Tag Archives: Reclaimed Threads

Post Christmas ONE DAY Give Away! Get your name in quickly! Winner will be chosen Tomorrow, December 26!!

Post Christmas ONE DAY Give Away:

Want to stock up on some adorable and eco chic Christmas items for next year…for FREEEEE?!?! If you answered yes, then make sure to get your name in for the Reclaimed Threads’ Christmas Clearance Give Away right away! This is a shot gun giveaway so it starts RIGHT NOW and ends tonight (Saturday, Dec. 26) so make sure that you sign up immediately for your chance to win! There are three ways to enter, listed below(just one day! Eeek! what a rush!).

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?! You can win a beautiful pouch bag made from reclaimed cotton and vintage ribbon. These pouch bags are great for gift giving, storing makeup or jewelry… the uses are endless! You also will receive THREE one of a kind reclaimed cotton/wool ornaments: a sheep, with embroidered “fluffiness” and button feet, a dove, a symbol of peace and love, and a stocking, made from repurposed wool and is perfect for a gift card! Both the sheep and dove have an “RT” embroidered into them for “Reclaimed Threads”. This give-away is worth $45! And you could get it for free, what could be better!

The Winner will be chosen tonight, December 26. If you sign up but do not win, do not fret! You can still take advantage of the amazing Post Christmas Clearance Sale is this Saturday, December 26- Sunday December 27, 2009 at www.ReclaimedThreads.etsy.com. You can buy all of your ornaments, reusable gift bags, reusable gift pouches, fabric bow pins and more for very low prices! While you are there, make sure to check out some new Reclaimed Threads’ tote bags! Enjoy!

Get your name in for the give away the following ways:

Guidelines: There are three entry options listed below, feel free to enter using all three! You may only submit one entry per option though. Meaning you can submit once using the first option AND once using the second option AND once using the third option. Now that is a total of three entries BUT there is a bonus entry for Etsians AND if you purchase ANYTHING from RECLAIMED THREADS today you get 2 extra entries. Good luck!

Options:

1. Comment to this post but you are only eligible if you fill in your email (it will not be published) while filling out the comment box.*

2. Become a Facebook Fan AND either: send me a message through my Reclaimed Threads’ account, or, Write on my wall “This is my Post Christmas Clearance Give Away entry!!!”* http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reclaimed-Threads/124143768096?ref=nf

3. @RECLAIMEDTHREAD “Please include me in your Post Christmas Clearance Giveaway for one of a kind eco-chic products!”on Twitter* (note that there is not an “s” in my Twitter name, this is intentional).

BONUS ENTRY If you are on Etsy, go to the Reclaimed Threads’ shop, www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com,  and “heart” it (make this shop a favorite of yours)! This you can only do once*

So now you have all the ways to enter so make sure you get your entries in quick!

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur who combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form Reclaimed Threads.  Every item is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed/repurposed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of bags and products in her shop: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

* If I am not able to get in touch with the winner  by Monday, December 28, 2009, 12PM EST then I will have to chose an alternative winner.

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December 2009 Reclaimed Threads’ Business Update; Current Events, Lessons Learned and Looking Forward

Hello world!

I hope that by reading through what I have been going through the last few weeks. running my small business, that it will help anyone going through the same ordeals! If you have any suggestions, helpful links or words of encouragement never hesitate to leave a comment or email me! I love hearing from people and frankly have a few things I am struggling with and would appreciate all the help I can get!

Well, there has been a lot happening with Reclaimed Threads over the last month or so. While I was still in Pittsburgh (3 months total), I worked my butt off building up a holiday inventory that exceeded my expectations in terms of the amount I was able to produce while maintaining the high quality I demand of myself.  Now the challenge lies in my being able to continue being as productive at home (MA) where there are many more opportunities to socialize. I maintain optimistic though, now that I see what I am capable of!

Currently In The Reclaimed Threads’ Etsy Shop:

So about this holiday inventory I mentioned before… I have lots of Christmas products currently up in my shop (www.reclaimedthreads.ets.com)! I had such a great time creating unique ornaments, gift bags and accessories! Make sure to have a look, grab what you like and let me know what you think!

What Is Coming Soon To The Reclaimed Threads’ Etsy Shop:

I have about 20 bags of all shapes, sizes and colors as well as many (MANY!) more accessories finished a ready to be photographed for my Etsy shop. I was originally holding onto them because I had a few shows lined up and thought I would sell them there. This did not end up being the case (story to be shared under the “Reclaimed Threads Out and About” Section) and I am really looking forward to sharing them with a larger group of like-minded people through my shop! Make sure to stop by while you are finishing up your holiday shopping, you won’t be disappointed! My goal is to have all of these items in my shop by next Tuesday, December 15th.

