and designs for a bag or accessory that you would like to see made. The only condition is that it must be constructed at least in part from inner tube rubber and be small enough to weigh less than 1 kg. Draw it up and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. It doesn't need to be a technical drawing but a few measurements and notations would be nice. One design will be chosen as the winner and not only will we bring it to life but we will send one to you!
Entries from anywhere in the world are welcome. Get your drawings in before 5 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, Friday the 29th of July.
We recently engaged local Chiang Mai photographer Phudinan Singkhamfu to take some lifestyle shots for us using one of Chiang Mai's many beautiful coffee houses as a backdrop. The coffee/cafe culture has really taken off in Chiang Mai since the late 1990's. When I first visited in 1998 "real coffee" options were limited and the norm was a cup of instant accompanied by a suspicious white powder (otherwise known as "coffee mate"). Of recent times hundreds of small coffee houses have sprung up all over the city and while the quality of a brew varies, most are characterised by great design, including leafy tropical planting, and distinctive Lanna style furniture and decoration. Really, some of these places are pleasant little oases, and make an ideal place to escape from the dust and heat that permeates through the city.
The images from the shoot feature some of our newer products such as the RC Clutch Wallet and the Recycled Rubber Cross Body Purse. We were really happy with results, we hope you like them too!
We have been busy the last few months, developing new items and improving on some existing ones. The RC Clutch Wallet is our first foray into ladies' wallets, and is specifically designed to optimise space whilst looking sleek and stylish. Our Cross Body Purse is a close relative of the best-selling Cross Body Bag, encompassing the same rustic feel, but in a slightly smaller and more curvaceous format. The Recycled Rubber Dopp Kit is beautifully constructed and conveys a retro feel and look. The inner tube rubber gives this travel bag character and offers protection against the rigors of travel.
We have some exciting new products arriving this week to our online store and Etsy The Recycled Cross Body Purse (pictured) features handstitching and is slightly more abbreviated than the popular Cross Body Bag. Also on the way is a new compact men's zip wallet and a roomy ladies card wallet. All are slow-crafted from durable recycled inner tube! Listings should be up later on in the week.
We are very excited to have opened our first bricks and mortar store! Located in the Baan Tawai Handicraft Village near Chiang Mai, the store also doubles as a manufacturing space and we encourage visitors to come along and take a look at the production process and see first hand how we craft our bags and accessories from reclaimed materials such as inner tube. The lovely Phon is only too happy to help and answer any questions. The store also features product displays, cleverly built by Benz out of used wooden pallets and showcasing our full product range. So if you find yourself in the north of Thailand its well worth a visit to Baan Tawai to see some amazing handicrafts, and while you're there drop by the Recycle Creative store and say hello to Phon and Benz.
The Jumbo Tote is a heavy duty workhorse with an interior of Tardis like proportions i.e. it has lots of room. Its made from super durable motorcycle inner tube, reclaimed from the streets of Chiang Mai, Thailand. It looks great slung over the shoulder and with a large zipper opening, its really easy to pack and unpack. I use mine for the swimming pool but its also great for a quick pack for weekends away. The handy internal side pockets give you a place to put wallets, phones, keys and smaller things that can be easily retrieved, rather than having to dig around for them.
We also have a new wallet to add to the collection. The Zipsta is slightly bigger than the Trucka but still fits easily into your back pocket. A zip around closure eliminates the possibility of anything falling out, and along with 5 card slots and the usual note sleeve, there is a useful zippered coin pocket inside.The reclaimed inner tube skin looks great with its distinctive patterning, and this makes each wallet unique!
Check out the product listings for more! http://www.recyclecreative.com.au/collections/all
Pre-consumer textile waste is derived from the following sources:
Cut and sew waste from the actual garment making process.
End-of-roll textile waste is as the name suggests excess fabric left on the roll after the manufacturing process.
Damaged textile waste emanates from garment items that have been rejected because of colour or print failure.
Clothing sample waste consists of finished and unfinished clothing samples that do not reach retail.
Finished clothing waste is made up of those items that make it to sale but are not purchased.
And then there is the post-consumer textile waste which results from used and discarded clothing and accessories. When you add all this to the energy and resource intensive nature of garment manufacture, its use of toxic chemicals, emissions of environmentally dangerous bi-products, and frequent exploitation of sweatshop labour, a picture emerges of an industry that is far from sustainable in its activities.
A response to this has been the emergence of "sustainable fashion", a philosophy that attempts to address sustainability issues associated with a garment product's lifecycle. A major point of sustainable fashion is to design and make garments that do not end up in landfill at the end of their conventional life i.e. cradle to cradle and NOT cradle to grave. This implies that the item will be reused in some way, either forwarded to a new owner or recycled by reusing its materials. Another approach is to manufacture garments comprised of biodegradable materials.
The Zero Waste movement is another part of it, with designers making use of innovative pattern making techniques to create garments that use all of the material and thus eliminate cut and sew waste. While popular with smaller, independent fashion designers, the challenge is to convince large scale manufacturers to adopt zero waste and be convinced of its financial viability. Another important element is the focus on fair labour practices for factory garment workers from developing countries. This is becoming harder for big manufacturers to ignore with the rise of the ethical consumer who demands supply chain transparency and wants to know where and how their garments are made.