Trashion team spotlight - Interview: Sweet Pepita

Shop name: Sweet Pepita
Shop address:
In a nutshell: I make infant clothing from organic cotton and recycled fabric

Tell us a bit about yourself : I’m a jeweler who has always been sewing. I still work for another jeweler, but since my baby was born, I haven’t been able to work in my own studio. I had to figure out a way to be able to work in the same space as my little girl.

Trashion materials: Organic cotton and recycled fabric

I transform them into: Infant t-shirts and hats

How do you do it?
I cut apart recycled clothing and combine the pieces with organic cotton.

What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in trashion?
Our house is teeny tiny and we have to be really selective about what we keep around and buy… I had old t-shirts that I knew I was never going to wear again, but I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them. Sewing them into clothes for Pepita was my solution. I hate waste. Communities dedicated to not only keeping discarded items out of landfills, but transforming them into beautiful and useful products are essential. It’s a way of life.

Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept? What was it?
Jeez, I think every kid made toys out of leftovers and trash. We had tin can stilts and, of course, kazoos made from toilet paper tubes, wax paper and rubber bands. I used to buy olive oil that came in a beautiful printed tin. I always cut the tin up and used it in projects when it was empty.
What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
I’m working on expanding my infant line to include toddler sizes and accessories for adults.

Why should people buy handmade, and buy from trashion?
People should buy handmade items if they want a well-made high quality, unique product. Buying handmade products is an investment in the community. Buying handmade products from trashion is an investment in the whole earth.


Trashion team spotlight - Interview: SweetWolf Designs

Shop name: SweetWolf Designs
Shop address:

In a nutshell:
Need to create, collect, forage, and hoard. Must purge creatively. Need money to further creative/ hoarding habits. Vicious cycle!

Tell us a bit about yourself
I have been married for 11 years, and am proud of it! I enjoy hanging out with my husband and my friends, usually not at the same time! I go out to see live music pretty often, since I live in the ‘live music capitol’ –Austin, Texas. I have 4 children and they all have fur. 2 cats and 2 dogs, the loves of my life! I read a lot, watch too much TV, and work at a job that is not that stressful. I have tried selling at local outdoor markets before, but etsy is my first foray into online selling. So far, I love it! I am really into reuse and recycling and have been for most of my life. My parents taught me the value of reuse early on. I have been creating stuff for myself and my friends for years. They encouraged me to pursue selling it.

Trashion materials:
Thrifted fabrics and gee gaws and knick knacks! Parts from used electronic equipment or random cool looking things I see on the ground. Friends give me things (aka trash) that they think is cool and they know I will eventually find a repurpose for it!

I transform them into:
the ‘hard stuff ‘ usually goes into Clocks, collages, frames or mirrors. The ‘soft’ stuff is made into wearable items like purses, bags or pouches. ( I sometimes refit them into clothing, but that is mainly for myself.)

How do you do it?
I am lucky enough to have a workroom, so I can just lock myself in and create! I also have a garage, and play with tools in there, when I need to saw or sand.

What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in trashion?
Inspired by? Life itself! I never know what the heck is going to inspire me. It’s other peoples castoffs a lot of the time! I will just see something and think of the other life it could have.

Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept? What was it?
I can’t really, cause it was probably when I got my first sewing machine at age 8. There have been so many things I have made since then!
I think it was a tooth pillow or a blankie for one of my dolls.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
Currently I have about 300 projects going. OK maybe only 30. But I am always in the midst of at least 2 projects. Right now, I am working on ideas for stuff to sell, working on prototypes, and making things for me to use this fall! Like a crazy quilted bag that I started a while back. The horizon is full of stuff to do, now I just have to find the time and energy to do them!

Why should people buy handmade, and buy from trashion?
Well, I always appreciate handmade stuff more, because it seems so much more real. There is something about making and owning a one of a kind object, and if you used recycled or upcycled items to create, it is more likely to be ‘one of a kind’.
Handmade represents what it says, it was made by another humans hands. They put thought and time into it, and quite possibly blood or tears into it also! Factory made stuff is essential for our society, handmade is not necessarily essential, and that also makes it special.

