Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Exclaim Reclaim!

Since my continued learning has taken me down the path of understanding textiles: I've learned about the horrible world of PVC. Being a lil' vegan gal most of my shoes, handbags and belts consist of the stuff. PVC uses phthalates as plasticizers due to their increased flexibility and longevity. Since phthalates do not bond with PVC, it leaks out freely into our air. Phthalates have been associated with asthma, respiratory failure and other delightful diseases. Read more about it here.

Besides the numerous health effects, PVC faux-leather does not look as nice. A bag I purchased less than a year ago already has numerous holes, scratches and cracks along every seam. But I don't want to buy leather do I?

Leather lasts longer and looks nicer but is a cruel endeavour that puts enormous strain on our resources, and is most commonly tanned with formaldehyde (pg. 136 In Fashion by Elaine Stone). Yummy.

What is the best option?

I've recently come to know the beauty of reclaimed leather goods. Reclaimed leather is the practice of found or second-hand leather products being repurposed into new goods. Like (hold your breath) HANDBAGS. My search for the perfect bag never ceases... Sigh~* So if you can't stomach the PVC or leather implications - I suggest reclaimed leather as an acceptable alternative.

This wonderful world of recycled leather is growing by leaps and bounds. The growing concern for the green movement and decreasing one's carbon footprint has paved the way for a new crop of conscious designers. I've hand-picked just a small group of these Salvaging Sally's for your perusing pleasure.

1.) First off, I heart etsy. It gives budding designers like AgentReclaimed, their very own shop with little to no overhead. Find her etsy shop: here. My favorite is her wired cuff:

2.) Vancover-based Ashley Watson creates one-of-a-kind bags (and the like) using "exclusively recycled materials." She creates singular fashions with an "environmentally sound" approach. Purchase her darlings here.

3.) Erin Templeton makes sassy designer handbags also using previously loved leather. This Canadian beauty (what is up with designers from Canada being ahead of the curve?) started out making shoes and has her very own shop in Vancouver. Find her wares online here.

4.) Last, but not least: I am so in love with Dé.Dé handbags it's atrocious. This elusive Brazilian company uses 100% reclaimed leather BUT the bags themselves are so very hard to find. In fact, the one I was saving for is no longer available! As far as I know - this is EVERYPLACE (online) you can find these coveted handbags: Jane's Closet, Lori's Shoes, and SouthMoonUnder. If you hear/see/stumble upon anyplace else - please let me know. Here are a handful of my favorites:

Hit me back with your favorite recycled leather goods <3!

Love you, mean it