TIP: I have become such a firm believer in setting deadlines for myself lately! It truly does help and when you tell your friends and family (and Facebook and Twitter followers) about your deadline then you are forced to follow through! If you don’t follow through then there is bound to be at least one person who says, I thought you said that you were going to have “X” done by today? I hate disappointing people and looking like a bad business person so this keeps me in line! I will say, though, that despite all of my planning I am missing a total of THREE Etsy Shopper Features that I had planned for the past two weeks and this week. But Thanksgiving, travel and settling back home really messed things up. I had only set loose deadlines in this case so now I am all about full disclosure and am going to put up some sort of schedule of upcoming posts in this blog so that I am locked in!

Material World:

I am soooooo happy that I found a great fabric supplier! Two actually and they have been right under my nose this whole time and I wasn’t even aware of them! There is a home consignment store in my town called Still Life (http://www.stilllifeconsignmentshop.com/) and they have a lot of fabric samples from stores as well as vintage fabric and yardage that people simply didn’t want. I want it though!! I am so happy that people are bringing these items here instead of just throwing them away!

Upstairs in the same building is a designer fabric store called Zimmans (http://zimmans.com/). NOTE: When you go to this website there is music that I can’t figure out how to turn off so be careful if you are reading this at work! haha but back to what I was saying, I was almost overwhelmed with the bins of remnants and bolt ends available here! I am a huge fan of when products, literally no matter what it is, are color coordinated. I got weak at the knees when I saw the rainbow of colors as I walked through the back of this store!

I am definitely going to become a VERY good customer of both of these businesses!

A family member also stumbled across an estate sale recently and found boxes FULL of vintage buttons!  So I have about 9 or 10 Ball glass jars full of buttons, I’m in heaven!

Reclaimed Threads Out and About:

Okay now to my big blunder of 2009. I had a  few shows the last couple of weeks but none were very fruitful. One was a holiday shopping boutique which was a lot of fun and I met many great people but traffic into the boutique show wasn’t very high so there weren’t a lot of sales. I also was at a flea market for two Sundays in a row but I had a sharp gut feeling when I agree to sign up for this (which is a long story in itself including my brother and his friend and all of us splitting a booth, which didn’t happen, etc) that a fleas market might be the most inappropriate place to try and sell handmade, one of a kind, high-end sustainable products. My gut feeling was right and I did not generate many sales but, again, met some nice people. One thing that I gained from both experiences, which I find indispensable, is face to face feedback on my products. I am thrilled to report that people’s reactions and comments were overwhelmingly positive! It makes me very happy and proud to have people, unsolicited, tell me how impressed they are especially when they are seamstresses and other handmade craftsmen which a few were!

TIP Through The Lesson I Learned From This Experience: From now on I am going to be photographing products and uploading them to my shop every week. This is no matter what events I have lined up because by hoarding my inventory for these shows instead of uploading them to my Etsy shop as well, resulted in my missing out on all the post-Thanksgiving exposure. This was poor planning, and in my opinion, plain laziness on my part because I was too naive in thinking that everything I made would sell at these three events. I have learned that you can never assume anything when it comes to how your product will do at a show or event.  It is alright to think positive but always utilize every tool you have available! I should have uploaded all of my inventory to my Etsy shop so that they would be there for people looking specifically for high quality, eco-chic handbags AND for people who left the show with my card and could have decided to check out the shop later that night and see if the bag they liked was still available, possibly even buying it then. Even though feedback was very positive, the flea market was not the place to sell my products, so I would have to advise everyone to be very careful as to what sort of places you try to sell your products. If it is obviously the wrong venue then don’t waste your time and money because both are valuable!! Woops! Lesson learned!

Katherine, What Else Have You Learned So Far About Selling Your Kind of Products (handmade, sustainable bags and accessories):

Over the last few months I have learned a few things about selling my products:

-Customers tell me that my Etsy listing photos do not do my products justice! When they receive their bag they are surprised by how nice it really is! I am still working on taking crisper photos that also give the views that replicate how people look at bags in a store: front and back, inside, over their shoulder, etc.

-Even though I am working on my photos in my Etsy shop, there is still nothing better then having people see my products in person. I sell more bags when people ask me to come to their house while they have company over than anything else that I have done. This has sparked two initiatives that I will be working towards in the next few weeks: I want to get my products into handmade and eco-conscious stores in my area and I want to make a game plan for how I would launch a series of Home Trunk Shows (or home bag parties) to decide if it would be “do-able”.

