Friday, 27 January 2012

Being Ecochic is the Bee's Knees!

I've buzzed from flower to flower so that you can bask in the sweet honey-drip glow of these beeutiful cruelty-free items:

"Camouflage" Tee designed by Jean-sebastien Deheeger - So quirky-sweet! I actually gave the men's tee to my partner for his birthday this year :D
Bee and Flower Pendant by Kylie Gartside - Simple yet stunning design in sterling silver
Silvo the Crocheted Bumble Bee by Cherrytime -One word. C-u-t-e! These little beauties are made from 100% cotton yarn and will arrive in a lovely gift bag decorated with an original design
Vintage Jeweled Bee Pin from Bohemian Trading - Lovely antique pin. Give your winter coat a dollop of honeyed sunshine
Green Froo Froo Skirt by Johari - Gorgeous garden-party twist to a 50s style skirt! Learn more about the fantastic work being done by the Johari Foundation
Bee My Honey Brooch by Cherish Vintage Treasures - Funky handmade brooch crafted from upcycled materials. Better yet, at least 30% of each sale is donated to an animal welfare charity! So you can be chic AND bee-nevolent ;o)
Vintage Fisher Price Queen Buzzy Bee Pull Toy from Lady Lindy's Vintage - This delightful children's toy was made c.1958 in New York. A sweet gift for a little tot or for a keen vintage toy collector!
Bee Mine Earrings from Mod Cloth - Another quirky accessory win from the ever-hip Mod Cloth
Vintage Soviet Print "City Bees" from Miss Quite Contrary - Why not frame and hang somewhere conducive to loving gazes?
Bee Dress by Johari - Another amazing piece from the "Bug's Life" capsule collection designed by Julia Smith
Honey Coin Cufflinks from Subway Cufflinks - These unique looking cufflinks have been crafted from genuine vintage coins from the Kingdom of Norway..fancy AND fun!
Repurposed Dansk Bowl with Honey Bee from Roberta Shapiro -Use this recycled bowl to whip up some sweet recipes
Beetle Friends Organic Cotton Pencil Case by Pocket Carnival - This party in pencil case form has been lovingly made using certified organic cotton and recycled fabrics
1940s Five Buzzing Bees Print from Skitter Cats - Original artwork by celebrated children's book illustrator Florence Sarah Winship
Buzzing Bees Yellow Duplo LEGO Necklace by Temporal Flux - A unique use for a building block and a cute design 
Green Grass Purse from Handmade in Highbury - Adorable clutch! Perfect for picnics with pimms
Happy Bee Day Party Package from Anders Ruff - Ever fancied throwing a bee-themed party? Well this party pack has got you covered!
Bug Wear Kids Cotton Hoodie by Bugged Out - Crazy cute design and a percentage of the proceeds goes towards the Multiple Sclerosis research
Organic Honey Bee Tee from Naturwrk - This top is one of a series celebrating the wonder and beauty of nature
Vintage Save Your Money, Honey Bank from Mod Cloth - A great incentive to start putting aside that small change for a rainy day ;o)
Organic Men's Bumble Bee Tee from Spreadshirt - Playful eco-friendly tee
We May Bee Happy Yet Wax Seal Necklace by RQP Studio - Stunningly pretty upcycled necklace crafted with a wax seal dating from the 1890s and inspired by a poem from Alfred Bunn. A lovely gift indeed!
The Bee Hive Organic Cotton Tee from Cafe Press - This eye-catching, almost dramatic, print apparently depicts the Masonic symbol of working together for a better world

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Exclusive *GIVEAWAY* from Kindness by Design + Recycled Market

I'm absolutely eco-static to announce Kindness by Design's first ever GIVEAWAY! Here's your chance to win some gorgeous items from Recycled Market including:
A cuff bracelet made using recycled plastic bottles and covered with vintage fabrics
A flower brooch made from upcycled zippers
A paper bead necklace handcrafted from recycled magazine pages! Each necklace raises much needed funds for a Filipino NGO, working to promote, and protect children’s rights
How to enter:
  1. Check out Recycled Market's amazing ec0-range online and leave a comment here telling us what is your favourite piece of recycled fashion and why you think ecochic is awesome!
  2. If you have a Facebook account head over and "like" Kindness by Design and Recycled Market
  3. Follow Kindness by Design and Recycled Market on Twitter if you have an account
  4. Follow both Kindness by Design's blog and Recycled Market's blog 
  5. Start tweeting about this contest!
Entries close on February 4th and a winner will be announced on February 5th - GOOD LUCK!!!


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Recycled Market is Encouraging the World to Reduce, Reuse & Re-inspire!

