Artisans that use recycled materials

Living in a place where so much is imported by ship and truck, we thought to highlight a few crafters that take already existing stuff, recycle and reimagine them into fresh, new creations.

Five Surprises

Haleigh Sheehan takes previously loved clothing—especially anything in natural fibres with an interesting print, texture or colour—to make handbags, tops and dresses, and cuts down on waste by using up all the scraps in smaller projects like scarves and cuffs. Worn-out bicycle tires are utilized on the soles of shoes and sandals. You can find Five Surprises work at Put Me On and Love, Me Boutique.

Hunter Street Silver
915 Brussels Street, 422-6708

Antigonish native Jennifer Hunter’s line of jewellery and home decor items are handcrafted from old silverplate silverware, with most of the cutlery she uses comes from local auctions and estate sales. (Though she doesn’t actually live on Hunter Street, just so you know.)

Zöe Nudell

Nudell creates one-of-a-kind shoulder bags, purses, and pencil cases using recycled leather from jackets, belts, skirts, pants, shorts. She also constructs refillable journals made from the samples provided by leather furniture upholsterers. Using nuts and bolts to bind the covers and pages, when the pages are full, grab a screw-driver, remove the full-up pages and refill between the same covers, or choose paper to make the journal into a sketchbook, water-color pad, address book, graphic diagramming log, et cetera.

Orphanage Clothing

Selling through its website and at ProGirl, Halifax-based Orphanage exists to revive and recycle old t-shirts into cool new designs. This is how the website explains it: Orphanage is “an institution for the aid and protection of the needy and less fortunate t-shirt.”

Re-Cover Journals

Maggy Burns—who you can also find at the Ecology Action Centre—runs a business recycling vintage books to create high-quality writing journals. She also rescues vinyl record albums and transforms them into notebooks and photo albums. Look for Re-Cover on its website on at retailers around town, such as Duly Noted.

Catherine Sutherland Art & Design

A jewellery/metalsmith artist, located in and inspired by Halifax, Sutherland designs and makes everything here, with the option for clients to have the work made from recycled precious metals. Her work has included Bustop Jewellery, made from broken bus shelter glass. Order directly from the website or look for her work at Love, Me and the Halifax Farmers’ Market.

Windbag Company of Nova Scotia

Lunenburg resident Pauline Dickison recycles industrial fabric, agri-feed, seed bags and and sails to make totes and other kinds of bags. She has a great sales tagline: “From blew to green…”

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