Materials focus: What is Vinyl anyway?

In August we will be focusing on vinyl and the trashion team members who revision it as an central part of their art. Which leads me to ask:

What is Vinyl anyway?

Vinyl is a synthetic man-made material. It is a type of plastic that is made from ethylene (found in crude oil) and chlorine (found in regular salt). When processed, both the substances are combined to form Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) resin, or as is commonly referred to - Vinyl.

The word comes from the Latin vinum = "wine", because of its relationship with alcohol (in its original sense of ethyl alcohol).

A vinyl compound is any organic compound that contains a vinyl group (also called ethenyl), -CH=CH2. These are derivatives of ethylene, CH2=CH2, with one hydrogen atom substituted with some other group.

Where have you seen vinyl?

When someone says vinyl, I immediately think of a gramophone record, or vinyl record. A vinyl record is an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed modulated spiral groove usually starting near the periphery and ending near the center of the disc.

Vinyl has found many applications in the medical world because of its non-hazardous properties. Vinyl is commonly used for making the following medical products; Intravenous Fluid Bags and containers, bags, Goggles, Caps, Inhalation Masks, Mouthpieces, Dialysis Equipment, Medical Sealants, Ear Protectors, Thermal Blankets, Gloves, and Valves.

Look around your home, and the houses in your neighborhood you may be amazed to discover that almost 60% of all vinyl made in the United States is used in construction and furnishings.*
Here are some of the applications of vinyl in construction; Siding and window frames, Roofing, Gutters and down spouts, Coverings for walls and floors, Piping for water distribution, sewage, and irrigation systems, Fencing, railing, and decking, Insulation of wiring, Electrical conduit, and Fire sprinkler piping.

That's an enormous amount of material people could be adding to landfills, which by the way are commonly lined with Vinyl (as see in the image to the right, they are laying the vinyl to develop a landfill). Which is where the artisans of Trashion Street Team come in!

*Statistic quoted from

We are living in a material world

The artisans on the trashion team bring out beauty in unconventional objects and materials. We seek out materials others have might discard and revision them. We apply our skills and passion to recycling, giving unwanted supplies new purpose and charm.

This is the first post in a series about the materials we transform.

In August we will be focusing on vinyl. We will take a look at the material itself. Then we will feature vinyls transformations by the hands of members of the Etsy Trashion Street Team. We will hear first hand what they love about vinyl, as well as how they recreate it!

To get a peak at some things to come search Etsy with Trashion Team and Vinyl you will be delighted by what you find!


Make something awesome for Creativity 350!

Crafting a Solution to Global Warming
Five craft- and DIY-themed online communities --,,, and -- have launched the Creativity 350 partnership and contest to draw creative energy and attention to’s goal of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million to stave off drastic climatic and planetary repercussions.

The Creativity 350 contest is actually two contests in one: A 350-themed craft contest and a 350-themed T-shirt design contest. For the craft contest, participants are invited to craft any project that creatively expresses the importance of the number 350, using any crafting technique. For the T-shirt contest, entrants may create an original T-shirt design that creatively expresses the importance of the number 350.

Entries will be accepted from July 15 to August 15, 2008. Then the public will vote for their favorites from August 16 - August 31, 2008. Valuable craft- and green-themed prizes will be awarded to the two winners. A complete list of the prizes can be found at the contest Web site: The winning T-shirt design will also be utilized by on t-shirts that will help the organization raise money and create awareness of its mission.

Co-founded by environmentalist and educator Bill McKibben, centers itself around the number 350 to provide focus on a clear, concise goal for reducing global warming factors: "350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth."

This unique partnership between the environmental community and the crafting community will bring out the creative energy of people around the world to help spread this important number, 350, in inspiring new ways.

Sean Polay, GM, Home & Garden


Lets all do the Monster Mash!

Image by Lori of Fisheye

I missed out on the first palchmey challenge and I found you all created some really wonderful things. This inspired me to develop the Monster Mash palchmey challenge. I wanted to be a more active team member and help inspire others to try something new. So here is a breif description of what we will be doing: All who choose to participate will be creating 2 monster themed plushies. 1 will be listed in your own shop on Etsy and 1 will be listed with HOST on Etsy. The guidelines and FAQ's are posted on our team page on Yahoo groups. I am really excited to see what people create by letting your inner child guide you. I have found that all ages seem to like handmade plushies so I am hoping this brings us great promotions and sales. Since I offered a large time table to do this, I hope I am accommodating everyone by offering the finale to be in October, just in time for Halloween. If any one has questions pleas feel free to contact me. I will be doing a press release to hopefully get us into Storque and other blogs and ad spaces. You still have plenty of time to request a partner so think about it and sign up on our team page on Yahoo! I really hope to see lots of interest and I hope I am helping to inspire you also! Just remember one important thing....HAVE FUN!