More you'd like to share:
I am relatively new to ‘cyberspace’ and the venues it offers. I only got a computer last year! I resisted for a long time, but now that I am familiar with all that being online has to offer, I seem to be spending too much time on here! I am excited about the possibilities though! Thanks for reading!


Trashion team spotlight - Interview: Stars Dreams and Jewels

Shop name: Stars Dreams and Jewels
Shop address:
In a nutshell: Eclectic and Collage Jewelry

Tell us a bit about yourself :

I graduated with a BFA in metalsmithing and textiles in 2002. I really enjoy coming up with new ideas and methods for my jewelry making. I try not to limit myself with my ideas, materials, and techniques. My motto is “anything can be made into jewelry” I have been making jewelry for over 15 years. My favorite thing to make is collage style bracelets. Trinkety kitschy style bracelets are the shizzle!!!!!

I’m a full-time artist working from my home. I currently sell on and have my jewelry in one shop and am entering into two more in the next 2 wks. So, I am really busy making new jewelry. It is a very exciting time for me!!!

I’m an animal lover and activist. When I am not making jewelry you will find me at the Humane Society of Jefferson County or doing outside volunteer work for them. I love to cook and bake and I have recently published a cookbook, 25% of the proceeds of that cookbook go to benefit the Jefferson County Humane Society.

Trashion materials: everything and anything…I don’t set limits on myself

I transform them into: jewelry/wearable art

How do you do it? Anyway I can!!!!!

What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in trashion?

I am what my family calls a physco recycler. When I have to throw something out, I look at it and think about what else I could use it for. Trashion is an awesome concept. To remake/repurpose something that someone would have thrown out It always makes me feel good inside to take something that I originally thought was unusable into something useable and beautiful. I am putting a little less into the landfill and making jewelry out of it!!! So it is a win, win for everyone.

Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept? What was it?

I can’t really remember what the item was that I made. I have been reusing/repurposing things for over 15 years. While in college I made a Raggedy Ann and Andy doll out of actual “rags” I thought that was fitting because part of their names started with “raggedy” Recently I have been taking apart non-working clock motors and other gadgets and using them in my jewelry.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?

I have been working on making jewelry out of used bottle caps and using a lot of little second-hand trinkets that I buy at thrift stores. I try to have at least 50% of my store items using some sort of recycled or second-hand item. I am trying my hand at weaving bracelets and other goodies out of telephone wire…so far so good. It is a little hard to work with….but I will make it work.

Why should people buy handmade, and buy from trashion?

Why wouldn’t they? I can’t imagine not buying handmade. I guess that is probably because my whole family is crafty and makes different things. We all really enjoy the idea that someone took the time to make a quality item. I feel like I have someone really special, something to be cherish, when I buy something handmade. As goes for why should people buy from trashion? That is easy,,,,it is helping the planet…..ohh and besides the fact that trashion is so very awesome!!!! How could you go wrong with that combo?

More you'd like to share:

A little amusing story to tell: I was recently at a surplus store. I had a little plastic tube of some sort in my hand. I was staring at it intently, turning it around and around. It had a pointed tip with a hole in it. I keep thinking, “I really like the color of this thing” “What could I make out of this” “How could I make it into jewelry” My thoughts were interrupted by an employee. He said, “ You look way to serious to be at a surplus store” I told him that I was thinking about what I could use this item for and that the wheels were turning in my head” He quickly told me that it was used to put on the tip of a bottle and that they were used as medical supplies. I laughed and said, “Oh no….I meant what I could use it for, not what it is actually used for” I told him that I was going to make it into jewelry and he said “okay” I got to talking with him and within a couple of minutes he asked for my website and said that my ideas where really “interesting” . I told if a little about trashion and he said that was one of the coolest things he had heard of in awhile. Trashion is awesome…spread the word!!!!


Trashion Outfitters - An Outfit for Fall!

Has it cooled off where you are? It is October, and in the northern hemisphere that means we start thinking about fall, even when the temperatures still feel like summer. Cooler temperatures have finally reached Memphis (and hopefully wherever you are), so I'm beginning to think about what to wear as the seasons change. This week, tomate d' epingles is helping me out by putting together the perfect outfit to wear on a fall day!

