Hey guys! Switching it up this week with my featured Etsy Seller post on a Tuesday :O I know, I know, getting a little too crazy over here but I've been meaning to post this for a while so here it goes!
Many of you read my post about Bejeweled's Eco-Friendly Packaging way back in June, and as I mentioned in the article it was inspired by a Handmadeology guest post by Jenelle, creator of the shop TrashN2Tees.
Jenelle's shop is absolutely one of the cutest and coolest Etsy shops I have found, and definitely one of the most original. Her game? Making functional products out of recycled material from old tee shirts (and other things). She makes bracelets, earrings, new shirts, scarves, and my favorite the adorable produce bags.
Make sure to read the interview after the jump and check out TrashN2Tees on Etsy, Facebook, TrashN2Tees Blog and her Twitter. Happy reading xoxo Chelsea
-Describe your line/what you do?
Normally people just throw them right into the trash can, and maybe a few of you cut them up to use a dust rags. Betcha didn't know they CAN be recycled into new fibers, insulation, or even car seat padding! 98% of discarded clothing that enter the landfills can be recycled, I like to say 100% can be re purposed.
-How did you get started?
TrashN2Tees was started out of pure frustration for the lack of cool boys clothing. I have 2 little guys of my own. I really wanted styles that matched their personalities and I was having a hard time finding that anywhere else. I dusted off my sewing machine and designed the first ever monster truck t-shirt using outgrown clothes.
-What makes your line different from other Etsy Sellers?
Etsy is full of so many pretty things and tons of brilliant creative people. They all make for wonderful company! It is cool to think that someone in Australia might be wearing a TNTee, but its more important that I'm making connections w/ others using TrashN2Tees as a platform.
I really hope that I can encourage and inspire others to consume less and recycle more, either by purchasing an original TrashN2Tees design or by following my blog where I share tons of cool tips and tutorials for recycling and repurposing.
I'm passionate about the environment and it just so happens that I'm handy with a sewing machine as well. I joke that I've found a way to combine all the loves of my life (my boys, creating, and nature/environment) and call it a day job. But really its true.
-How do you get your materials?
I'm a hoarder. Not the crazy kind you see on TLC, but I tend to hold on to things that I might be able to someday use for something else. (don't ask me what?) I love to browse the thrift stores and yard sales. I also have a ton of supportive friends and family who leave mounds of clothes on my front porch or ship boxes of clothes from the East Coast.
I mentioned earlier that I use the unusables- and after a few people ask me how they can find recycling facilities to recycle their clothes- I decided to offer a Trashn2Cash Program that rewards you for taking the initiative to recycle with store credit. I also support local shelters and the Dress for Success foundation by donating clothing that I've received and too pretty to cut up.
I take clothes that might otherwise add to our landfills and repurpose them into fun and funky items including custom applique tshirts, wallets, scarves, skirts, earrings, bracelets, and reusable bags. I use the term clothing loosely- I've cut up anything from shower curtains and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sheets to a bath towel and even a pair of shoes just because I liked the pattern! I even use clothes that you wouldn't think of dropping off at your local Salvation Army or donating to a shelter: stains, holes, out of style... you get the idea.
-Where did your inspiration come from?
Of course the little dudes inspire me- the things they like, dream, and draw. I really find inspiration everywhere and I love things that are practical and/or humorous.
-Where do you see your designs going in the future, sneak peeks at future products, ect.
There are more than a few ideas I have for the future of Trashn2Tees. I would love to eventually experiment with block printing. I will eventually design a hot rod/greaser line. I have a few prototypes floating around for bulky infinity scarves and tshirt shard earrings this Fall. You'll also find TrashN2Tees partnering up with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation in September for a twitter promotion- I'm extremely excited and honored to be invited and hope to help raise awareness about childhood cancer.
The end. :)