We Love This: Upcycling Clothing in Fabulous Fashion

Sharing Blu Arlan’s in-house, do-it-yourself creativity is only part of our story. Introducing our followers to exciting artists that subscribe to the thrill of handmade design is just as rewarding.

Blu Arlan came across the artistry of Crispina ffrench four years ago. We’ve followed her work as an eco-conscious textile artist ever since, particularly as she embraces sustainability and creativity across many platforms—clothing, home goods, and accessories—all that ideally align with Blu Arlan’s mission of finding happiness in handmade creations.

Crispina’s designs have impact, as she has focused on textile waste and used clothing transformation since 1987. She has created a product line made of 100% upcycled textiles that would otherwise be thrown into landfills. She is doing her part to help the world be greener, and the world needs all the help it can get these days.

Scary Statistics
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the generation of textiles in municipal solid waste totaled 16.9 million tons in 2017, with the primary source being discarded clothing. Drill this number down to the average consumer, and you arrive at another eye-popping number: The average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of used clothing per person per year.

While cities and municipalities are working on stronger recycling solutions to tackle this growing problem, Crispina promotes doing our individual part. The good news: even one used garment at a time can lead to stunningly creative results.

A Heartwarming Valentine Creation
Upcycling is different from recycling. It is the process of using different products to make something new, but not the same product again.

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, it’s an ideal time to spotlight Crispina’s work, particularly her heart blankets which are made from felted wool, cashmere, alpaca, mohair and angora sweaters. Her process is exact. Original sweaters are machine washed and dried in hot water with a bio-degradable/non-toxic soap to clean and shrink them. Once they are pulled from the dryer, they are sorted by texture and color. Only the most lusciously felted fabrics are used for blankets with the intention of creating pieces that will last, and be loved, for generations. Jeans are another material that screams for reuse. All original jeans are washed, cut, patched if necessary, and then sewn into blankets, beach bags, skirts, and aprons. Note: Crispina’s online Valentine Shop opens Thursday (2/6/20) at 8pm EST and will feature her beautiful heart blankets.

Sharing Skills
Not only does Crispina design for retail sale, but she teaches, sharing her expertise through tutorials, classes, and retreats. Crispina pays it forward, which is the true measure of sustainability.

Blu Arlan is embracing upcycling clothing (thanks to Crispina) and have begun working up numerous projects using denim jeans and black cotton tee shirts that would have been discarded. We’ll share our designs with you as soon as they are finished!

Happy Upcycling!
Blu Arlan

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