To show we can transition trashion outfits from summer to fall, we are going to start with the Polka Dot Happiness dress by lorimarsha also featured last week:

And we are going to add this Navy With Pearls Doily scarf! Made by SweetyPrize, it will help fight off the chill in the air:

And the perfect accessories? How about this Lime Dome and Black Leather Cuff by RunzwithScissors----

and this Fireside Ring by sojourncuriosities - doesn't the name just warm you up??

Take a break from your day, sit outside and put your thoughts in a journal - especially fun with one as great as The Secret of the Loch blank journal

and take a minute to write a note to a your best friend, or your family back home with the Road Atlas Note Card Set, both by samann1121!

And don't forget the Trashion Bookmarker by NatureMadeScents so you don't loose your place in your book!

This Fleur de Lis Black Denim Bag by dismantled is perfect for carrying everything around in:

And on such a gorgeous autumn day, don't forget to take your dog for a walk - but keep it safe with anniesweatsshop's Green Polka Dot Dog Leash - and look how it coordinates with the dress!!

What a great outfit for a cool autumn day!! Thanks again tomate d' epingles for putting it together, and to all the Trashion Team Members for creating such amazing things!


trashion street team list!


Blog Action Day

On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment.

Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic.

Blog Action Day is about MASS participation. That means they need you! Here is where to go to participate


Trashion team spotlight - Interview: be my shark

Shop name: bemyshark
Shop address:
In a nutshell: little pieces of trash from the ground turned into funky, unique jewelry.

Tell us a bit about yourself :

i'm originally from a city outside of detroit, but i moved to austin texas for grad school a year ago. i miss seasons and coney islands, but am coming around to breakfast tacos. i study and work in libraries and archives, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

Trashion materials:

mostly bits of tile, glass, plastic, paint chips and the guts of electronics. i've started working with plastic bags a bit, too.

I transform them into:

jewelry! earrings, necklaces, pins.

How do you do it?

first off, i clean everything, a lot. i often leave things almost as they are, but sometimes combine them with other bits of trash or repurposed items. there's glue, there's wire, there's gloss, and then somehow it becomes a piece of jewelry that sometimes people don't think looks completely weird.

What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in trashion?
i'm fascinated by urban spaces and urban decay. i love taking long walks and exploring, and would pick up bits of interesting trash that called out to me. and it kind of evolved from there. i like it because it enables me to participate in a creative activity with sustainable materials. using what's already there is always better than participating in creating a need for more stuff to be produced.

Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept?

What was it?

a necklace, in high school. i bought this big gaudy necklace from a thrift store because i loved the pendant. i took it off its chain and strung it on some leather lacing from an old pair of pants because i was really into chokers at the time, and i could [and did] tie the lacing as tightly around my neck as i wanted. i worked on re-vamped vintage/thrift jewelry for awhile before making the switch to actual trash-on-the-ground, my current preferred medium.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
i'm going to be showing my work at maker faire in austin on october 20-21, so i'm planning a display for that. i'm getting people from around the country [hint hint, anyone is encouraged to help!] to send me bits of interesting trash they find, and i hope i'll have enough time to transform all that into lovely trashion jewelry and have a display involving a large map and beautified trash from all over the nation.

Why should people buy handmade, and buy from trashion?
to support creativity! to support the little guy! because handmade is really just plain better than all the mass-manufactured crap out there! people should buy trashion because it's great, it's chic, and it's eco-friendly.


DIYthing Interviews Etsy Seller Lorimarsha - Trashion team member

See the article in The Storque - Story by diything, TeenAngster - Photo by lorimarsha

Published on September 11, 2007 in Spotlight

We can't get enough of
DIYthing -- the flyest blog this side of paradise. Check out DIYthing for lots of up and coming indie designers, home fashion, DIY crafts and one of a kind products.

This interview is an excerpt from a series profiling Etsy seller lorimarsha.
This week at
DIYthing we will feature lorimarsha, a textile designer. I fell in love with Lori’s work a couple of weeks ago when I discovered her on Etsy.