-People are very much into one of a kind bags but they really like to pick out their own fabric and design elements. I played around with the idea of doing custom bags but with my production crew being made up of me, myself and I, I just do not have the capacity to venture into something like this yet. I am considering making this an exclusive offer at house trunk shows as well as these parties acting as a chance to have first dibs on a selection of new products.

-I need to get more Press Coverage for Reclaimed Threads! I would definitely appreciate any suggestions when it comes to this topic! I love seeing my products reviewed by people and would like to continue with this as well as have features written about the company as a whole! Up to this point, I’ve relied on networking with people and them offering to feature me here and there. I appreciate all of this and am now aiming to be featured more often and by a broader range of media (blogs, magazines, newspapers and TV)! Who isn’t aiming for this?!

FUN FACT: I was going to be featured in the Unofficial Etsy Business Blog as a “green business” recently. This turned into Justine (the editor) asking me to become a contributor to the blog instead. So I will be taking the driver’s seat for a “green stories” series on her blog, this is coming soon and will be a monthly feature. I am working on the questions and finding people to feature at the moment. I will be sure to update everyone once the first feature is ready! I am excited for this, it will be a fun to be a part of what I think is a wonderful blog!

Well, this pretty much sums up my last month or so! I’d love to hear your feedback about my products, the progress that I am making and definitely any suggestions that you have about things that I should be doing that I am not! Thanks for sticking with me through this long update! Remember that you can subscribe to my blog and get updates without even having to think about it!

Best Wishes,

Katherine

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur who combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form Reclaimed Threads.  Every item is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed/repurposed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of bags and products in her shop: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

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Check Out: The Green Familia Green Shopping Blog and nominate them for The Green Web Awards!

The Green FamiliaThe Green Familia is a wonderful blog that has tons of green shopping tips and guides. It is based out of the UK but is still a great resource for all of us here in the US! I love stopping by this site and feel lucky to have  been featured a couple of times and will have a few items included in their Ethical Christmas List, so keep an eye out for that! I promise that you will be impressed with all of the hard work the editors put into this blog, so make a point to stop by and have a look!

I wanted to do a quick write-up on them to make you aware that if you like this blog as much as I do, you should consider nominating them for the Green Web Awards! They certainly deserve it and nominations close November 16. I figure it can’t hurt to get as many people as possible to support them in this! Nominating them only took me a minute and you can do so by going to http://www.nigelsecostore.com/green-web-awards/ and clicking on “nominations are now open” then fill out the little form with The Green Familia’s URL: http://thegreenfamilia.co.uk/ and the category would be “eco-blogs and news”.

I will fill everyone in on the results as soon as they are in! Let’s keep our fingers crossed for them!

~Katherine~

Reclaimed Threads

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company owned  by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur who combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to start this company.  Every item is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of bags and products to chose from at her Etsy shop, www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

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Etsy Shopper- Fall Colors

Yay! Fall is here! This is my favorite season! The crisp air and most of all the colors! I have compiled lots of Fall Colored items here for you to enjoy. Also, remember that the holiday season is quickly approaching so keep your eyes open for gift ideas!

Remember that you need to scroll past the pictures to get a product description and link to each seller’s shop, just match the numbers from the pictures to the descriptions…

1. I love to Scrapbook. This is such a great piece because at first glance, you’d never know it was made from 3 paper bags!  All you need for this Fall themed scrapbook are your pictures and mementos, everything else is all ready for you! This is perfect for those of you out there that want a unique album but don’t have the time to make something this ornate! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=324185732. These are so fun! This clock is made out of a record! This shop is full of all different designs that are hand painted and everything is under $20! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=33443258

 

3. This wonderfully colorful wool yarn is hand spun from mill-ends. It is bulky-weight and would make and awesome scarf, hat or mittens! It looks so luxurious! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33324841

4. This great journal, and a whole shop full of others, are manufactured from recycled hardcover books! There is plenty of unlined sheets for your musings, including many pages from the original book, and you can take pleasure in knowing how unique your journal is! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19243316

5. This adorable quilt is filled with batting that was made from recycled plastic bottles. I love the fabric and the simple diagonal stitching. The quilt measures approximately 30” X 40”. As a nice touch, the designer keeps the designs gender neutral so the quilt can be passed down to anyone! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33330827

6.  This is an amazing gift for a child, heck I’d love it! 🙂 This horse is made from new, vintage and recycle goods. The mane is made from recycled T-shirts as is the heart shaped “birthmarks”. The natural wood dowel is just the right size for little hands! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33208119

7. This lovely Cushion cover is made from high quality fabric taken from a heavy pair of curtains. The curtain’s original neutral lining has been used to create a plain vintage envelope-style backing. I am sure you will find endless places to use this cover! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33295011

