little green dress

little green dress a spotlight on eco-friendly fashion

Welcome back to my Little Green Dress spotlight series. If you missed our earlier spotlights, check out my features on Rubypearl, Kimmi Designs, Pondhopper Studio, Green Market Vintage, and last week’s Perch Traveling BoutiquePerch Traveling Boutique.

I started this spotlight series after perusing Etsy for summer clothes and being blown away by the talent that people have creating beautiful fashions that are eco-friendly. And I wondered, what would it look like to spotlight all of them in one place? [ like here?! ]

Today I’m featuring Emmevielle. I stumbled on this dress on Instagram from @emmevielle and thought it would be a great dress for a summer beach party or evening out. When I realized that it was hand painted I thought it was effing brilliant. I reached out to Emmevielle who was happy to be featured.

Tell me about you and your shop

First and foremost, I am a mixed bag. I took a roundabout way to finding my true passion. I am trained in Latin and classical Greek with a graduate degree in Applied Linguistics. Thrift shopping had always been my way of relaxing and recharging. Little did I know that it would become integral to my business.

Years ago, a friend told me about Etsy. At that tiime, I had been making coats for little girls. I decided to try Etsy and I loved it. Over time, my creative expression evolved to designing upcycled clothing.

What inspires you to run an eco-friendly business?

I am a clothing designer who finds inspiration in the cast off goods at thrift stores. To me, thrift stores offer endless possibilities for creativity – I really look forward to shopping every week.

Years ago while shopping, I happened to pick up 2 pieces that appealed to me. That’s when something clicked; I realized that the 2 pieces would look even better combined. Up until then, I had only sewn with new fabrics – mostly winter coats for little girls.

When I put the 2 pieces together, I realized that this would be my new direction in sewing. I decided to work almost exclusively with recycled clothing. It brought together the 2 things I love – thrift shopping and sewing. It was a bonus that this was an eco-friendly direction to take.

My shop mainly offers upcycled, reconstructed clothing. From time to time, I do work with new fabric when something really catches my eye. I feel really good about what I do.

Do you have an eco-friendly mantra that you live by?

The mantra I live by is to do the most with what I have. I shop at about 3 thrift stores each week and I am always looking for the unique, colorful possibilites that I can create. My focus is to create something beautiful out of clothing ‘soulmates’ with different backgrounds. It is incredible when different pieces click to develop something extraordinary.

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I have found my passion! The gritty trips to the usually bad neighborhoods make thrifting challenging sometimes. But I find it to be so worth it. When I achieve my vision for a particular piece, there really is no better feeling for me. Sewing is a creative outlet for me.


little green dress

little green dress a spotlight on eco-friendly fashion

If this is your first time stopping by my blog – hello and thank you. I’m Sarah and I started Saving Sarah Grace hoping that I can help inspire people to consider living an eco-friendly lifestyle. This is my Little Green Dress spotlight series – where I’ve featured Rubypearl, Kimmi Designs, Pondhopper Studio, and last week’s Green Market Vintage.

I was ‘window shopping’ on Etsy for some summer clothing and started to notice that there are some seriously talented people creating beautiful fashions that are eco-friendly. And I wondered, what would it look like to spotlight all of them in one place? [ like here?! ] So I started the Little Green Dress series highlighting all the awesome I found.

This week I am SO excited to be featuring my dear friend Robyn and her business Perch Traveling Boutique [ a beautiful blue fashion bus ] and Perch E-Boutique.

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Tell us about you and your shop

It was New Year’s Eve 2012. Friends from the States were in town to help us celebrate.  Sometime during that visit, I was introduced to the concept of a mobile boutique. “You have got to see this shop called Lodekka! And right next door is another little gem called Wanderlust!” gushed my dear friend.  So, of course, we searched the world wide web…. and there they were…. two charming vintage shops, one housed inside a double-decker bus and one in a tiny trailer. At that moment my world changed.  I knew I had to have a mobile vintage boutique, and the concept of Perch Travelling Boutique was born.

