By cutting down on consumption and getting further use out of stuff we already have, we can do something for our planet.
Up-cycling not only helps our environment, it provides hidden value to your wardrobe. For whatever reasons, sentimental or otherwise, most people keep a collection of broken jewelry. Taking a lost earring mate and turning it into the focal point of a custom necklace is something I love to do for clients. By adding beads or a chain, it’s a way of recycling something into a piece they love to wear. This works with talismans, charms, pendants…anything that we can build around.
Sometimes people tell me they love all the ADJ but they already have so much jewelry, they don’t need anything new. Refurbishing, reworking or repurposing elements from your own closet can lead to new jewelry adventures.
Repurposing Scrap Material
One of my Made in NYC colleagues who owns his family business, Rainbow Leather, was generous enough to share with me some scraps from textured and embellished leathers they’d created. Out of excess material, I was able to envision and bring to life new designs.
There’s also a resource called Fabscrap where you can either purchase scrap material by weight, or earn free material by volunteering as a sorter at their Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse. This place processes and recycles excess samples and textiles from the fashion industry and can be a source of fabric, leather, sample garments, buttons and more. I use these pieces to make bag charms and other accessories.