8. This Celluloid and Metal Vintage pin is just gorgeous! A perfect addition to any fall outfit. This pin would look perfect on a scarf, lapel or even on a wrapped dress! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33320557

9. This is  lovely piece of vintage upcycled luggage. It is a brilliant red with a design in waterproof ink and has all silver hardware! It is made from a vintage American Tourister suitcase and is in excellent condition. Inside there are a bunch of pockets and clothing straps to hold all your stuff in place!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32583582

10. This is a stunning footstool! It is a reupholstered antique footstool that bursts with color and style. The yellow, chartreuse, black and grey in the Thomas Paul fabric work together so well and make this a chic piece that will stand out in any room. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33178046

11. These fun zip up hoodie embellishments will add an extra splash of color and style to whatever you choose to add them to! The embellishments are hand stitched to recycled paper and attached to a glue dot for easy application! Go wild! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33307176

12. These upcycled watering can lamps are so much fun! There are a variety of colors that she can make the lamps available in and make sure to snatch up a paper lamp shade too!! Plus you get a free gift with your purchase! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21516334

13. Wow is this scarf beautiful or what! It was recently featured on Etsy’s front page  as well as in an Etsy Gift Guide! Made in the USA and is full of all the colors that make fall such a brilliant season! Make sure to stop by and get ourself one! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31162437

14. ADORABLE! I love this little Scottie dog! The dog’s name is Lottie and she is made from red vintage chenille! The other side is a red and white polka dot fabric and there is a baby-blue satin bow around her neck! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32348162

15. This beautiful bracelet is sewn out from a vintage grain sack. There is an adjustable metal interior to add to the comfortability. It is edged with embroidery thread and made right here in the USA. It is a unique, one of a kind bracelet! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33296052

16. This is a beautiful painting! It is an original floral landscape by an award winning artist. The colors are breathtaking and I can imagine the perfect place for it in my house, can’t you!? It measures 24” X 24” X 3/4”. If you do not have a frame, she will paint the edges for you to finish it off. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33329515

17. This beautiful set of 6 cards have an original designs on the front and printed on heavy, 100% recycled paper. They are blank inside for your own personal message and are the perfect way to send Fall greeting to everyone you know! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33327574

18. This autumn themed 12” X 12” wall hanging is perfect for the season. Made with love in rural Utah, this piece (among many others beautiful items in this shop) can capture your imagination and add a unique touch to any room or front door.  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33330111

19. This fabulous blanket measures 62” X 47”, that’s 20 square feet! It is made from reclaimed vintage fabric from the 60s. With all the places to have a picnic, you will find endless uses for this blanket. Best of all, it is lightweight and comes with a carry strap. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32493500

20. Don’t these look so soft and warm?! They bought a wool sweater and transformed it into a pair of one of a kind mittens! These are sized large and will fit a man’s average to large hands! Love them! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20149399

21. I am in love with these adorable pumpkins! This would be such a great addition to any home for the season or you can use it as a pin cushion! The stem in made out of recycled corduroy. There are many different sizes and colors of these pumpkins in this shop so stop by for a peak!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33202802

22. I’m sort of obsessed with thick headbands and love this one for the fall! The colors and great, it is made with reclaimed materials and is attached in the back with an elastic so it will fit many different sizes!! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27801157

23. This wonderful handmade hat is crocheted to perfection and is adorable! It covers your ears and is just the right amount of warmth for this time of year, The pumpkin theme is really cute as well, of course!! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7463750

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form the company.  Every bag is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of style bags and products to chose from! Her shop is at: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.


 

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It IS East Being Green- Halloween “Good”ies

JJ says "Happy Halloween!" on behalf of Reclaimed Threads

JJ says "Happy Halloween!" on behalf of Reclaimed Threads

Halloween is such a fun holiday. You get to dress up, eat candy and spend time with friends. Halloween can also be one of those holiday where you buy tons of things that you use once and then throw away. This year why not try to find some ways to be one of the people who celebrate sustainably?! Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing…

General Party Ideas:

Kids Konserve, Party Pak

Kids Konserve, Party Pak

Utensils, plate and platters. Even though this may seem scarier to you then the scariest Halloween costume, try using reusable utensils, serving plates and platters instead of disposable ones! You can use them year after year and won’t contribute to the massive amounts of trash during any holiday season!  Here is a great Party Pak from Kids Konserve: http://store.kidskonserve.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=KKPP. You get 25 of each item: plates tumblers, fork, knives and spoons. All of the items are made from 100% recycled yogurt containers and are BPA, Lead and Phthalate free. Great deal.