In our increasingly consumerist world where items are purchased with rabid hunger only to be discarded as landfill in a blink of an eye - it's wonderful to meet people like Erica Louise, co-founder of Recycled Market

Q. What led you to feel concerned about modern society’s propensity for over-consumption and waste?

We are constantly bombarded with advertisements encouraging our thirst to buy new products, when the reality is; there is an abundance of products and materials already in existence.
Zebra sculpture made from recycled flip-flops that have washed up onto the beaches of Kenya by Ethical Gifts
I have been involved with wildlife conservation and community development projects around the world for approximately a decade, in which I have experienced first hand how developing countries and the environment are impacted by our fast-paced consumer driven society.  Our seas are polluted with plastic, and our land is filled with litter, at a pace which is just not sustainable.

Being passionate about the environment, I feel it is important and necessary to utilise existing materials, or at least buy and find recycled products whenever possible, which reduces the need for us to continue to utilise our fragile natural resources.
Button Dollies are funky necklaces made from recycled buttons by Button Design Arts
Q. While registered in Australia, Recycled Market is open to sellers worldwide. Where are the majority of your sellers located? Why do you think this is the case?

Recycled Market sellers come from all over the world; Israel, Greece, Estonia, UK, USA, Thailand, France, Italy, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Cambodia, and many more which have registered their stores ready to sell their products.  We do find a majority of sellers are Australian based at this stage, probably because most of our press coverage has been concentrated on local shores.  We believe over time the demographic of our clientele will change, as more individuals become aware of Recycled Market, and its concept.
Anja Boots in Blue Birds made from recycled Hmong embroidery and batik by Siamese Dream Design
Q. The items you design and make yourself are absolutely gorgeous! Where do you look for creative inspiration?

Thank you! A lot of my own inspiration comes from:
  • The internet - pinterest is a constant source of inspiration for craft ideas;
  • Fashion trends worn on the streets of the world, which can be replicated using recycled materials; and
  • Colours found in nature.  Mother Nature’s eye for colour combinations work, so I like to try to replicate her colour schemes into my own designs

On our own site, we have neck bowties made from recycled soda cans, upcycled vinyl records cut into the coolest clocks, and jewellery made from bubble wrap! 
This bow tie made from recycled cans by Creative Thinking gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "looking sharp" ;o)
Elsewhere, the most surprising recycled items could be a collection of dresses made from recycled, used Starbucks gifts cards, and iMac Macquarium’s; iMac units, repurposed into fish aquariums.

Q. What advice would you give to designers who are interested in becoming more sustainable?

Before heading out to your nearest craft shop, fabric, haberdashery or hardware store, head to your nearest Opportunity Shop (Thrift Store/Charity Shop), flea market, car boot sale, recycle centre, or join up with your local freecycle community. You will find an abundance of materials to work with, which are often a lot cheaper, and unique that what you’ll find in your mainstream craft supply store.
"Downtown in Chinatown" upcycled and refashioned vintage top by Sans Pareil
Q. Do you feel that Australians are becoming more aware of the importance of lightening their own ecological footprints?

On a smaller scale, yes.  More people are conscious to recycle their litter appropriately, and individuals shunning away from larger chains, choosing to buy local produce, organic and fair trade is on the rise.
Miss Mai purse made from upholstery fabric by Lydra
However, on a larger scale, there is still a lot of work to do.  Not everyone understands the impact just one person can have on the environment with their consuming choices.

Q. What is on the horizon for Recycled Market?

We’d like Recycled Market to be known as a one-stop-venue for all things recycled, and ideally, for consumers to think recycled before new.  We’d like to become a platform for small businesses and individual producers to sell their recycled wares.  We’d also like to help small fair-trade producer groups and artisans living in developing countries that create pieces from discarded resources due to the shortage of materials they have access to, introducing much a needed income for underprivileged communities. We’d like to see Recycled Market as a way of introducing recycled crafts and goods to a worldwide audience.

Stay tuned to Kindness by Design for details of how you can win eco-fashion items from Recycled Market through our exclusive giveaway!

You can also find Recycled Market on Facebook, Twitter and their Blog

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Do I Have Some Ethical Bags For You? Yes Sir! Yes Sir! 3 Bags Full!

