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Up With Upcycling

Feb 1, 2007

by Vanessa Bertozzi handmade and vintage goods

And the weiner — er, winner — is…Wiener Bench by JackRabbit. We were impressed by JackRabbit’s ingenuity and dumpster diving. She scavenged discarded and broken furniture from the curb on trash night where she lives in Philadelphia. She also posted on Craigslist and collected sweaters headed for the garbage. The labor-intensive process of unraveling the sweaters, re-dying the wool pink, and crocheting wieners goes above and beyond the call of environmentally friendly. In fact, it’s down right flirtatious. The Wiener Bench is a crazy and hilarious piece.

JackRabbit wins an all expenses paid trip to the Bazaar Bizarre at Maker Faire in May. We’re throwing in an Etsy gift bag and the Bazaar Bizarre book.

Runner up is…Technofabulous PLASTICOAT TRASHION by thimblescratch, who resides in Columbus, IN and designs one-of-a-kind clothing when she’s not working her day job as “a computer geek.” For the Technofabulous PLASTICOAT TRASHION entry, Thimblescratch converted trash bags into a rad biker jacket. We appreciated the fact that she got her co-workers involved: “For the past month, people at work have been graciously donating trash to me – plastic bags and packaging.” It’s a stylish piece of BFSC: Built From Scratch Clothing.

Thimblescratch wins a booth at the Bazaar Bizarre at Maker Faire, an Etsy gift bag, the Bazaar Bizarre book by Greg Der Ananian.

Third place goes to Recycled FEMA Blue Tarp Bustier and Skirt with Flower Choker made by Etsy seller dismantled. Dismantled lives in New Orleans and is a member of the New Orleans Craft Mafia We actually bought the dress and we have it on display at the Etsy Labs gallery (thanks to iheartswitch for letting us borrow the mannequin). Dismantled also writes a blog about “independent and eco-friendly shopping finds” at This piece simultaneously brings elegance and a social message to fashion.

Dismantled will receive an Etsy gift bag, the Bazaar Bizarre book by Greg Der Ananian, and Nifty, Thrifty, and Kitschy Crafts by Leah Kramer, founder of

Honorable mention goes out to Inklude for their Upholstered Cardboard Chair. Inklude is a collaborative studio based in Chicago. As a non-profit, they support programs for people with special needs. Inklude will get an Etsy gift bag.

We encourage all contestants and others to continue using the Upcycling tag and to help make the Etsy marketplace more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Congratulations to our winners and thanks to all who participated.

Note: This was originally posted in the Etsy Garden.


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