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Our first attempt at a mobile shop was with a renovated concession stand, somewhat like a trailer. We used it for one season, but at 8′ x 10′, it simply wasn’t big enough. We started hunting for something different. We took a look at countless trailers and tour buses, and finally we found it; the perfect headquarters for my travelling boutique… a twenty two foot school bus!  She was classic school bus yellow, and covered in a layer of grime, but she had good bones.

perch travelling boutique

how sweet is this little blue bus? PS : it’s upcycled!

We brought her home and little by little transformed the old bus  into a sparkling shop, complete with laminate floors, shelves and racks for clothes, a tiny~ yet functional~change room and a new coat of robin’s egg blue paint!  A bit later I added lettering and illustrations to the exterior.

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it’s dreamy in here …

The rest is history! We filled the blue bus with all sorts of vintage treasures: clothing to accessories, housewares to books.  And off we went to events and community markets, making friends and wow-ing passer-bys wherever we went.

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The successes I’ve had with Perch makes my heart swell with pride. I accomplished my goal of creating an inviting, charming, unique mobile shop unlike any other retail boutique in the Okanagan. What is  next for Perch?  Who knows? The sky’s the limit!

perch e boutique

Perch e-boutique was born last night! Stay in touch to see what gets added to the inventory here

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My mobile shop is the cornerstone of my vintage clothing business. It is the first of its kind in the Okanagan.

What does running an eco-friendly business mean to you?

Being eco friendly is a side effect of ‘buying vintage’. When you buy, and wear, vintage clothing you aren’t contributing to fast fashion and consumerism. The quality and longevity of vintage clothing makes it easy to reduce the time and money spent replacing today’s cheaply made clothes.

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Do you have an eco-friendly mantra you live by?

It may be a bit cliche but my eco-mantra is ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. I feel like that’s what I’m doing everyday and it’s been a way to find joy in my work.

reduce reuse recycle oldschool mantra from a vintage girlboss


what if we are all risking everything by doing nothing at all?

This year spring came late. I was walking my dog in March and thinking about how I’d moved to British Columbia for the warmer climate that just wasn’t here yet. It was snowing and I was bundled up in all my warmest winter gear. And then I stopped in my tracks in a moment of panic :

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‘what if we did it? What if we really effed with nature too much? And what if summer isn’t coming? But none of us knew. Last summer when it was our last summer, we didn’t know that – so we didn’t take advantage of it, we didn’t enjoy it enough, and we didn’t save it. What if summer doesn’t come back and we could’ve saved it but we didn’t bother?’ [ turns out summer came ].

But then last night we got this incredible wind storm that was out of this world. And while the patio furniture was knocking about and the windows were shaking I kept waking up thinking ‘nature’s pissed. we’re in for it now’.

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I’m not usually such a pessimist [ see my post on a solution focus for environmental issues ] but this is a thought that creeps up every now and again and turns my blood cold. Sometimes I wonder if we have wired ourselves so resiliently, or if we are protecting ourselves too snug in our bubbles, that we won’t actually do anything to combat climate change until it’s too late.

It’s that same principle that tells you you’ll do better tomorrow, and believes that there is always a tomorrow and it will always have a clean slate for us to start from. And the same belief in forgiveness, taken to the extreme, where we forgive ourselves daily for not doing better even though we know how. It’s believing that if you don’t look, it’s not happening; and if you don’t pay attention to your mistakes, they don’t count as much. It’s trying to think ourselves out of a problem that requires some doing and trying to wish away the consequences we called on for ourselves. It’s heavy and it’s dark and it’s bumming me out.

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Because I believe you can do better and that better isn’t un-fun or too hard to do. If you’ve forgotten that, please remember that you are so capable and powerful that you can change your world and create better tomorrows than your yesterdays were. And that you are fucking brilliant. And even if you feel that your actions are just a drop in the bucket, a drop in the bucket, multiplied by 7 billion is a whole heckuvalot.

