Learn how to reduce your footprint not your style.


I discovered a non-profit this week called Redress which is working to reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion. If you’re not aware, the amount of fast fashion ending up in landfill is increasing whereas all other sources of trash are decreasing.


Fashionista who routinely shop and wear secondhand and vintage clothing are showcased on the Redress web-site to share their insights and finds. One of them referred to her mending pile that is reportedly necessary when you wear mainly vintage clothing.


When was the time you heard about a mending pile? 


It made me think of my maternal grandmother Annie who mended pretty much everything. Annie’s birthday was this week. No matter what’s going on in my life, I always acknowledge the date and take time to reflect on my time with her. The Redress discovery was a nice way to do that because like many of the depression era, she was thrifty and knew how to stretch a dollar with mending, gardening and home cooking. 


Much of that thriftiness has been lost on later generations. So I thought that I would share a few of the up-cycled and secondhand items in my home as inspiration and as homage to Annie.


Four of my up-cycle projects:

1/ Entrance Chair: 


Everyone needs a place close to the door to drop bags or put on shoes. The chair was purchased years ago from a vintage store. It was painted brown with brown leather upholstery and could have been used as a vintage piece. However, I refinished it with my take on Jonathan Adler. A couch in the San Francisco store served as the inspiration for this up-cycled piece.

2/ Mid Century Bench:


Purchased from Craigslist and styled with new and vintage things. The glass bowls were purchased from a vintage store in San Francisco and finally have the perfect place in my home. The planter and wire basket are from CB2.

3/ Coffee Table:


The Charles Hollis Jones coffee table is a vintage find. It’s past perfect but I love the size and lightness of it because it can work in any space. It’s important to think about what can work now and later if you’re not settled in your forever home. The platter is Jonathan Adler and the tea light holders are from another favorite San Francisco store called Ruby Living.

4/ Glass Vase:


The delicate blown glass vase is from my favorite store in the San Francisco Ferry Building called The Gardener.  The vase is new but the stem came from my orchid that re-bloomed this spring. A sprig fell off but has continued to do well in the vase. Next to the vase is a Jonathan Adler tray. What can I say, I love his use of color and sense of whimsy. It’s all very Annie. 

Less is often more


Invest in good basics and add things as you need them. Take your time to find pieces that you love and that will serve you well for years rather than months.


If you buy fast furniture, purchase popular brands that you can resell so that your stuff doesn’t end up in landfill or budget to have it properly recycled.

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