Save My Oceans Top Five: Upcycled Fused Plastic Coat

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The projects submitted to our Save My Oceans contest were innovative and inspirational and were all great examples of the brilliant ways our readers reuse plastics. Each day this week, we’ll highlight one of our top five entries, and we’ll announce the Grand prize winner next Monday. Be sure to check out the entire Save My Oceans Flickr pool for even more great projects.
Upcycled Fused Plastic Bag Coat from Mary Anne Enriquez.
See more pictures of Mary Anne’s coat here.
Project Description:

I am an artist and crafts designer who works 95% of the time with found objects and “trash.” The coat is 100% plastic bags and plastic produce net bags, etc. It is unlined, and sewn with cotten thread (also dug out of my old sewing kit. The ONLY thing not found, nor recycled was store bought velcro, used for the front closure.) This is a fully wearable and comfortable coat. Completely waterproof and very warm. The coat is fused with hundreds of bag bits and pieces. I carefully constructed the base fabrics from used drycleaning bags and other super sized bags. Upon that, I added layers and searched for text, logos, imagery, and contrasting bright colors. I would cut up the bags as I would a fine art college, carefully pieces and layering as a quiltmaker would do.

Project Inspiration:

I am always inspired by trash. I love being creatively challenged by what others discard, and have no appreciation of. I have always been this way, preferring to make art with “junk” rather then go buy “real” art supplies. That is not satisfying. I am also extremely active in environmental issues. I clean up forests, rivers, and beaches around Chicago and Lake Michigan. It can be back breaking work, but every one of us should do our part. I have had this awareness and conciousness since junior high in the 1960s. Maybe even before then. To me, (recycling and eco environmentalism) is not a fad. I live and breathe it as a lifestyle. Plastic bags are just EVERYwhere. Why not make something wonderful and uniquely different? I also had a former career in the advertising world, so logos and design are important to me.

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