Behind the Bag: An Inside Scoop on Upcycling

With the production and shipment of fast-fashion skyrocketing, it’s imperative that as both consumers and designers we take a step back and evaluate how trend-cycling is effecting our environment. With over 12 million tons of textiles sent to U.S. landfills alone each year, we could all use a lil refresh as to why and how we can keep this number from rising.

As consumers, there’s no doubt we love the price tag when purchasing fast-fashion. But unfortunately for us (and our Instagram feed), the price of these products does in fact come at a cost; they are produced unethically. Pieces that are made with sustainable fabric and materials, incorporate made-to-order production, and provide fair wages and safe working conditions result in an ethically-made product (wink wink, that’s us!) While this might come at a higher price than your latest Amazon Prime purchase, we can guarantee you’ll be getting a higher quality product in more ways than one- whether that be from us, or the small studio down the street.

From everything from paper straws to reusable grocery bags, we’re all constantly looking for ways to reduce our waste. At LOVE & MOXiE, one of our favorite ways to practice sustainability is through the use of upcylcing. And trust us, it’s a lot more fun than a wet, soggy, paper straw . . .

At LOVE & MOXiE, our products are handcrafted, one-of-a-kind, and upcycled.


Step One: Sourcing

Although certainly the most fun, sourcing materials is surprisingly one of the more tedious steps in our process. This is because instead of heading to the fabric store and asking a sales clerk to point us in the direction of their spunkiest plaid or their coolest camo, we spend hours sorting through thrift stores, Goodwill bins, and estate sales looking for the perfect fabrics, prints, and designer goods looking for a second life. This makes finding the perfect piece all the more thrilling!

check out our fave spots to thrift!

Step Two: Prepping & Planning

This truly is the longest and most time consuming portion of a project- but boy, is it worth it! Finding the best way(s) to utilize a piece is crucial, as we want to get the most out of our thrifted goodies with as minimal scraps in the waste bin as possible.

As all of our patterns are designed in-house, each of our products is born with a sketch. Through trial, error, and a whole lotta coffee, these sketches are then translated to a to-scale paper prototype to test the size and dimensions of a new product. Our finalized pattern is then created based off a successful prototype.

Step Three: De-constructing & Interfacing

De-constructing a piece does not start and end at ripping the seams, but includes removing any hardware (zipper, buttons, etc.) and washing the piece, as well. Interfacing is necessary to give a piece more structure and stability for longer wear and less tear— which we’re all about!

Step Four: Prototyping

While we consider our paper prototype a part of new-product-prep, fabric prototyping is a whole other ball game. We’ll create our first prototype for ourselves (or a friend!) with one rule: use it, use it, use it!

After deciding what works and what doesn’t, it’s back to the drawing board for any necessary adjustments.

Step Five: Construction

Finnnallllly- the fun part! With all of our ducks in a row (and details assembled - stripes, pockets, key fobs, zipper plackets, d-rings, handles, purse feet, etc) and coffee cups in the waste bin, we’re finally able to begin constructing the final, one-of-a-kind product that your phone and keys will soon call home!

Step Six: Finishing Touches

After our fabulous, new friend is triple-stitched (she really is as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside), it’s time to attach all of our favorite finishing touches; rivets for durability, crossbody straps, and last but not least, our logo tag!

Step Seven: Sharing With You!

Having a studio full of snazzy products is great . . . but crazy enough, we’ve gotta sell ‘em, too! That means taking a ba-jillion photos for our website, creating content, interacting on social media, hauling ourselves to a market, and collaborating with other local businesses.

We hope a look into our process shed some light on all the hard work and lots of love that goes into not only our own products, but those of our fellow creators who go above and beyond to ensure their products are made ethically and with the earth in mind. We're all about shopping small and saving the planet, one fabulous bag at a time!