Lori reminds me a lot of myself, except Lori lives the life that I only dream of…I have spent several hours looking over her site and her photos on flickr. I love to look at photos because you can tell so much about how a person sees the world through their camera lens.

So I hope you take a little time this week to get to know lorimarsha as we feature her here on DIYthing. Visit her blog to get a small look at what inspires Lori.

diything: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
lorimarsha: Primarily through visual stimulation. I am inspired by color and interesting mixes of texture. I love walking through areas like Chinatown in San Francisco and eyeing the layers of satin shoes, plump pincushions and paper lanterns. Or driving through East LA and seeing the vibrant murals and hand painted signs. I love store windows and on a recent trip to Paris was treated to an Hermes’ display of orange that is seared into my memory. So, travel — day trips especially — provide inspiration to set my own creative wheels spinning. On those days, I can’t wait to get back home and get to work.

diything: Do you have any inspirations?
lorimarsha: My favorite designers are John Galiano, Christian LaCroix, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. I also love… Graffiti. Architecture. Random imagery. Robert Rauschenberg. Andy Warhol. There’s a long list.
I work primarily with recycled materials, enjoying the idea of redefining the lives of discarded objects. My jewelry combines seemingly incongruent elements such as vintage copper sports medals with natural crystals, Bakelite buttons and sterling findings. My one-of-a-kind handbags — reconstructed leather skirts — bear little resemblance to their original form.

diything: How do you decide on color for your designs?
lorimarsha: Since 90% of my raw materials is recycled, I try very hard to keep things organized by color. For example, all of my silk scarves are laundered, pressed and layered on hangers in color groups. That way, if I’m in an orange mood, I just head toward orange.

diything: Where do you sell your wares?
lorimarsha: I have on online store on
Etsy. It’s a venue dedicated to all things handmade. I used to wholesale my work to galleries and boutiques but two years ago I transitioned to one-of-a-kind pieces only and backed out of the large handmade markets. I also do a few local shows each year. Two of them are held in my home with several other artists participating. It’s fun to be face to face with people who enjoy what I do and get their feedback. It makes the solitary days worthwhile.

For more lorimarsha, head to her Etsy shop, her website,, or check out her flickr pool! And for just more good stuff, head to DIYthing!


This Week's Trashion Outfitter!!

We have a new outfit this week, put together by Stars Dreams and Jewels! It is called "Summer is not over yet - I'm going to the Farmer's Market!" Take a look:

The first thing will need is to make up early and make a list....used this earth friendly Notebook by NatureMadeScents to write down all of the things you'll need---

How about a nice hot cup a coffee to eat you started before you are on you way, cuddle your coffee with recycled reusable Coffee Sleeve by dismantled:

Make sure you have your Ecofriendly Shopping Bag by HelloKnitty to put all your farm-fresh goodies into!

Now slip into lorimarsha's beautiful Polka Dot Happiness dress...that screams summer....yeah that is because it is not over yet!!!

Time to pull back your lovely locks with this beautiful Denim Flower Barrette by dismantled--

Now lets accessory your beautiful eco-chic dress with these fantastic finds:

For the ears: Pumpkin Souffle Earrings by ellerue!

For the neck: slip sojourncuriosities' Harbor Pendant onto your favorite ribbon and you are good to go!!!

For the wrist: A Vermillion Orange Roman Record Cuff by EyePopArt!

For the finger: a Ring of Gemstones, Silver and Vintage Button by tomatedepingles!

And finally don't forget to carry your business cards with you so you can pass them out to all the people admiring your lovely outfit. What a better way to to house your business cards than with these Envelopes by SweetyPrize??

You are ready to go to the market and bring home all sorts of yummy home-grown goodness to make a feast for you and/or your family. Nothing says loving like a home cooked meal!!! Finally for all those messy eaters (in my case, my husband), why not get a Vintage Quilt Bib by rikrak to preserve clothing and make clean-up easier!!

What a great outfit!! I don't know about everyone else, but it still feels like summer in Memphis - and the Farmer's Markets are going strong so it's not too late!!!