Here's my latest crop of eco bag finds - from the uber chic, to the versatile and the cute'n'kooky! There's some gorgeous arm-candy here and it's ALL ethical :D

Fair Trade Shoulder Jogi Bag from Aura Que - Made and dyed by communities in Nepal, this sustainable bag has a wonderfully unique shape and design
Yellow Tote Bag by Ruj - Loving the gorgeous lemon sorbet colour on this 100% vegan bag
Blue Anchor Bag by Sea Bags -Fantastic eye-catching bag made from recycled materials including boat sails 
Evie Envelope Clutch from Nasty Gal - Cute oversized vegan clutch

Joy Fair Trade Fringed Clutch by Mar Y Sol - An eco-chic bag with plenty of sass! This beautiful clutch was handmade using sustainable materials. Think tropical island grass skirt in miniature

Wine Bag with Poppy Print from Liminal Apparel - Very nice reuseable to carry a wine bottle

Jimmy Green Bag by Big Buddha - This cruelty-free bag has enough room for all your bits and bobs!

Xovia Wallet from Sherpani - Vegan wallet with fun quirky artwork

Falabella Aged Vegan Leather Boston Bag by Stella McCartney - This is the Ferrari of eco-bags with the price tag to match

Bowery Duffle Bag in Royal by Deux Lux - Classic shape in luxurious looking vegan materials

Amity Bag with Autumn Print by Liminal Apparel - Made from 100% fairtrade organic cotton

Maltby Reversible Eco Tote from Lost Property of London - Described as the perfect marriage between rough and luxe
Recycled Cosmetic Case in Fern by Slainte Bags - Handmade in a zero waste studio in San Fransico this cute cosmetic bag is created from eco-friendly materials
Girl on Fire Purse by Issi - This red-hot clutch has been crafted from decommissioned firehose and was inspired by US singer Nancy Sinatra
Peace Bag in Black by Susan Nichole - Made from  100% recyclable and vegan materials and sporting a great message in vivid colour
Smateria Fairtrade Recycled Mosquito Net Backpack from Happy Hands Boutique - Incredibly funky backpack astoundingly handmade from used mosquito netting! Brilliant :D

Baby Bag from Craftworks Cambodia - Handcrafted in Cambodia from used plastic bags by Ms. Sok Navy who is a widow with three children
Chip Packet Handbag from Recycled Fashion - I adore this rainbow-licious bag! It's been crafted out of recycled chip packets by a women's co-op in The Philippines who work to protect children's rights
Audrey iPad Purse in Ebony by Reveal - An extremely chic way to be a techno geek!
Upcycled Vinyl Wallet from Pinto Bags - Each of these funky wallets is made from upcycled print media such as highway billboards
Recycled Denim Patchwork Clutch by Bliss Joy Bull -Made from mill end fabric with zero waste left on the cutting floor -'s cute! 
Liano Delight Vegan Clutch by Lavishy - Love the retro woodland print on this vegan clutch! 
Fish Scale Bag by My Cloud Designs - Made from recycled materials with a kooky fish theme, this could easily become your take everywhere day bag
Blue Floral Short Handled Shopping Bag from Annie Greenabelle - This striking shopping bag has been crafted from ethical lable Annie Greenabelle's reclaimed fabric
Veneri Eco Laptop Bag by Red Handed Bags - A good-looking and eco option for when you need to cart your laptop about town 

Olia Quilted Baby Tote by Reveal - Designed to fit in a day's worth of baby thingamabobs, this bag made from recycled plastic bottles is a great choice for the ecochic parent

Jools Black Vegan Wristlet by Matt & Nat - The perfect cruelty-free bag for a night out dancing with the girls!

Loving the animal design vegan bags from Bungalow360 like this Elephant Pocket Bag and Penguin Messenger Bag  
Claudio Weekend Bag from Bottletop - A wonderfully unique and functional bag for those weekends away
Creature Comfort Recycled Shopper Bag by Blue Q - A terribly sweet eco-friendly bag for a trip to the shops, the beach or the park
Xanadu Clutch by Dialog - This attractive vegan bag has been embellished with recycled origami-style fabric trim
Shoulder Bag in Ocean Blue & Sunset by Kim White Handbags - Love love love these delicious colours! Made from fabric which has been upcycled from a 1975 Chevy Sportsvan 
Bring Your Own Bug in Bumblebee by Bugged Out - Take this beauty to your next outing and watch as all your friends start buzzing about how cute it is! Part of the eco-sweet 'Bring Your Own Bug' collection with 20% of proceeds going to MS research in the U.S. 
Large Crescent Bag from Doy Bags - Crafted from recycled juice packs by a women's cooperative in the Philippines. There are plenty of great options to sink your fashion teeth into! 

Vintage Comfy Big Bag by Carry A Bag - Handmade from rare Sanderson vintage linen (c.1950s) but don't let the demure exterior fool you! This beauty has been designed to hold a heavy load :o)