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  • say ‘no’ to more
  • walk
  • ride a bike
  • eat your veggies & less meat
  • turn the lights off
  • unplug. play
  • thrift it
  • recycle
  • use reusable
  • grow something good
  • offset your carbon
  • buy local
  • do something

Looking for quick cash? check the garbage

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I feel like I’ve been here [ cash strapped ] too many times to count. It’s degrading to have to turn down every social opportunity and ‘sorry, i can’t afford _____’ gets old really fast when you have to say it over and over. But I think I’m also tired of waiting until I get here to look for opportunities to find quick cash [ extremely qualified 34 year old babysitter anyone? ], when I could be looking for quick ways to save cash before I crash and burn.

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I’ve been finding myself repeatedly mind-blown lately when I think about the things we spend money on so we can throw them away. I know – that can’t be you right? But I’m 90% sure it is! If you think that’s BS, check out my list below : the things we pay to throw away, and the alternatives we could be using instead

  • Kleenex / Paper Towels

Look, sad happens, sick happens, messy happens. Those are universal truths that you can’t argue against. But there is no royal decree saying that all noses must be wiped with disposable tissue from a box or that all spills must be cleaned with a cloth you toss when you’re done. In the olden days, grannie had a hankie in her sleeve [ kinda gross ], and you don’t have to go that far, but there are some incredibly fun alternatives you can consider if you’re interested in shaking it up. I have no idea why you WOULDN’T consider using reusable napkins / cleaning cloths now …

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I am IN LOVE with these witty printed napkins from HeapsHandworks on Etsy


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With Less Is Always More, you can buy as many or as few as you need starting around $4 each

  • Feminine Hygiene [ oh god – i know ]

One cycle, one bag of garbage – easy. That’s a big environmental burden to put on the shoulders of every menstruating woman of the world which is why I’m willing to talk a bit about the gross stuff [ just a little bit – bear with me ]. Think about all the wrappings first : A tampon comes in a box, with instructions, and each one has its own wrapper, and applicator, and then gets tossed when you’re done with it. Plus, they aren’t foolproof so you need a liner as well, with it’s own set of wrapping, and it’s own life cycle of maximum one day. If you use pads, you’re taking on the eco-cost of all its innards [ i dont’ know what those gel beads are made of but they’re not organic cotton, i can tell you that for sure ].

If you haven’t yet, meet menstrual cup : it’s soft, warm, squishy, and is non-absorbent so it will not cause dryness, and its silicone edges seal against your flesh making it next to impossible for it to leak. Where you have to dispose of and insert a new tampon every 4 or 5 hours, this baby can work for twice as long. Changing the cup only requires you to remove it, dump the contents, give it a wash, and put it back in. Can you say freedom?

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On light days, you may still be looking for a liner, and in that case, I’d like to suggest that you consider washable / reusable.

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How cute are these liners from Country Cloth Creations?!

  • Dryer Sheets

Sure they smell good, they keep your clothing soft and eat static, but at around $7 for a box of 80 you’re tossing about $.10 per load. I haven’t figured out an amazing solution for this one yet.

  1. Hang dry your clothes when you can. No dryer, no dryer sheet needed.
  2. I’ve heard rumblings of spritzing a piece of fabric with fabric softener and tossing it in the load – Have you tried it? Is this even a thing?
  3. If your clothes are made of natural fibres, I hear that dryer balls work. They definitely cut down on dryer time and soften your clothes with their not-so-mysterious fluffing action.
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Checkit these spunky and adorable dryer balls from Splat & Co

Whatever the alternative, think twice before buying them. They’re quickly making their way to the trash and I’m sure you have better uses for your hard earned money than that.

  • Magazines

Sure you’re buying them to catch up on news, be inspired, learn, relax … but all of that information can be found online [ usually free ] and the internet doesn’t require cutting down trees, and doesn’t get tossed in the recycling when you’re done with it.

