Eco-Brands We Love: Jelt Belt

Most of you know me as the designer of Trash to Couture, but my whole life is centered around being mom to 3 boys. This means constant activity...usually done with a baby on the hip. I don’t have free hands for pulling up the saggy jeans. I also need a belt that passes my "baby hip test," comfortable for the both of us while still doing its job.  That’s why I’m excited to share Jelt Belt to begin my "Eco-Brands We Love" collaboration series

Jelt Belt is a small, woman-owned business out of Bozeman, MT. Jelt is a blend of style and function while still being environmentally friendly. Their belts are made from 100% recycled yarn with an inner gel that grips to pants. Everything is recycled even down to the packaging. Because their is no metal, it's great for travel through airport security (p.s. great gift idea).
Jelt passes the baby/hip test: comfort for the both of us and no sagging pants. 
Not only are you investing in a wardrobe essential that’s sustainable, but your investing in others.  With every belt purchased, Jelt donates 1to several organizations here supporting veterans, youth, and families. Socially responsible and environmentally friendly, this is why Jelt Belt is a company I’m proud to partner with. 

They're having a back to school sale this week so head over to get your own. 

You can also purchase from amazon


Threads for Change: My top reasons to invest in sustainable fashion

Blouse made from repurposed linen. 
 I started Trash to Couture to inspire a less wasteful approach to the mass-produced fashion mainstream. I wanted viewers to see they didn't have to sacrifice fashion to live eco-consciously. Since starting the blog back in 2010, the fashion industry has grown to being the "third most polluting industry in the world…" All the more why it's important to become aware of brands that have an ethical impact on society. Which brings me to a new series I am starting on T2C highlighting my favorite sustainable brands.

Before diving in though, let's look at the main reasons why it's important to invest in sustainable/ethical companies: 

1) Good for the environment

We know it's good for the environment but most people don't know exactly why. Let me break it down for you. 

It’s estimated that each year the world consumes 80 billion pieces of clothing. This adds up to millions of tons in waste each year. Investing in sustainable brands cuts down on the massive amounts of waste being created.

Many sustainable brands use natural materials like bamboo, organic cotton, and hemp. This means less chemical waste (petroleum, fossil fuel, etc) being produced in the atmosphere to create synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon, therefore less pollution. You're also reducing your impact on water, materials, and energy systems across the supply chain. Did you know it takes 200 gallons of water to grow the cotton for a typical tshirt? 

2) People matter 

 The fashion industry is known for their harsh labor practices and fast fashion is a major part of this. By investing in ethical brands means your clothing is made in proper work environments with fair pay. Many of these brands are committed to helping others, from donating proceeds to charities, supporting causes, and community outreach programs. 

3) Keeping art and small business thriving

With an industry run by large manufacturing companies, skilled artisans are being run out of business. Choosing to purchase handmade products keeps art and small businesses alive. Even better if they're local. 

4) Quality

Your items will last longer because the fabrics are made with organic, renewable fibers. You won't need to wash them as often and most are cleaned using a cold/gentle cycle and hung to dry.  

5) One-of-a-kind

You will most likely be the only one in your circle wearing that unique, handmade dress. Coming from a designer perspective,, whenever I'm creating a garment for a client it's done with the utmost attention to detail through a very patient and careful process. Custom fit to their specific measurements. It's really a special thing to have something made just for you. 
Same goes for thrift shopping, you can read more about that here

You don't have to sacrifice style to live eco-friendly and you'll see why in the upcoming collaborations.
I look forward to sharing this series with you. List some of your reasons why you invest in sustainable products? What are some of your favorite brands?



I partnered with Fabric Wholesale Direct to create this lovely cowl neckline and fringe hem poncho. They have the most perfect fabric for this fall staple piece. I went with the ITY jersey in burgundy here.

For the step-by-step tutorial go here and make your very own. 


DIY: Customize Stencils and Screenprint with Jacquard Products

Stenciling for screen printing can be time consuming and messy. I use to spend up to an hour just tracing/cutting the pattern onto the paper. The trick to keeping this simple?  Print your design on the actual freezer paper.
I also share how to print with Jacquard's deColourant paste, which is a ready-to-use printing paste for removing areas of color from dyed natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, and wool. Unlike bleach, deColourant removes color without jeopardizing the fiber. 

DIY below:


Design your own clothing labels with Wunderlabel

Nothing puts the finishing touches on a handmade project like a label. I use to try the printable paper with fear it would bleed into the fabric or completely fade away, and it did. Then I went as far as embroidering my labels which took longer than the project itself.  Finally I found Wunderlabel. Not only did they make the ordering process quick and simple, it arrived just as fast. Now my favorite part of finishing a new design is that final detail of sewing my custom labels on.  Take your project to the next level of professionalism with Wunderlabel. You and your projects earned it. 

DIY below:


DIY Monogram/Embroidered Bandana

Making a comeback this summer as a neckpiece or headband, the bandana isn't just for baby drool or cowboys anymore. Another trend I'm a fan of is the custom embroidery detailing on denim, tshirts, etc. Mixing the two in this simple tutorial and all you need is a basic sewing machine. Their are two ways to monogram/embroider on fabric without an embroidery machine or by hand. I customized a bandana but you can do anything. I'd like to do a collar next with my initials on each side or even some denim or tshirts.


DIY Choker Dress from T-Shirt

Another spin on the good old tshirt dress. Something you can rely on to keep you cool and chic during these HOT summer months.

 Follow this simple tutorial below where Shirtspace and I partner up to share how to make this Choker Dress. No tedious hemming/finishing required…

See tutorial below…