There are few discarded fashion items that pull at your conscience quite like an out-dated leather jacket. It seems like such a waste, but... really - who'd want to be seen in that butterfly-winged, quilted, studded jacket from 1983? It's amazing how well these style-dinosaurs hold up over the decades, turning up at thrift shops and garage sales everywhere you look!
As it turns out, all those extra zippers and pockets come in handy when carefully worked into an absolutely one-of-a-kind bag. VintageChase creates dozens of these clever beauties using leather alone or combined with other recycled textiles.
Not always recognizable to the unsuspecting eye - recycled/reclaimed materials can catch you off guard. LeilanniLand takes the sleeves from 90s fashion jackets and puts them right back where they started in fabulous, fashion forward designs. You might think you have never seen these striking leather sleeves before, but think again... Clever re-working results in, "voila", brand new styling! Paired up with some of her edgy leggings or one of OmneeHart's skirts this jacket certainly makes a gutsy statement!
This is really only the tip of the iceburg - searching on etsy or Seed&Sew under "recycled leather" will give you options to ponder all day long...
And it's not just small, owner-operated, online artists who are taking the recycled leather bull by the horns. U.S. and International companies are jumping onboard as well.
Sustainable shoe company, Colico, is based in NYC and has a web boutique that features their eco-friendly shoes in as many styles as you can imagine. Taking it a step further, the women at Colico carefully select their materials from many renewable sources including;: reclaimed leather, certified sustainable forestry wood, vegetable dyes and glues and recycled parts.
Purses, bags, journals, belts, jackets, cuffs, hotpads, headbands and more - there's no need to toss out perfectly good leather with all these options available. Check out the slide show below to see more 21st century artists and what they do with your old vintage leather "trash".
For more info: Women of Colico, EarthLover, MissMalaprop