Icebox Knitting in Longmont, Colorado (just a few hours from my mountain home), doesn’t pay lip service to turning out eco-friendly “wearable art.” This manufacturer truly walks the walk — partnering with like-minded suppliers and “upcycling” thousands of thrift-store wool sweaters and suit jackets in its Xob Upcycled line of hats, mittens, bags, pouches and pillows. Fleece comes from “end of the roll” or cosmetic seconds; any unused pieces are diced up and used for pillow stuffing. Previously used belts are used for straps on messenger bags. I believe this company when it says management is always looking for new solutions to help the planet by reducing, reusing and upcycling.
I’ve been sporting the cute, handcrafted Xob Pom hat recently as winter has arrived in my neck of the woods. It’s comprised of three panels of wool all stitched together, with a pom-pom made from yarn spun from shredded recycled sweaters. The remnant fleece used inside keeps my ears cozy and warm. It’s a one-size-fits-all hat, but I find it works well for me and my 11-year-old daughter; she’s worn it to school a couple times and gives it a thumb’s up for being funky and fun. I like the hat because it does look like an original — it’s handcrafted, but professionally sewn (i.e. it doesn’t look like I over-stitched the pieces on my home sewing machine).
Other items in the current Xob Upcycle collection include really cute knit caps with visors, wool beanies, Berber-fleece lined bombers and “sleeper” hats with long tassles. I’m also partial to the fleece-lined mittens and the cute fleece pouches for carrying small items (even with an upcycled button to latch shut), as well as the shoulder bag made from upcycled suit jackets, zippers and belts.
Peruse the entire line at the Icebox Knitting website. You can purchase the Xob Pom hat at Uncommon Goods for $30. Also search the online store locator to find a brick-and-mortar sale location near you.
More winter gear:
Kara Williams covers gear and travel clothing for women or kids and is one of the founders of The Vacation Gals blog. See more at KaraWilliams.com.
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