Green Planet Parties

Green Planet Parties

Decorations and other “Good”ies. If you are looking for your one stop sop for green Halloween decoartions and such, look no further! Green Planet Parties has everything you need. I was blon away at the selection of great products they have. This is a defite must see so check them out here: http://www.greenplanetparties.com/category_43/Halloween.htm

Children Party Activities/ Decorations:

Make some Scarecrows! This is a really fun activity and give you the opportunity to use up some old cloths and newspapers. You can form a couple of groups and have a contest!

Reclaimed Threads' Trick or Treat Bag, now available at Lil' Green Wagon in Southern CA

Reclaimed Threads' Trick or Treat Bag, now available at Lil' Green Wagon in Southern CA

Decorate Trick or Treat bags! Every year we used pillowcases as trick or treat bags. You can do the same and let you children decorate theirs with fabric scraps and old clothing. Either glue them on or this would be a great opportunity to teach your children how to hand sew!

Starched T-Shirt Ghost at Kaboose.com

Starched T-Shirt Ghost at Kaboose.com

The Starched T-Shirt Ghost. I used to love making these when I was little. You can use an old T-shirt and some clothing starch to create a little ghost decoration for your house! Here is are some nice instructions for this project: http://crafts.kaboose.com/starched-tshirt-ghost.html.

Tombstones, coffins and other decorations can be made out of cardboard. Get creative and use those materials again before you recycle them. If you have scrap wood laying around use those too and save them for use again next year!

Costumes

Costumes on Etsy.com

Costumes on Etsy.com

You can always make your own costume, but you can also go on Etsy.com and find handmade costumes! http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_type=handmade&search_query=halloween+costume&order=date_desc&ship_to= There are many people who can probably work with you too, to make something really unique. Check back this Thursday, October 22, for other Halloween items off Etsy.com.

I can’t remember where I heard this idea awhile back but you can have a costume exchange party! No one uses a costume more than a couple of times so you can get them in really good condition and get rid of your child’s costume from years past! Plus it’s an excuse to get your friend’s together!

Trick or Treat! – What Will You Be Handing Out?

Global Exchange for Fair Trade Items

Global Exchange for Fair Trade Items

The Global Exchange Store is another one stop shop, this time for all Fair Trade goodies. They can be found at: http://www.globalexchangestore.org/category-s/263.htm

Little bags of popcorn

Caramel apples! (you can use locally grown apples if you live near an orchard!!)

Dried Fruit

Pamela's Products

Pamela's Products

Home-made gluten-free cookies. Listen, you might be think EWWWW but hear me out. I thought I had a Gluten intolerance, turns out I don’t but for a few weeks I was eating a gluten free diet. I came across Pamela’s products, you can find them in the baking section of most grocery store’s “naturals section”.  But I got the pancake and baking mix and OH MY GOD! I am telling you these are the best cookies! I still make my cookies from this mix because they are that good! Anyways if you want to offer cookies, definitely use this mix and don’t tell people that they are gluten-free so that they give them a chance! http://www.pamelasproducts.com/

To Wrap Up

Try using as many repurposed items as you can in your projects! You can use these opportunities to educate your children on recycling and how it is important to use up what you already have before buying something new. If you have favorite Halloween craft ideas, share them here!

Also try to buy items that can used year after year. Not only is this good for the environment but for your wallet as well! Why buy new things veery year?! If you want to have different things each year, then think about bring that costume exchange party to a new level and have a Halloween items exchange party and include any and all things Halloween!


About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form the company.  Every bag is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of style bags and products to chose from! Her shop is at: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.


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It IS Easy Being Green- Trash to Treasure

There is nothing better, in my mind, than the practice of taking something that someone else discarded and either returning it to its former glory or creating something entirely new from it. In my work, I make a point of doing this by using reclaimed and vintage materials to make bags and there are so many other people out there doing this in their own way, contributing to fine art and charity.  Over the years, I have come across many ideas and programs that surround this idea of turning trash to something that is treasured. I am focusing on people and programs that accomplish this in artistic and charitable ways.

1,001 Ways To Save The Earth*** While through the years I have heard of the following ideas and programs, many more were brought to my attention while I was reading this handy little book called “1,001 Ways To Save The Earth” by Joanna Yarrow and published by Chronicle Books LLC out of San Francisco, CA. AND as I was looking up the publisher, I saw this: “Publishers Note: This book is printed using mineral oil-free vegetable-based inks on paper produced from pulp obtained from sustainably managed forests, and from paper mills that meet environmental standard ISO 14001. It is 100% recyclable.” VERY COOL and inspired me to put this right up front, so anytime you see a ***, it is to let you know when I picked up the tip from this book.

