Sunday, May 25, 2008

"Reclaimed"? What does that mean?

I'm surprised that no one has asked me this question. If an item features "reclaimed" materials, it means it was created from something that has been discarded for one reason or another. A vintage dress with an irreparable tear, a dated old suit coat, a swatch of discontinued fabric -- whatever the case may be, an existing material is adapted for a new use with the end product being both beautiful and good for the planet. Any items made from reclaimed materials are truly couture in the sense that they are made in very limited quantity.

When my husband and I were newlyweds, I worked for a brief stint as a retail manager. While I worked there, clothes that were damaged were cut up first, then thrown away. In some cases, retailers have been kind enough to give me these items that would otherwise go in a landfill.

"Reclaimed" has recently become a buzz word, but it is something I have believed in for quite some time. I remember coming home with a set of closet doors someone was throwing away, and my husband looking at me, wondering why I was dragging home garbage. A bit of textured wall paper and one faux finish later and voile--chic decorative screen. Something that was once ugly and discarded is now useful and beautiful.

So, because everybody loves Before & After pics, here are some dated and truly atrocious pieces of artwork from my family's business that I repurposed and sold last summer
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BEFORE
AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER
{a little magnetic chalkboard paint to the rescue}

All bagged up--a bulk order for 30 that took years off my life!

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