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Best Place to Recycle Old Wardrobe Items 

Miranda Caroligne

Believe it or not, there might be a place for your '80s shoulder pads besides the landfill. This diminutive shop, which hails from the genius of designer Miranda C. Burns, has been at the vanguard of San Francisco's indie and DIY design movement since 2005. Burns and company specialize in making wearable recycled art, and it's ripe attire for the fashion- and eco-conscious. Miranda Caroligne is full of salvaged goods, amassed by local designers who would prefer to reconstruct rather than toss a perfectly good thrift-store find. Pre-existing clothes, and sometimes fabric scraps and other ephemera, are jumbled together to make radical revisions — for instance, a sweatshirt pieced with denim, or funky modern dresses with princess bell sleeves. Even the jewelry hails from random recycled materials like sheet metal and scrap leather. Because every piece is unique, Burns doesn't offer clothes in different sizes (which she deems "arbitrary numbers"); all clothes are custom-altered. It's the kind of shop that isn't simply an exercise in fashion, but one in human nature. In fact, refashioning helps her reflect on the very process of human learning and thinking, as well as all the experiences she likens to "the bumps and bruises and stains and holes that happen to you in life."

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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