  • Food & Food Wrap

Open your garbage. Tell me there’s no food in there. If that’s honest, I applaud you. But it’s really difficult to keep the food out; Whether you are

  1. Buying the food you think you should eat which isn’t the same as the food you end up eating
  2. Buying very little food and lots and lots of packaging
  3. Trying to cook your own good for you food, but still ending up with tons of waste in the form of leftovers, peels, or bits that were spoiled and couldn’t be used in your masterpiece.

Nevermind the food packaging you purchased to use and throw away [ ahem, saran wrap and tin foil ]. Have you heard of the bees wax wraps yet? I haven’t gotten my hot little hands on any yet but they work just as well as any other food wrap, they are washable and reusable, and many are also biodegradable. Plus, the patterns [ oh my heart ]!

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I just want to wrap EVERYTHING in this lovely organic bees wax wrap from Remarkably Reusable

  • Draino

I know, ‘come on!’ right? But I had to finish off with a bang. You literally buy this sludge to pour down the drain. Do the water system and your pipes a favor and buy a plumbers snake instead.

*This is not a sponsored post and I did not benefit from highlighting any of these items. I really do believe they are cool as heck and you needed to know about them.

Little green dress

little green dress a spotlight on eco-friendly fashion

If this is your first time catching a Little Green Dress spotlight – welcome to the series! First up was Rubypearl, which you can catch up on here. Then I featured Kimmi Designs, and last week’s feature on Pondhopper Studio can be found right here.

I was ‘window shopping’ on Etsy for some summer clothing and started to notice that there are some seriously talented people creating beautiful fashions that are eco-friendly. And I wondered, what would it look like to spotlight all of them in one place? [ like here?! ] So I started the Little Green Dress series highlighting all the awesome I found.

Ohmyheart I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled across this listing from Cheryl at Green Market Vintage – and I had to reach out to get to know her :

When I dug a little deeper in her shop and found these jackets I kind of lost my mind –

Tell me about you & your shop:
I began on etsy with a Vintage Button Bracelet shop – but morphed into a clothing seller as well when I realized that it’s much more fun to shop vintage clothing when I could look for gems in all sizes. That’s how Green Market Vintage was born.  I am able to stretch my brain with the business & marketing ends, express some aesthetic sense for staging & design & more recently I employ my sewing skills to create the Green Market line of upcycles and fringes. Having long enjoyed photography – I find it fun to take silly snaps and colorful compositions for my product listings. Best of all, I love to do my work with the greenest possible footprint. Green Market Vintage sprung from an opportunity and its evolution continues to be a natural current in our family life. My beautiful daughter [ below ] is even my model!

What made you start an eco-friendly clothing business?
I started making recycled fashions because I am unstoppable as a maker and  when you make a lot of things you have to sell them or you become a Hoarder. I make recycled fashions because I believe I have to do my part to reduce waste and intervene in the demand for more new materials being manufactured. I also really do love using what I have on hand or can find. I am very proud to be inventive and resourceful. I prefer the re-use of existing materials, & embellishing with vintage & bohemian style supplies.
What are some of your favorites from your shop?
I’m pretty proud of a few Corset dresses that I have made that turned out SO GORGE!
And I feel pretty crafty about my fringe skirts that reuse animal skins that were unwanted or cast off.
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Get your cowgirl on with some fringe

Do you have an eco friendly mantra that you live by?
Reduce, ReUse, Recycle. And then : Re-invent and Re-make. Aim for sustainability.

5 dirty little lies your brain tells you that get in the way of change

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Change can be a mother effer.

I’m not even talking about change that happens to you that you had no choice in. Or change that happened slowly, quietly creeping up on you until you realize it’s here [ ta da! ].

No – even when you really really really want to change something, and you think about changing it all the time; you daydream about the day that you can say ‘yes. here i am. i have arrived’ – even that kind of change can be really effing hard.

And when you’re not getting ahead, and you really really want to – you might blame someone else. Or complain that you ‘have no idea why this is happening’. You tell everyone all the reasons you’re stuck; even when they haven’t asked and you distract people from your lack of progress by pointing out someone else’s problems. You tell yourself it doesn’t matter. You worked really hard, you deserve to keep fucking it up for a while because it feels good in the moment, and you don’t really know how to stop.

