Thursday, May 12, 2011

Reduce, Reuse - Right on Target


The other day I found an interesting website called The Reuser's Guide to Green Living. They had a contest (which has since ended) for items created out of repurposed; a.k.a. "upcycled" materials. The cork letters pictured above are one of the items featured on their site. I love the cork idea, and the concept of reuse in general! Long before I was making shoes, I was dragging home odd pieces of furniture, hideous artwork, and horrible chandeliers {honestly, the uglier the piece the better the challenge} and turn them into something a little more au currant. I love the idea of taking something discarded and making it note-worthy, and I also like the idea of minimizing waste and being a good steward of the planet.

Additionally, I find these type of challenges a true test of human innovation; like on Project Runway, when they need to make a dress out of newspaper or trash bags or on Design Star where they have to decorate a room using only supplies from a pet store. Interesting indeed!


Along those lines, I thought why not do my own version. While, yes, I could use reclaimed fabric, we do that all the time, so I don't consider that particularly innovative. But why not create something that everyone would recognize, something unexpected, that looks like it was reused... a not so subtle nod to the discarded source. And--voila--interesting and very different pair of shoes. As for my reused materials, not too hard to guess...

These were made from a Target bag! Not a cotton canvas bag, the regular, old, how-do-you-do plastic bag your groceries come in. I lined it with a special technique, and they are actually very durable! The feel is like a laminated cotton.

Here is a picture of them worn....

I have another pair of shoes, similarly created out of uniquely repurposed materials. I will post those pair next week. I will probably sell them both at that time, too.

reduce * reuse * recycle



Amgilliam said...

There are a lot of Target-lovin' mamas that are going to go NUTS for these! Adorable!

Anonymous said...


Brianne-zam said...

love them! so creative:-) the prospect of moving is very near certain, so my hubby did a little pushing and all my "uglier the better" pieces in the garage waiting to be transformed into something lovely made their way to Salvation Army. it was so sad to let go of all that potential!
briana j

Wimzie Prints said...

I think these are so clever. Would you consider sharing the secret to how you adhered the bags to the fabric?

LoLa Glitz said...

Would love to purchase a pair for my 4 year old! Please let me know if I can do so! Thank you!!

Elizabeth S said...

These are SUPER CUTE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I would really love to know how you made the shoes!!!

Steph said...

Where did you get your shoe pattern/instructions? I would love to get it!!

Alaska Hopechest said...

I am doing several different projects for Transformed Treasures - a Salvation Army event here locally in Anchorage. I would love to either purchase shoes or if you would share your techniques and pattern I would love to make a pair.

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