Archives for category: | By You |

This weeks | By You | comes from reader, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth let us know about her Textile Shoebox after our Shoebox Project post. She is a textile artist living in the Netherlands and after seeing that no one was repping textiles in their shoeboxes, decided to make her own:

“This flower I didn’t make myself but was a gift of friendship”

“…I hope that a pencil and a needle with lovely thread will always keep me company.”


All photos and quotes courtesy of


You can see more about her thoughts behind this shoebox  and her other work here.

DON’T FORGET: Tonight is the Opening for The Virgin Knitters! 8-11PM come, come!


This post is especially brought to you over the sea from Clara.

The Campaign for Wool is a cross-industry initiative convened by HRH The Prince of Wales in January 2010. As a serious environmentalist, the Prince believes the natural, sustainable origin and highly technical structure of wool can offer fashion, interiors and the built environment many superior benefits. Choosing real wool – as the Prince understands – will also help to care for our planet.

The combined efforts of the leading wool organizations, industry associations and the textile industry across the world has created a campaign to promote the wonderful properties that wool offers to textiles and in doing so, help to support sheep farming as an industry and the textile community internationally.

There are a number of ways to get involved with the campaign including:

-Sign a Letter of Agreement and return to show your support of the campaign.

-Use the campaign logo’s on your website to link through to We can provide you the logo file and some accompanying text to explain the campaign to your online customers.

-Encourage your retail customers to contact us and become involved.

-Host educational seminars for your customers to update them on the eco-benefits of wool and the campaign. We can provide the presentations you will need.

-Build unique showroom displays to promote the campaign and your use of wool. We can provide you artwork to utilize.


This week’s blog post comes from an idea from reader Amy.

Zoe Bradley creates oversize, highly crafted headpieces, dresses, and sets for advertising campaigns, editorials, catwalk shows, and window displays.  She uses traditional tailoring techniques but uses more conventional fabrics mixed in with luxury papers.

Primarily Zoe collaborates with luxury brands to create jaw-dropping installations to compliment the designer products and brand identity.  Her highly crafted fashion sculptures have been used in advertising and editorial worldwide.  Her signature material is Luxury paper, though she has been known to use fabric, wood, and recycled plastics.




This post was suggested  by Kelly.

I would like to take a moment to point out a brilliant project that brings style, art, and breast cancer together — The Pink Wishbone Project.

“Breast cancer research is an undeniably worthy endeavor, but the container-loads of pink objects that have been sold to help pay for it aren’t always what you’d call high design. Which is why the arrival of the Pink Wishbone Project is welcome news. Thanks to Suite New York, a Manhattan furniture showroom, Hans Wegner’s famous Wishbone Chair, made in Denmark by Carl Hansen & Son, will be available in pink for the next year, with 20 percent of its sales going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. And to draw attention to the program, Barneys New York will exhibit chairs that were customized by 20 leading women designers. (A kickoff cocktail party takes place on Thursday evening at Barneys.)” — NY Times

Designer: Sara Rotman


Designer: Tori Golub


Designer: Lulu deKwiatowski


Designer: Laura Kirar


Designer: Kelly Wearstler


Designer: Kelly Behun


Designer: Alexandra Champalimaud


Designer: Allegra Hicks


Designer: Amy Lau


Designer: Bunny Williams


Designer: Emma Jane


All of these beautiful chairs and more are currently for auction on

Remember to submit your ideas or stories for | By You | to; any idea is welcomed with open arms.

Today’s post comes from the Dye Lab of the Textile Arts Center.

About the Dye Lab:  The Dye Lab houses the Textile Arts Center’s synthetic and natural dyes. It is also the proud new home of our industrial drying rack, working table, and all the dyeing materials necessary to turn that dingy, white cloth into a stunning cobalt blue.

We are very conscientious that textiles have a huge carbon footprint on our environment. Part of our mission is to provide training and promote “slow” and sustainable textile production methods, by teaching traditional textile arts techniques and encouraging the use of natural dyes and fibers.