ENJOY!  AND let me know what you think and if you know of any other cool ideas or programs!

Etsy.com_recycle_searchHandmade Goodies: As a seller on Etsy.com and a person who using reclaimed materials to make her products, I a vouge for the fact that their are SO MANY talented people on Etsy.com Making all sorts of amazing handmade items from recycled materials. I just typed in recycle into the search engine on Etsy.com’s main page, have a look! http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_type=handmade&search_query=recycle&order=date_desc&ship_to=


Kid_Made_RobotDonate some recycling or “clean trash” to school as art supplies: I worked in a kindergarten program and this was always a hit! They loved making things on their own or working together to make large items. This is a picture of a robot that they made with a teacher from stereo pieces, old christmas lights and all sorts of things. They designed it and all the teacher did was screw it together. Children are SO CREATIVE! *** I believe something like this was in the book as well.

In_Motion_Magazine*** SOMOHO (Soweto Mountain of Hope): This a hill in Africa that during turmoil in the 80’s became an illegal dumping ground and dangerous place to even pass through. Mandla Mentoor saw it as something else and worked very hard to transform it into the cultural and environmental center. People now feel safe coming here and there is a program for children teaching them all about being environmental stewards. They also have a big focus on artistic endeavors and allow everyone to make art out of the trash there “to free their minds” because they have all been so “bottled up” as Mentoor puts it. So this garbage was just sitting there and inhibiting people from going there because it was dangerous and they have now harnessed it for the common good. What a fantastic program! Here is a nice interview with Mentoor by In Motion Magazine,if you want more information: http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/global/mm1.html

Art_ContestTrash To Treasure Art Contest. FORT WAYNE, IN: I thought this was pretty cool. Fort Wayne Indiana had the great idea of holding a contest in which children and non-profit organizations can compete. People can let their creativity flow and re-use discarded materials. The next contest is to take place April 2010. Here is a link for more info if your organization or community want to do something similar http://www.acwastewatcher.com/events/index.html?ID=events_and_programs1202742977. I was thinking it’d be cool if some of the art was auctioned off after the contest to raise money for some charity or something.


Before_And_AfterBefore and After: Antique Restorations: I LOOOOVE before and after pictures. I am a big fan of refinishing furniture in lieu , its so rewarding. Here is a great gallery of projects from all over the country created Pamela Wiggins:

http://antiques.about.com/od/craftyideas/ig/Trash-to-Treasure-Makeovers/


Old Cell Phones To Charity: If you are like me then you have at least a half dozen old cell phones lying around. Instead of letting mine just sit in our junk drawer or throw them away, I wanted to look into where I could recycle them. You can donate to lots of organisations but here are a few: GRC Recycling (you can earn money this way): http://www.grcrecycling.com/programs/cell-phone-collections/index.cfm; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (if the page doesn’t show up, be aware that they are currently working on their site, so check back or call them!) http://www.ncadv.org/takeaction/DonateaPhone_129.html; CTIA The Wireless Foundation (also combating domestic violence) http://www.donateaphone.com/CalltoProtect/donate.cfm; Cell Phones For Soldiers (turns old cell phones into prepaid calling cards) http://www.donateaphone.com/CalltoProtect/donate.cfm; Charitable Recycling (let’s you create your own fundraiser for a favorite charity) http://www.charitablerecycling.com/CR/home.asp

PENN_StateClean Out Your College Dorm For Good!: PENN State did a fundraiser on May 30, 2009 wheere they collected anything that was no longer wanted, put it in their stadium and had a HUGE SALE! They donated all of the proceeds, $62,680, to their local United Way. I just thought this was a fantastic idea not only because, as a recent college grad, I’m aware of how much stuff you throw away at the end of the year simply because you don’ have enough room in your car to get it home but because it gave all of this “trash” a second chance. Here is their website on their efforts if you want to do something similar:  http://www.trashtotreasure.psu.edu/default.shtml


Book_CrossingFollow your Book Donation: I though this was sort of cool. There are tons of ways to donate book liek donating them to the library, for a church yeard sale, use Got Books (http://www.gotbooks.com/) to donate. What happens to those books though? Where do they travel after that? Book Crossing gives you the opportunity to find out, http://www.bookcrossing.com/. You can register your book and then if people go to the website and type in the code, you can see where the book has been since you donated it or where it was before you got it!


Consignment and Thrift Shops : I love consignment  and Thrift shops because you can get some nice stuff, sometimes with tags still on them! I like discovering a good consignment shop that I can browse through but there are some online too! http://www.consignmentshops.com/webshops.html. I also found a website for locating Thrift shops near you: http://www.thethriftshopper.com/ and you can add Shops of you know of ones that are not listed!

