Recycled fashion treasure trove of new looks

Garnet Hill’s Recycled Pleated Midi Skirt has a leopard print for a muted-slit-accordion feel. It is made from recycled poly chiffon and recycled poly georgette lining. (photo

As much as I love new fashion (as in: all the amazing looks from New York Fashion Week), there’s something especially satisfying about recycled fashion. Every year, 12.8 million tons of new textiles end up in US landfills. I say it’s us fashionistas who are doing everything we can to stop contributing to that.

Thanks to fab recycling technology, I can now create high-quality, beautiful designs from old plastic bottles or pre-owned textiles with just a few clicks on my keyboard. Recycled is a fashionable place to be. Here are some of my favorite places to find it.

Buying vintage and gently used clothing is a very basic and efficient way to smartly acquire a wonderful wardrobe. A larger style doesn’t get more wallet-friendly. All it takes is your favorite designers, cuts and eras – from flared jeans and cashmere twinsies to embroidered shirts and iconic handbags – and a sense of adventure. I once found a classic Burberry trench coat (valued at $900) in technicolor silk on the shelves of Boomerangs ( in Boston. Online, the possibilities are endless: from and to the ol’ standby,

Let’s not forget the raised pieces.

I can’t wait to wear Toad & Company’s Rosemary Dress in Silver Pine Floral Print ($88 at, a spring-ready print just waiting to be thrown for the first warm day party of the upcoming season. It is made from recycled fiber.

Similarly, a cool and fetching washed sand animal print version of the Garnet Hill Recycled Pleated Midi Dress ($129 at A muted split leopard print accordion is delightful, perfect all year round with a silk black tank top in summer or black cashmere turtleneck with winter boots. spring or fall. And I love that it’s made from recycled poly chiffon and recycled poly georgette lining.

American Recycled Clothing was the first company to sell used clothing in stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s in the early 90s. And they’re still making it even more personal with authentic vintage graphic music tees like the Rcycld Out-Seam Music Tee ($32 on With a top-stitched detail. Pick your favorite from The Beatles to Motley Crew.

And then there are the upcycled plastics – and there are so many new and innovative ways to turn them into cool clothes. The Black Compressive High-Rise Legging ($78 at is strong and high. They are made from 25% recycled water bottles and 79% recycled polyester. Even better: if you don’t wear their pieces, send them back for recycling and get a $15 gift card in return.)

Obviously, we’re not done with winter, so don’t pass up the Women’s Waterproof Puffer Jacket ($328 at, which is well-designed, super-warm, and made from textiles, plastic bottles, and recycled fibers. For the construction of each jacket, at least 70 bottles were saved from landfill. Tent also plants 10 trees for every purchase. It’s a win-win.

Toad & Co.’s Rosemarie Dress in Silver Pine Floral Print is made from recycled fibers. (Photo by Todd & Company)

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