Artist Makes Upcycled Apparel Like IKEA Sandals 

25-year-old artist Nicole McLaughlin has amassed a cult following on Instagram with her upcycled apparel and accessories made from everyday items. From IKEA sandals to shorts made out of Champion sweatshirts, these items are unique and never duplicated. 

The ex-Reebok graphic designer was first inspired to start customising items from scraps after a visit to a thrift shop about a year ago.

“I started thrifting not even out of sustainability purposes more just because it was a cheap solution to be able to learn how to sew and create things,” she said in an interview with Reebok.

Let’s take a look at some of her ingenious creations.

Haribo and Dove slides

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These slides feature a packet of Haribo gummies and Dove facial wipes respectively, attached to a rubber sole. 

Champion and Jansport shorts

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These shorts were once the sleeves of a few Champion sweaters (left) and Jansport backpacks (right). The Champion pair was stitched together, with the elastic cuffs making a natural elastic waistband. 

Nike cap crop top

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This crop top is an assembly of various Nike caps. She fashioned adjustable straps with the closure strap of the cap.

Also read:

Vans’ New “Save Our Planet” Collection Uses Recycled Materials For Shoes, T-shirts & Jackets

The North Face and Nike umbrellas

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What was once a waterproof winter jacket and windbreaker by The North Face and Nike respectively have been repurposed into a brolly.

IKEA and Nikon sandals

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While she acknowledges that some of her designs are “more conceptual” and “not meant to be fully functioning”,’ she does design wearable items as well. These IKEA and Nikon sandals are both fashionable and practical.

Patagonia fanny pack and Canon camera case bras

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McLaughlin has a soft spot for storage. Pockets and compartments are a signature feature in most of her designs—like these Patagonia fanny pack and Canon camera case bras. 

Artist Nicole McLaughlin Is A Zero-Waste Inspiration

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The practice of upcycling is not prominent here in Singapore—but it totally should be. While McLaughlin has collaborated with brands, including a capsule collection featuring handmade upcycled vintage Reebok pieces, these personal designs featured on her Instagram and website are not likely to be for sale. She wants people to be inspired by her works and start upcycling themselves, as purchasing the items from her will eventually become unsustainable again in the long run.

“Instead of contributing more waste, I love to take these pieces, give them a new life, and challenge the perception of what ‘reused’ looks like.”

BRB, gonna zhng my old items into statement pieces too!

Also read:

The Kint Story – Meet the NUS Grads Who Rejected CBD Life To Set Up An Online Thrift Store

Cover image: Source