Thanks Stars Dreams and Jewels for a great Trashion outfit!!


Trashion team spotlight - Interview: Chaos Into Art

Shop name:Chaos Into Art
Shop address:
In a nutshell: Vintage Materials Love!

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m a twenty-something girl -- just out of college, just married, and trying to figure out how best to support my husband and redeem the world with my crafts at the same time!

Trashion materials:

Vintage fabric (clothing, neckties, curtains, bed sheets, pillowcases, tablecloths, scraps that no one else wants, etc), books, magazines, and other ephemera.

I transform them into:

Clothing, purses, pouches, note cards, journals, stickers, sachets, coasters, and other housewares. I also gather vintage items and sell them as supplies.

How do you do it?

Well, mostly I just love rescuing things. So I rescue them, and they tell me what they’re supposed to be.

What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in Trashion?

I think it started with a respect for older items and a lack of funds. But I’ve realized that Trashion really is away to save the world – not in a cheesy sense, and not even necessarily in an environmental sense, but in the sense that I can replace chaos and decay with order and beauty. Hence, the name of my shop – “Chaos Into Art”.

Do you remember the first thing you made using the Trashion concept?
What was it?

I’ve been crafting for a long time, so I’m not sure. But I do recall furnishing my beautiful new doll house (I was about 6) with carpet and upholstery scraps from my uncle, and jewelry boxes from my mom for tables and beds. Again, lack of funds was a big contributing factor.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?

I have self-diagnosed “Craft ADD” – I’m always hopping from project to project. Lately I’ve been making zippered pouches out of vintage neckties, and stickers and note cards out of old high school yearbooks. I plan to start making Christmas stockings out of neckties soon. Another new thing for me is coasters made out of old board games boards. They’re in my shop now. I’m really excited about those! Oh, and I will soon venture into the exciting world of home craft shows! Yikes!

Why should people buy handmade, and buy from Trashion?

There are a lot of really good reasons to buy handmade and Trashion, and many of them have been mentioned on this blog before. For me, it goes back to redeeming the world. Making it more like it should be. Less decay and less disorder. More beauty, more order, and more people making a living doing what they are supposed to do.


Etsy Trashion team asks, what came first, the trash or the art?

"Which came first, the trash or the art? Were
you inspired by the material or the end product?"

Post your answers here!

Here are the answers gathered so far!!

Bayou Salvage, says: “the ideas come first. i am first and foremost an idea person and spend a lot of time on the idea. then i let it ride for awhile and see what materials i can collect to suit the idea. my partner is the reverse (heather from nolasalvage). she collects the materials and is constantly in assembly mode, not liking to think. we work well together, especially on the road junk picking.”

SweetyPrize, says "First came the trash. It stares me in the face and I stare back. Thinking of something to do with it that doesn't involve throwing it out."

Magickalrealism, says ” I first came to trashion by reading etsy forums and going, "that's really cool." I hate composting my leftover materials, and this left me a challenge to use up all my plant material in a creative way.”

Annie’s Sweat Shop, http: says "Improving end products turns me on. As a former product designer, it's all about improving the "junk"....oh I mean products that are currently out there. I fill a need in my personal life through DIY and improve upon what the market currently provides. That means using sustainable materials whenever possible, offering grassroots recycling of collars and leashes, or using recycled fibers in modular pet beds. I've got my hate on for disposable technologies masked as convenience. Make it last just a little longer."

Kae1Crafts, says: “The trash almost always comes first.
Inspiration takes a lot longer to acquire!!! LOL”

Jen1Kanobi, says... "actually its very hard to say... "the chicken or the egg?" I was raised in a "pack rat" home where we use the holy heck out of every little thing untill we absolutely cannot, so the roots of the trashion mentality were their, but it wasn’t untill I was a starving art student, trying to gets "wows" from my classmates without breakin my bank that the true sinergy happend... oh yeah and the whole "grunge" thing totaly helped... that's how I really got into the thrift store thing... in a nut shell: you tell me."