We tend to feel quite a bit of self-doubt and guilt while we’re busy failing at change.

But maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe you’re built that way. Maybe it’s your brain. That magical, powerful globular goo stuck in your skull that’s capable of dreaming up just about anything – it has habits of its own and tells you these dirty little lies that can keep you stuck in your habits and keep change just out of reach.

  1. Keep your eyes on the big picture :

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You are capable of seeing life in big picture mode – visioning what success looks like, and how it will feel. For some of us, the big picture is actually easier to see than the steps it takes to get there. It sounds like this :

‘ I’m going to stop polluting, and live in harmony with nature ‘

‘ I’m going to get rich, fall in love, and it’s all gonna be so so good ‘

Those are awesome goals. But not SMART ones [ Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timeline oriented ]. Even if you forget acronyms – these dreams are lofty, with no clear path to get there.

If you want to break free from your big picture daydreams, try focusing in on one long term vision. Write it down. Ask yourself – where would I start? And then what? Lay the path and start your journey. For a minute, forget about the end of the tunnel and notice where you’re at and how far you’ve come so far. Forgive yourself for not being further along, breathe in and find some peace in now.

2. You are made to fight, flee or freeze :

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Your brain is always on alert. Interpreting the world around you and categorizing everything in files; ‘safe’, ‘tasty’, ‘sexy’, ‘threatening’ … so you know what to do. Problem is, most of us see change as somewhat threatening and that’s why we hold back. I know you may not buy this – but if you were 100% comfortable during a change, it wouldn’t be a change. It would be a ‘be who you already were some more because it’s awesome’. And when you become uncomfortable, when your everyday becomes unknown because you’ve had to leave some habits behind, or when your change becomes painful as you grieve what you’re letting go, your brain reacts.

In your most primal root of yourself there are three responses your brain switches on to respond to threat: Fight – destroy the threat, before it destroys you; Flight – run and hide; and Freeze. Freeze is the lesser known response, but the most common. When you freeze you may be tuning out completely. Slowing your body, and locking your mind safely away with your daydreams while you wait for the danger to pass, hoping that you are as unscathed as possible when it’s over. Or you may be tuning in fiercely – studying your opponent, and planning your next move. So when you’re facing change, and that point in change when the rubber hits the road, you may very well freeze instinctively because little alarm bells are ringing in your brain saying ‘i don’t know this place, and i don’t know if i like it’. And you guessed it, if your brain flips the freeze switch, your change is on hold.

The way out? Resiliency. Working to consciously notice that you’ve frozen and reminding yourself that it’s ok. Building safety nets around you with people, places, and things that bring you joy. Taking deep breaths, counting to ten, doing whatever you do to recall that you are magnificent, you are safe, you are going to come out the other end of this ok.

3. You are capable of multitasking [ or screwing up several things at once ]

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Can you ride a bicycle while chewing gum? Sure. But most tasks are more complex when paired up. And we – magnificently flawed human beings we are – believe with every inch of our soul that we are so incredible and amazing we can accomplish everything at once. So we try. And we fail.

That little brain of yours is truly amazing but can only really solidly focus on a few things at a time. Some things your brain accomplishes without you even knowing – You are [ hopefully ] breathing, digesting, and blinking just fine. If you had to think about those things to accomplish them, you’d be exhausted. And some things [ like habits ] your brain can do with little thought. But big things [ like changes – especially changing the habits that you don’t have to think about anymore ] require some serious intention and attention.

So if you’re no further ahead than last week, last month, or last year, and this is STILL important to you – try cutting out other things first. ‘ What the heck!? To change one thing effectively, I have to change a bunch of other things first? ‘ – Maybe. But pick the easy things. That you barely even care about. Declutter your day, and your mind, and you’ll likely find a little extra focus for the change that matters.

4. Feelings are for suckers :

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It’s time to face it. You’re an emotional being. And your brain can get busy with feeling all the feels. There are going to be days when you feel like you’re killing it. And there are going to be days when you firmly believe that this change is so heavy it’s going to kill you.

