Posts Tagged ‘umbrellas’


Friday, September 12, 2008

You may have noticed that I like umbrellas.  I especially enjoy creative ways to reuse the cheap ones that break, like this skirt.  ReadyMade has instructions on how to make one of your own.  It’s twirly.  Also, I love that they left the little strap hanging in the one pictured.

Textiles of the Future

Monday, July 14, 2008

I have umbrellas on the brain. I could have really used a parasol yesterday to avoid the seriously bizarre tan lines I got while celebrating Bastille Day. Also, it’s raining and despite noticing that when I got out of bed today I still didn’t grab an umbrella before heading out the door. I got halfway down the block before deciding to head back, go all the way back upstairs and grab one. I think in the back of my mind this absentmindedness is a temporary state that I’ll one day shed, caterpillar style and emerge a fully put-together adult woman. The kind who checks the weather every morning before leaving the house and keeps a suit jacket and extra pair of heels at the office and band aids in her purse, just in case.

I’ve been thinking about buying a snazzy trash umbrella, but can’t justify the purchase since I already have an amazing hippo umbrella with ears and am fundamentally opposed to the eco-chic backlash of buying more stuff because it’s “green”. That said, I have a lot of admiration for groups like Monsoon Vermont and any income generating project that employs scavengers. [As Clement L., a commenter on a previous post, pointed out, trash is the textile of the future, it tells the stories of our lives. I’m digging that image this morning. It reminds me of grade school and studying the pioneer days when families embroidered patches with abstracted images of life events and sewed them together in quits.]

This company TerraCycle makes a lot of the same style stuff without the feel good international charity piece. Instead, they’ll pay YOU for sending in used candy wrappers and drink pouches. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Nevertheless, here’s a charming video of how a Capri Sun pouch becomes a tote. I’d love to know what you think.

A lot of my garblogging of late has been pointing out new things to buy. I’d like to get away from that. Remember the umbrella inside out design competition? For some reason I found that whole concept more inspiring than the juice-box bag craze. Maybe it’s that the juice boxes seem a tiny bit self-righteous. And while I’m all about self-righteous accessories (nearly all of my jewelry comes from women’s collectives in Africa), I think I’d rather be wearing a little dress made out of an old umbrella and be the only one who knows the secret back story than something that screams “look at me, I recycle”!

Image of dress via Treehugger

Plastic Works

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The AP ran a great feature today on the Indonesian company, Plastic Works, which buys plastic trash from trash pickers and employs locals to make it into bags and other brightly colored goods to sell.  Remember those cute Jakarta umbrellas from Monsoon Vermont?

Guilty Political Fashion

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

pak_village1.jpg  I discovered the small company of Monsoon Vermont via a recent comment made by one of the founders on an old post about rag pickers in India.  I tend to be a bit jaded about trash-to-treasure products and eco-friendly fashion that encourages us to pay more or buy things we don’t really need in the name of green.  That said, I do appreciate the power of talking piece fashion, such as the umbrellas available as part of MonsoonVT’s Scavenger Projet.  Objectively practical and fashionable, these bright and beautiful items also carry a political message.

 umbrella.jpg  The umbrellas and other recycled wares—bags, waste baskets, wallets—are made with discarded packaging collected by scavengers in Indonesia and double as awareness-and-fund-raising tools for the YE Water Program in Jakarta.

Photos via the MonsoonVT site.

crayella: the umbrella of the future

Saturday, September 23, 2006

crayella.jpg  Just when I was getting into the hang of voting online every morning, the Umbrella Inside Out has chosen a winner.  Now what will I click back to for entertainment?

umbrella extravaganza

Monday, September 18, 2006

umbrella4.jpg  Phase II of the Umbrella Inside Out competition starts today.  If you thought the winning fashion design was impressive, prepare to be amazed by these durable and biodegradable umbrellas of the future.

ceci n’est pas un parapluie

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

nominee1.jpg It’s down to three finalists over at the Umbrella Inside Out competition and there’s still time to vote!

umbrella inside out

Monday, September 11, 2006

umbrella.jpg Today’s the day when Treehugger has promised to start posting the five finalists from their inspired Umbrella Inside Out contest. The idea is to make good use of all those umbrellas thrown away due to poor contruction and turn them into either a better umbrella or fashion item. Either way, the winner will be shown at an ethical fashion show in Paris.

Sidenote: When I was little, my mother read an article about a man who went around collecting broken umbrellas after rain storms and made them into kites. She got us some kite-making books from the library and the next time it rained, we walked around the neighborhood picking discarded umbrellas out of corner trash baskets. I made a bat kite from a black umbrella. She made a more beautiful, but less flyable red box kite. I don’t remember how long it took us, but I do remember many afternoons in the park flying our creations. Also, I remember the pride I felt as a child explaining to anyone who asked that we had made our nifty kites ourselves from things we picked out of the trash.

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