Upcycling gives everything a second chance
MICHELLE Philip remembers when she was a child reading a picture book about a gecko that got a second chance by throwing away its tail so a kookaburra could eat it.
As an adult she sees the metaphor in reusing items for the benefit of the environment.
She called her upcycling business Geckos New Tail and aims to keep fabric out of landfill.
Mrs Philip turns table clothes, tea towels, curtains, suits and upholstery into hats, bags, dresses and even art folders.
"I've got hats made from coffee bean bags from cafe Botero in Maclean," Mrs Philip said.
"Everything gets a second chance."
Mrs Philip said she came from a sewing family and took it up when she was seven years old and made her own clothes since she was 11.
Her mother, aunt and grandmother all sowed before her. Now her husband and three children all help her when she is upcycling fabric to carry on the family tradition.
"My son broke the sewing machine the other day, which wasn't good for production," she said.
"But I bought a better one."
She said she comes home now and finds fabric on her doorstep.
Mrs Philip charges $30 to $49 for a handmade hat.
"People like the ones with something from Australia or the local area," she said.
"People also like items that are nostalgic."
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