Your brain doesn’t always know the difference – so it’s your job to wade through it all. Notice how you feel. Acknowledge your emotions. But teach yourself to recognize which ones are helping and which ones are not. Learn the difference between the emotions you should sit in for a while, and the ones you should move through. Figure out what triggers your negative feelings, and what triggers the feel-goods; then build an environment and a routine that steer you toward your positive emotions and away from the muck.

5. You will always make a smart choice:

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I’m really sorry – I’m not exactly saying that we’re stupid, just that we spend a lot of time thinking we’re smart, and forgetting that we are impulse driven creatures. We will almost always choose convenience now over long term gains.

So on the way to change, your old habits will creep up and look much more convenient than the work you’ve been putting in. And more often than not your brain will give in. You’ll take 3 steps forward and then 2 back. And the cure? There isn’t one. Forgiveness. Forgive yourself for being human. Celebrate the one step forward you’ve sustained all along. Believe with all your heart that it’s ok because you’re a person and you’re meant to fuck it up over and over again along the way. It’s normal. And you’re not alone – everyone else is really busy fucking it up too. So keep trying. Because you’re worth it.


Little Green Dress

little green dress a spotlight on eco-friendly fashion

I’m back with another feature for the Little Green Dress Series! If you missed the first one featuring Rubypearl, you can catch it here. You can also check out last week’s feature on Kimmi Designs.

I was ‘window shopping’ on Etsy for some summer clothing and started to notice that there are some seriously talented people creating beautiful fashions that are eco-friendly. And I wondered, what would it look like to spotlight all of them in one place? [ like here?! ] This series is what came next.

I stumbled upon Pondhopper Studios’ shop where Lorraine makes one of a kind clothing with the mindset of ‘no rules fashion’ and sewing outside all the lines. I was super excited to get to know this fellow Canadian more :

Tell us a bit about yourself

While I have always loved all things creative, I really disliked sewing classes at school – the need to follow patterns and rules exactly just didn’t work for my free spirit. Many years later, my young son asked if I could take the motif from his favourite (and threadbare!) T-shirt and sew it onto a new t-shirt. After I had dusted off my sewing machine and combined the two successfully, my aversion to sewing turned into a fascination with the possibilities it offered.

Everything in my shop is designed and handmade by me in my tiny studio crammed with collections of fibers, clothing, jewelry and ephemera stored in beautiful old suitcases and vintage apartment mailboxes. Tools, cameras and books jostle for space along with hastily written ideas on scraps of paper. Pieces in my shop are inspired by my addiction to rescuing otherwise forgotten and discarded items. I love the surprises and uniqueness that come from materials that have a story, a past life, and a soul of their own.


How did you  decide to start a business making eco-friendly fashions?

My son’s request coincided with my growing awareness around the dark side of fashion: from environmental impacts, to unsafe working conditions in many factories and the sheer wastefulness of fast fashion. While it is a very small contribution, I felt I could be part of the solution by using salvaged materials destined for the landfill to create one of a kind designs with my newfound fascination to sewing.

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I am now completely obsessed with creating clothing and accessories using discarded items destined for the landfill. I love that they have past stories and imperfections, they work perfectly with the visible stitching, asymmetry and artful tattering I love to incorporate into my pieces.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I am constantly searching for existing ephemera and fabrics looking for a second chance, whether recently discarded or from another century. From gently softened and faded everyday cottons to vintage brocades, velvets, laces and trims; from retro fabrics and modern day plastics full of attitude to lost trinkets that hold untold stories in their aged patinas.

I combine these salvaged materials and marry them together with an abundance of stitches. I like to incorporate imperfections and asymetry to enhance the personality of my designs and love the way raw edges gently fray and soften over time. Each item is a unique, one of a kind piece created spontaneously without patterns, and includes artful tattering, raw edges and visible stitching.

You can find Pondhopper Studios at:


Come back next week for another Little Green Dress feature. Would you like to be featured? Comment below