Trashion Team Spotlight- Interview with Jen of Jen1Kanobi!

Shop name: Jen1kanobi

Shop address:

Other sites:

Trashion materials:
office folders & paper, old books, fabric, certain types of recyclable plastic, Styrofoam, orange peels, spools, miscellaneous small objects... really i don't like letting something go unless i can't think of a way to use it.

What do you transform them into?
art dolls, art books, journals, notebooks, jewelry, headbands & sleevies, clothing, bags, stamps, and collages

How do you do it? mostly with my hands and scissors, sewing machine, toaster oven, glue, time and patience :)

Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept? I remember as a kid my dad made coffee of the campfire in an old empty coffee can, with a wire handle, but I think the first thing I made was probably the orange juice concentrate lid magnet for my mom

What was it? I think this might be a common kid craft, but i loved all those things we made as kids out of junk it got me going down the right path... we took orange juice concentrate lids and nails and pounded designs into them, and then we stuck magnets on the back, I think we gave them to our moms for mother's day.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
I am struggling to make up some more inventory for a local shop who carries my journals, bookmarks, and greeting cards, and I am desperate to create more Orange Babies, they are my favorite, and I need more of them.

Why should people buy handmade and from trashion? when you buy handmade you get the joy of contact with the human element, which we lack to a large degree in our big box chain store world... and you know the labor wasn't exploited... my preference is to reuse or scavenge materials where I can to keep my wasteful impact on this green globe to a minimum... buying trashion helps

Anything else you'd like to add?
I try not to overcomplicate things, I often fail... but my advice to myself and all other crafters is to "shoot from the hip"

Thank you for sharing your great upcycling with us Jen! Excellent shop name!


Trashion Team Spotlight- Linda of FashionGreenTBags!

Shop Name: FashionGreenTBags

Shop Address:

Tell us a bit about yourself:
I'm ridiculously happily married and have 2 children, Michelle is a 20 year-old college honor student and David is a 17 (almost 18) year-old high school honor student. I'm a 26 year teaching veteran but I'm currently on a medical leave. I began my Etsy business to keep me busy and to hopefully positively impact the environment. I'm passionate about children's rights, children, the environment and reaching out to people of all ages who are in need. I currently volunteer for several senior citizens at a local apartment complex.

Trashion materials: recycled fabrics obtained from clearance or sale items at thrift stores or garage sales.

I transform them into:
reusable bags (to replace plastic bags at the grocery/market store.) watches, other miscellaneous items as I think of them. I've also used fused plastic newspaper bags and shredded paper to create my padded laptop case.

How do you do it?
(a bit personal, don't you think? LOL) I am not really a seamstress. I make up what I'm doing as I do it. As a result the final products are sometimes the 5th or 1000th attempt.

What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in trashion?
I've been concerned about the environment for a very long time. I'm doing everything I can think of to reduce plastic in my life. I think our society is too consumptive and way too highly dependent on material acquisitions for making us feel worthwhile. I think our priorities have become a little mixed-up.

Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept?
What was it? It was a resuable bag made from a t-shirt.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
I'm making some bags and I've found some great leather skirts that I want to make into some purses.

Why should people buy handmade, and buy from trashion?
Handmade is very special. Since we're all small enterprises, we depend greatly upon the satisfaction of our customers so our products are quality creations and we strive for total customer satisfaction. You don't find that in "big box" stores.

Buying Trashion is a way to feed our desire for new products and have a minimal impact on the environment at the same time. We use very few new materials and recycled packaging so our goods leave micro-mini footprints. Repurposing old materials is an exercise in total creativity. To look at an existing item and envision it as something different is fun and exciting and results in surprising new products.

Thank you for sharing your awesome work with us Linda! Great reuse!


Unique Summer Giveaway!

Pamela of is going to create a custom handbag for one lucky entrant in her Summer Bag Giveaway!
She will personally work with the winner to create a handbag in the colors that they prefer using
reclaimed leather and upholstery fabrics.
The main design of the bag is similar to the handbag below, but you get to choose whether you want to have it decorated with flowers or buckles!!

Summer Bag Giveaway Rules
Here is what the winner receives
A custom handbag valued between $100- $200
Enter by posting your name in response to this
All other comments are optional. Thats it! I will notify the winner on October 15th.