Charity_GuideDonate Your Eye Glasses: http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fifteen/eyeglasses-donation.htm This is a great guide to all the places excepting eyeglasses and can point you in the right direction of donating most anything.


This is only a small taste of what is out there and I hope you have enjoyed looking through what I have put together. Again, if you know of any great artists, designers, ideas or programs that you want to share please feel free to add them as a comment!

Reclaimed_ThreadsAbout Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form the company.  Every bag is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of style bags and all are reasonably priced to make them available to all! Her shop is at: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.


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Etsy Shopper: Featuring Dog “Stuff”

Welcome to the first installation of the Etsy Shopper Feature here on the Reclaimed Threads blog, home of Reclaimed Threads Sustainable Bags. I am an Etsy Seller myself (Reclaimed Threads is the name of my shop, obviously) and am always marveling at how many talented people there are selling on Esty! I LOVE to shop and seem to always be on a mission for something in particular. Here I will share a compilation of items from Etsy and link you to the various sellers that provide these amazing handmade creations! While I prefer to buy items that are eco-chic and organic (I will always include items that meet these standards) let’s be honest, sometimes that isn’t always reasonable in our lives. Thankfully since everything on Etsy is either handmade or vintage and many sellers give money to charity (including myself), which is very sustainable, I personally feel fine buying pretty much anything off of this site!

In this post I would like to focus on Dog “Stuff”. I love my crazy little Jack Russell Terrier. His name is JJ for “Just Jack” (those Will and Grace Fans out there will understand) and he is a ball of energy that loves to get stuff! He seems to know when a gift is for him and he gets all excited, well honestly he gets excited about everything but that’s what makes him so cute!

I am so impressed with the amount of wonderful pet products there are out there! I was able to weed out a bunch a fantastic products that I cannot wait to share them in a gallery format with all of you. Not only are the products great but I have been in touch with all the people who make and sell them and they could not be nicer.  They all work very hard hand-making everything that you see. Let the sellers know if you love an item you see, I know they’d love to hear from you!

Scroll down to match the picture number with the description number in order to get a link to the products’ website! ENJOY! 🙂

DRESS THEM! Whenever I try to put clothes on JJ, my Mom says to, “stop, you are embarrassing him” but he loves the attention and I like him looking nice. Some of this stuff is cute and funny so I think your dogs will enjoy them as well!

1. I love this collar by 3pooches because it makes me think of J.Crew. It is very preppy and I love the colors. There are all sorts of sizes available so it is very customizable. In addition the collars are adjustable so you know that it will fit your dog comfortably. it looks like it is easy for you to get on and off your dog and has a great ring on it for tags and your leash. There are also all kinds of matching leashes and such! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28927290

2. Anniessweatshop made this collar out of  a reclaimed neck tie. There is no nylon used and if you recycle your old dog collar parts with them you get a $5 rebate! There is a matching leash that you can buy separately. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=29571816

3. Check out this collar from thcoolpuppy! I have never seen anything like this! They have a variety of sizes and they will do their best to meet any special requests that you may have! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23578997

4. This is a cute idea from BowWowCouture! It’s a flower to put on your dog’s collar. You can get it with a loop to slide your dog’s collar through or a piece of velcro. You can even ask for certain colors for a special occasion or your dog’s favorite sports team. This is a very customizable product! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28674546

5. I love this pet ID tag from makeyourdogsmile! It is such a stylish way to present your dog’s important info. Check out their shop for all different kinds of unique dog tags. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30942881

6. Stop by mrsofttop for this cute scarf. The scarf is made from pure wool, is hand-dyed and comes in a variety of sizes to fit your pup. I love the button on the side as well. There is only a limited amount of each color, so act fast! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=29738018

7. Handmade4hounds is offering up these adorable dog scarves! They were donated by KimsCritterDesigns and she did a wonderful job with them. Handmade4hounds donates proceeds (less shipping and transaction expenses) to a charity of the month. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24721152

8. This is such a cute little “boo!” dress! It is from PetPortraitsAndMore. As you can guess from their name, they also make dog portraits but in fabric! They are really cool, be sure to check them out. But this dress will look SO CUTE for Halloween! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30107301

9. Speaking of Halloween, or any day really, check out this sweater from StylinDogsBoutique. I love the skull and bones on the back! This is this sellers second shop offering all pre-made, ready to ship items. You can also find this and many other items at their other store DianaDesignsNY for custom made items. This seller also makes many items with eco-friendly yarn!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=25133747

