Flannel is a funny thing. It’s one of the most traditional materials around, first making its appearance in 15th-century Wales and eventually marked by plaid Scottish tartan patterns and buffalo checks. And yet, among the masses, flannel seems to drift in and out of our consciousness and wardrobes, cycling as a “trend” among those who aren’t wearing it for its practical value. After all, farmers and loggers were among the first Americans to sport the material.
The last time flannel had its time in the spotlight was during the 1990’s—grunge, Seattle, and Kurt Cobain kept it alive and well. Fast-forward to today, and it’s experiencing a resurgence yet again. J.Crew catalogs are practically lined with it, Pinterest feeds are overflowing with it, and those of the crafty sort have even taken to using recycled flannel to make reimagined creations.
And creative they most certainly are, with products ranging from drink koozies to accessories to flannel shirts that have taken a clear departure from their original look. And the bonus? Recycled flannel is oh-so eco-friendly. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that 13 million tons of textiles reach their final destination in a landfill each year.
(Brag your love of gardening with the Organic Life 2018 Wall Calendar, featuring gorgeous photographs, cooking tips and recipes, plus how to eat more—and waste less—of what's in season.)
In this spirit, sustainable crafters are breathing new life into old, vintage flannel shirts, upcycling them into pieces people are sure to love for years to come. Here are 10 of our favorites.