The average number of times a garment or accessory is worn before it ceases to be used has decreased by 36% compared to 15 years ago.
Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing/accessories is recycled into new clothing/accessories.
Of the total fibre input used for clothing, 87% is land filled or incinerated.
The Design Center in San Francisco alone discards over 20 tons of obsolete swatches, samples and other material each year.
I love fashion. I have a debilitating weakness for beautiful things. And I admit it-I get a happy little buzz when I get to unwrap and wear something new. But the planet, like my closet, is running out of room.
The world is full of talented designers who can take a beautiful gemstone, combine it with a gleaming precious metal and create a stunning (and stunningly expensive) piece of jewelry.
I'm not one of them.
I see the beauty in the used, the discarded, the repurposed and the reclaimed–the shimmer of recycled glass, the polished gleam of reclaimed metal, the burnished patina of leather in its second or third life. When some see a broken zipper, a worn out boot, a torn garment or even a tin can, I see a cool new clutch purse, a pair of earrings or a pendant.
Turning something old into something new and beautiful is what gerts me out of bed in the morning. (And often keeps me up way too late at night!)
Kathy Bonte is a Mountain View, CA designer, maker, educator and entrepreneur who loves the challenge of turning recycled materials into fashionable objects. She launched Yellow Rose in the fall of 2016 and happily applies her eco-alchiemy to a variety of materials, including up-cycled plastic or metal, cast-off zippers, hardware store treasures and a plethora of leather and textile swatches discarded by the interior design community. From casual easy-to-wear pendants and wrap bracelets to statement necklaces and cuffs, her lightweight handcrafted pieces juxtapose a feminine sensibility with a bold, modern edge. Her work has been featured at several Bay Area artisan and holiday fairs and is currently on sale at Shady Lane Gallery in Menlo Park, CA, and Present in downtown Los Altos.
When she is not punching, piercing, painting, stenciling and embossing her found materials into submission in her Mountain View studio (aka. her guest room) Kathy enjoys inspiring the next generation of artists and makers through her 3DKids Academy program in Bay Area schools. (www.3DKids.academy)
She is also an enthusiastic supporter and volunteer at the Silicon Valley non-profit Fabmo, which collects and redistributes discarded designer materials and is immensely grateful to them for supplying much of the material she uses in her creations.
Curious how YellowRose got its name? (Good guess, but she's NOT from Texas!)