FairyTaleFibers, replies “Well the trash or Selvage came along in a life long love of fiber and fairies....then the idea for the fairy tale hoods was born. So i guess you could say it was a perfectly timed convergence.”

Miggipyn, says, “which came first? it's a little of both - i've got a magpie mind, so I collect and horde pretties, even if i'm not sure what to do with them. and then, while walking around the city and daydreaming, i'll start thinking of ways to use them. fabulous finds are EVERYWHERE - and i often don't even notice the items around me until i've already had an idea, and then i realize the materials are just lying around everywhere. example -- i've started playing with broken glass and foil from the streets, and i never realized how many COOL shades of blue, green, red, and yellow glass are used in every day disposables! so now i've got a huge bag of glass from the street .. and i don't know what to do with all of it - but i'm sure it'll come to me :) “

Donnapool, says “the art came first...sort of. What I use most is recycled images from vintage magazines to make buttons, magnets, keychains and pocket mirrors. I look through old magazines such as Life, Look, etc., and especially vintage photography magazines and I spot images that I can imagine isolating and preserving in that small, round format. The images are just too good to throw away, too indicative of the day and time in which they were created. Maybe it's the history major in me that just doesn't want to throw away those slices of our history. Expressions, hairstyles, fashions or the cameras our grandparents used...they can become a window into another world.”

Pagano Design Works, http://PaganoDesignWorks says “Oh absolutely the trash came first! Currently, I am passionate about making jewelry out of recycled sweaters. The bead part was easy, as I live in Tucson, AZ where the world’s biggest gem and mineral show arrives every year. (Not collecting beads is the difficult thing around here!) The sweater part was convoluted. I learned to knit to occupy myself while chaperoning my son’s jazz band to New Orleans…in a bus. Yarn is expensive. I learned to unravel thrifted sweaters in order to salvage their luxury yarns. Unraveling is strangely satisfying. Some sweaters don’t unravel but felt beautifully. I made lots of things with sweater felt for a year or so. Then…the felt got too close to the beads and POOF! Jewelry! Often I will save things for years just because I know they are Cool and Useful. Exactly WHAT they destined to become is the mystery. Sometimes it is hard to commit a treasured component to a new project. This is called “hoarding” and is not a good thing. We must allow the trash to become art and fulfill its destiny!! “

Redux Designs, says “it can be both! Usually I go through what I have on hand and play around with them, put together combinations and see what comes out. Sometimes, however, an idea comes to mind and I go searching for what I need to make it happen. Sometimes I can adapt an idea to use what is on hand; other times, a trip to the thrift store is in order!”

Garbage of Eden, says: “the art. My dad's a graphic designer and my mom is a super crafty lady so everyone was always creating things around me. My family is a really big inspiration to me. : ) ”

Renee Designs, says: “I think the trash came first. I am a collector/pack rat and was collecting magazine images, articles and cool papers for a while. I
always thought I would use them for inspiration for a new jewelry design but the more I looked at them I knew there was art in all of that mess. The trash I had collected was really art just waiting to come out.”

Trashionmode, says “I've been inspired by materials . I owe what I know to the tramp artists, basket weavers, rag pickers, gypsies, Marcel Duchamp, prison artists, assemblage artists, reconstructionists, etc.. I have a serious junk picking/ thrift shop habit.
I may venture out on a mission to find supplies for a particular project but I often come home with something else. It's the knowledge that everything has the potential to be used in a way other than its intended use that comes first for me. Even when I make something that no one else has done before it is based on my willingness to think of art as having endless possibilities. It is not "the art" ,as in a particular project, but "art" and all it's possibilities that come first. Even in the use of natural materials in Trashion there has to be a thought process that takes place that drives you to alter it. Only the cavemen had the right to say that the rocks came first. In our day and age I think that it is art that comes first. Designing and appreciating everything is a thought process...and an art. I have a box of junk that I don't yet know what I'll do with. It is in
my possession because of its possibilities. My choices of what to keep and what to discard are based on my aesthetic sensibility and the kind of art I like...not for what it is. Though I must concede that the properties of the junk will determine what I will do with it. If I were not an artist I would probably not keep or use it.”