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Earth Day: Upcycled Gift Ideas That Do Good

Christine LeLacheur

Posted on April 20 2018

Earth Day is this Sunday (April 22nd) and one of the ways we (you!) do good is promoting sustainability and education, so we thought we'd combine the two and showcase some of our most sustainable gifts--those that have been UPCYCLED.

What is upcycling anyway? How is it different from recycling? Upcycling is repurposing goods and materials before they get destroyed to form something new and, here's where the "up" part comes from, often better than the original.

Think of your recycling bin that you put curb-side each week. Recycling is sending your stuff to be sorted and broken down and then repurposed into something new, usually something of a lower quality. Upcycling is taking the stuff before it hits the bin and repurposing it into something new. Usually something of a higher quality.

Some might think upcycling falls along the lines of when your kids beg to use those cardboard boxes and paper towel rolls to turn them into pirate ships and spaceships. As great as those ships are (I have one in my living room right now), the upcycled gifts we carry are definitely not your kids' crafts.  

 

1. All Clean Soap Bars | $12

Don't worry--the soap isn't the upcycled part (ewww!). But these  soaps--handcrafted using ancient Indian ayurvedic techniques--do come individually wrapped in beautiful block-printed upcycled sari fabric, making it the perfect present that smells just as good as it looks. Available in five scents: aloe vera, apricot, ginger-mango, lime-lavender, and lemon.

2. Upcycled Sari Yoga Bag | $34

This vibrant, handcrafted yoga mat bag is made from beautiful upcycled Indian saris. One of our favourite things about upcycling saris is that each one is unique--no pattern or colour is the same! Sturdy braided straps sling comfortably over the shoulder or can be worn like a backpack and the bag ties closed with pom accent strings. 

3. The Vibrant: Upcycled Tote Bag | $36

Mixing traditional art forms with modern day usage, these tote bags are made using a popular Indian hand weaving technique with a sustainable twist--rather than yarn, they use recycled plastic bags. Because these lightweight bags are durable and spacious, they are great for everyday use.

4. Mod Upcycled iPad Case | $22

Sustainable and durable, this iPad case is also handmade by weaving upcycled plastic bags. A modern black and white stripe design finished with red leather Indian motif accent. And thanks to a magnetic snap closure, this case can pull double duty and easily serve as a classic clutch.

5. Tara Upcycled Two-Strand Necklace | $18

Give your wardrobe a pop of colour with these bright and colourful necklaces made from upcycled t-shirts in the Philippines. Donated t-shirts beyond repair are often destined for the landfill, but saved by our artisan partner Olivia & Diego who hires former sex trafficking survivors and stay-at-home mothers to turn them into these beautiful pieces of jewelry.

6. Agatha Upcycled Bracelets - Set of Two | $11

Mix and match with the Tara bracelets or the Elise singlet to really ramp up the pop of colours in your wardrobe or wear on their own with any pair of jeans, the Agatha Upcycled Bracelets are part of our upcycled t-shirt line of jewelry.

7. Upcycled Sari Dress-Up Butterfly Wings | $36

Children's dress up play never looked so good and sustainable. These charming, perfectly playful, vibrant upcycled sari dress-up wings for children ages 3 - 8 will lead to hours of make believe fun. 

8. The Basic: Upcycled Tote Bag | $40

These tote bags are a perfect example of blending traditional art forms with modern day usage. Although hand weaving techniques are very common in India, weaving recycled plastic bags instead of yarn is a new, sustainable approach. Durable and lightweight, they're perfect for heading to the beach or carrying books and electronic devices. 

9. Priya Upcycled Sari Headband | $14

Jazz up any 'do with this unique design made of upcycled sari fabric braids that hug your head like a crown. Headbands come in assorted colours, and include a bit of sequin sparkle.

10. Metallic Pineapple Tote Bag | $28

Pineapples and metallics together? A perfect pairing! This trendy tote bag is ready for a daytime outing that shows off its metallic block print patterns. It has light blue lining with an inner pocket and double layered straps made of upcycled saris in primarily teal colors. 

 

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