10. The dogcoatlady makes great buttons such as this one with her computer and heavy duty button machine. You can attach this to your dogs sweater or on your own! You can also ask her to make the pin into a magnets and she also offers pocket mirrors or keychains. Be sure to stop by! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30944701

FEED THEM AND KEEP THEM SAFE JJ loves his treats, I love keeping his food and water off the floor and we both love when I am able to do one extra thing to keep him safe…

11. What a beautiful dog feeder by andrewsreclaimed. Not only does this feeder help your dog with its digestion, reduce strain on its joints and keep its food off the ground but it is made from cedar mill end-cuts… very sustainable! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30941182

12. Another way to keep your dog’s food off the ground is with this adorable non slip bowl mat by StylinPupPillows. I love the colors and they are willing to make the mat bigger or smaller based on your needs! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30877829

13. After your dog does something super special to deserve a treat, why not toss him or her one of these personalized dog cookies from KbOriginalsetc. You get 35-40 cookies in each batch and they are all made from fresh ingredients to order.  You also get $5 off any treat jar with cookie purchase. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=26607380

14. This door hanger is your one extra little thing that you can do to keep your pets safe. Tailwaggers makes this hand-painted door hanger with indispensable information that could save your pets! Obviously the seller thinks so too because she told me that they take a lot of time and patience to make. I think they turn out very nicely! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=18476813

Play Time! JJ’s is a big toy guy! They are all over the house but they make him happy.

15. Is this cute or what?! Lyonesque made this adorable toy that they say is “Beagle Approved”. They use some reclaimed materials and all the packaging is recycled. It has a squeaker in it which is a must and they donate to the Kentucky Humane Society. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24772160

16. Thelab also has a cute dog toy! It looks like a chocolate lab and will be fun for the dog to play with, with a squeaker which is wrapped inside a canvas pouch to help keep it from getting punctured! Since i asked to list this item I have had to change the link twice because they keep selling so grab yours quick! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31039428

17. If your dog likes rope toys this is the one for you! RockingKPet is a new seller and i think this product is a winner! It is soft and supple FLOATS which is awesome if you dog likes to chase toys into the water! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30879380

18. RachelsPETdesigns offers a cute  fleece tug chew toy. I made my dog a toy like this awhile ago and he loved it so definitely check these out.  10% of the shops monthly sales go to MaxFund.org. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30927437

19. Here is woofpurrcreations version of the tug toy. This tug toy is made of fleece, has a washed tennis ball on it and a squeaker. There are lots of colors to customize yours so have a look! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30534454

20. Here is a cute toy from athenaknits. Its is handmade to look like a piece of candy. It has been pet tested and can withstand tough playing. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24819637

21. RescueMeTugz has this fun fleece ball dog toy. You can see how much the seller’s dogs like it in the pictures and proceeds are donated to Great Dane Rescue! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28725912

22. ITinker4U offers up this set of squeaky toys. This adorable pair of plaid squeaky toys (one cat, one dog) are sure to makes your pet happy and you can machine wash them as well! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30940493

23. This squeaker toy is from tangledhangers and is made out of 4 layers of natural hemp! This toy is made to last and you can feel free to contact the seller to customize! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12729712

Clean up and a take nap! When JJ plays with his toys he leaves them all over the house! We try keeping them in ples but that doesn’t last long! While we are busy cleaning up after him JJ enjoys napping in his cushy bed

24, jakeybb offer this FANTASTIC one of a kind pet toy box. It looks great and keeps all your pets stuff in once place! There are matching bed and leash hook also available. Now they even offer to customize the toy box with your pet’s name! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=25446260

25. If your dog gets chilly like mine does you’ll want to check out this adorable dog blanket from twosleepydogs. It is made from cotton and fluffy quilt batting. The edges are frays which is really nice looking. You can contact the seller for custom pieces as well! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30891688

26. For snooze time allingwelsh has made this very pretty Pet Bed! I love the fabric and the design is so regal! It would look great in any home! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=29647223

27. When the dog is outside and wants to lay around, sometimes it is too hot! That why this raised bed from dianesk9creations is so great. It keeps our pet up off the heat, is waterproof, holds up to 100 lbs and has a warranty. Stop by and pick out yours from the variety of color options http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24674753

28. When you are en route somewhere and want your furry friend to be comfy you’ll need one of these travel beds by BowWowBeds! There is no zipper, it is machine washable and can be made to fit your sports utility vehicle or you can send them what measurements you need. This is like a duvet cover that you stuff with whatever you want, also keeps shipping costs down! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28551997

Remember to check out Reclaimed Thread’s shop as well for Eco-Chic Bags! www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com


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