Besides using natural materials, other way to promote sustainable textile and fashion practices is to try to re-use and re-purpose what you already have. One way to give a total new twist to a old skirt or make those 10 yards of ugly brown fabric useful is achieved simply by dyeing it. We believe that dyeing can and should be eco-conscientious and sustainable, and we’re taking those principles in account while equipping our dye lab.

We also have an on-going collaboration with the community garden on our block, where we grow plants and flowers that can be used successfully as dyes. We’re trying as much as possible to use the dyes obtained from the garden, in our classes/workshops and in our products. We’re also especially interested in promoting the use of natural dyes that can be easily (and cheaply) found at any garden or farmer’s market in our community and we have exciting collaborations with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Skillshare happening this month.

Plus, dyeing is fun!

For all these reasons and because there are “some costs” associated with having a state-of-the-art dye lab, here comes our second kickstarter campaign!

The Textile Arts Center has decided to take a grand turn of events in the way the blog is being run.  Now Friday’s are dedicated to post ideas submitted by you, our loyal reader, and cleverly called | By You |.  If you have an idea for a great post then please send it to It an be anything from textiles, fashion, interesting art, sustainability, etc. etc.  I am open to all ideas.  Then each Friday I will pick one to blog about.  I hope you are as excited about this as I am, it will be a very fun, interactive endeavor and a chance for me to see what is important to you.

Our first submission comes to you courtesy of: Lucy Thomason

About the writer — Lucy Thomason posts articles for the Event Planning Career Blog, her personal hobby weblog focused on tips to help people discover ways to organize a green event to spend less energy and reduce carbon footprints.

A Genuine Story:  From an Ann Arbor Couple

It was in August 2010, the Ann Arbor couple (Engel and Dyer) were married in a green outdoor ceremony and reception near the Huron River fit to pay homage to their shared love of the planet and the outdoors.

Most people would like to try a green wedding, but when they hear about what it really entails they end up going a different route. Our heroes Engel and Dyer made the decision they wouldn’t be able to keep everything totally green, but were going to try their hardest. And the most essential element was to make the day informative as well as fun for guests.

They organized the marriage ceremony at a science and nature center where tours were offered to guests in the hour before they walked down the aisle. The tour featured different water and energy conservation systems used at the center like the solar-panel arrays for electricity, solar-powered heating and water heater systems and no-flush compost toilets.

The couple also focused on little details they said make a big difference.

– Dyer wore an heirloom – a vintage green dress that had been her great-grandmother’s in the 1930’s.

– Her ring was made with recycled gold and had a beryl stone instead of a diamond.

– Her makeup was certified organic.

– Guests were given local lavender buds – rather than sachets of rice – to throw in celebration.

– Tables were covered with local wildflowers and locally sourced foods.

– Leftovers and unused food were recycled (by sending to local farms) or reused.

– They found a generator which was solar powered and able to produce enough power to run the lights and the sound system they needed for the rock band.

For all their efforts, they still made some choices they knew weren’t the most eco-friendly options.  While they served Michigan white wine beverages and a Michigan sparkling cider, they couldn’t find a red from the state they liked. So they decided to have a red from the U.S. for that option. And they could’ve gone with Internet invitations rather than printing and mailing invitations, but Dyer said she felt paper invitations were important – on recycled paper, of course.

So, what can you do to green up your big day?

While green weddings are becoming more common, planning and pulling off the event is not as easy as one could imagine.  Sorting through claims of environmentally friendliness when shopping in the present marketplace is a big enough challenge for standard purchases, let alone for such an emotionally charged and personal event as a wedding.

The best way to reduce the impact of an event is to perform a life cycle analysis on different elements of the marriage. For instance, where is that food coming from, how much energy is expended to produce it, how does it get to your plate and where do the leftovers go?  Meat typically takes more energy to produce than fruits and vegetables, considering how far some fruits and vegetables need to travel might let them have a larger carbon footprint. The best way to cut back on an event’s carbon footprint is to cut back on the number of guests invited. Fewer guests mean fewer meals, fewer needs for centerpieces and other decor and fewer miles traveled to reach the ceremony.

The trend toward green weddings certainly isn’t new, but industry professionals say it has evolved to allow married couples to incorporate their unique personal preferences and still afford their special day.