We're back from our long blog hiatus (moving, business rebrand + revamp, market season, etc!) for a dive into the recent collaboration project with Evergreen Goods.
In June, Megan (Bennett) Glenn of Evergreen Goods started working with me to curate a unique, limited series of upcycles using the wildly popular "No Bees, No Beer" and "No Bees, No Berries" mantra. As two Olympia-based companies run by women with ecology backgrounds; that care deeply about the future of our planet and stand for the protection of ecosystems everywhere; a collaboration was bound to happen.
The finished product of our collaborations is an upcycled apparel item-- usually a jacket with a groovy hand dyed and screen printed back patch. The back patches are made with hand-dyed fabrics (#ponderosahanddye); which Megan then screenprints her iconic designs onto. The patch is then stabilized and machine sewn onto whatever article of thrifted clothing we're upcycling. Each item is absolutely unique.
Here's some pictures so you can see what we mean!
You can shop the collaboration here: ponderosacreative.etsy.com. We have denim jackets from 12m to Unisex XXL, as well as jersey knits and denim vests and iron-on patches.
Here's some questions we've received about this project:
Why thrifted clothing?
Fast fashion, the constant creation of new textiles of seasonal clothing items, produces a shit ton of waste. Excuse the language, but there's no other way to put it-- textiles generate so much CO2 emissions and landfill mass that it's hard to even accurately calculate it-- not to mention the sheer amount of resources to make textiles OR the controversial third world labor practices to produce "affordable" clothing. We could go on all day about the woes of the textile world, but the point is: purchasing secondhand clothing means one less new item, one less perfectly fine piece of clothing in a landfill. Yes, thrift stores just throw stuff away. Yes, companies are going to continue making fast fashion whether you buy it or not, but, we gotta vote with our dollars and make a point somewhere. Buy secondhand first, small business second, and if you can, buy secondhand and upcycled from a small business. It is a small thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint... and save the bees, in a tangential way.
What sizes do you carry? Why can't I find my size?
Sometimes, the thrift gods aren't so giving. Sometimes, they only give certain sizes. Sometimes, I can spend hours scouring local thrift stores and only find one or two items to upcycle, usually in awkward sizes... and the most common sizes, like a women's large or a unisex medium, are just harder to find in good quality secondhand. We have very little control over what sizes are available at any given moment, but do our best to be size inclusive and to launch at least a dozen pieces at once.
We just launched our second batch of items (as of 07/02/19) and it includes 14 items ranging from kids 12m to adult XXL in denim and jersey knit, in gender neutral tones and feminine tones.
What's so special about bees?
Yeah that's a real question. Many people actually think of bees as pests-- oh and they can be! But most bee species are timid, gentle insects that will never both you and just want to collect pollen, fertilize the plants that create our foods and beverages and beauty products, and go on their merry way.
Bees are facing species collapse, and it's terrifying.
These jackets are a conversation starter. A way that you can tell people about how crucial pollinators are to our favorite things (I love you, beer) and how if all bees went extinct we'd die--- except maybe, say, you're at a brewery, you may be able to portray the message in a more positive life. Bees are rad! Bees are our friends! We literally owe our life to bees, thank you!
What's the care like for an upcycled jacket?
Spot clean until you can't anymore, then machine wash cold, gentle cycle, alone if you can-- if you have an energy efficient washer that can do small loads! Hang dry if the climate is nice, or tumble dry low until allllmost dry, then iron the collar down flat and hang to dry the rest of the way. Some fraying of the backpatch is normal, it's sewn so that will be a part of the worn-in, vintage, hippie ~look~.
How do I attach the patches?
Find where you wanna put it. Place it flat on the ironing board. Place a cloth over it (DO NOT skip this step), and then place the iron on top of the cloth. Let it generate (dry, no steam) heat onto the layers, then wiggle it around a little. Make sure all edges are firmly glued down before removing heat, and then let cool before moving the patched item off the ironing board. If it's placed in a high traffic area, stitch the corners down.
How did you dye the fabric?
The techniques vary depending on the patch, but they are a mixture of natural dyes (avocado, nettle, thai tea, tumeric, or cabbage) and ice dye overlays.
If you have another question, let us know! Hit us up on instagram at @evergreen.goods and @ponderosacreative. In the meantime, grab yourself an upcycle before they run out!