We love a repurposing queen. Especially one that not only recycles but raises awareness of animal shelters at the same time. That’s exactly what Kristen Alyce, 33, is doing, by taking 200 dog food bags and turning them into stunning outfits.
The unconventional dressmaker, from Florida, wanted to ‘grab people’s attention’ for a fundraising calendar to raise awareness for The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast – a non-kill shelter for animals. Kristen spent 300 hours transforming empty dog and cat food bags into high fashion dresses, swimwear, and even a spacesuit.
Each item uses up anything from one to 25 bags. But this isn’t the first time Kristen has upcycled discarded resources to create fashionable outfits – she has previously used sweet wrappers, magazines, and even X-rays.
Kristen accumulates rubbish as she knows she can do something creative with it. The animal shelter she’s aiming to help also sort her out by providing bags they would normally discard. They just have to make sure it’s not ripped so Kristen can really get to work.
She said: ‘The dresses I have created for this calendar are to help raise awareness and hopefully make someone think twice before purchasing an animal from a shop. ‘Animals need us to be their voices – and with a calendar like this we have the ability to bring this conversation into our daily lives.
‘The pet food clothing is an eye-catching way to shake it up and bring the attention back to shelters like this one.’ The swimsuit only took up one doggy bag while the ball gown she proudly showed off needed 25.
Kristen used packing tape to hold the dresses together and recycled the bags after use. The dressmaker said: ‘From beginning to end, each image, including fitting the model, constructing the garment, hair and makeup, the photoshoot, organizing images, planning the scene, editing the photos and creating the scene took about 20-30 hours per image.
‘Most of the dogs and cats in the images are actually from the shelter, but it proved to be difficult to get the perfect shot with the animal. ‘We ultimately had to use a lot of creativity and Photoshop to create the scenes.’
Each calendar costs £15 ($20) which is donated towards the charity. The models volunteered to pose wearing the innovative eco-friendly line. Kirsten added: ‘I have wanted to work with animals and raise awareness of shelters for about seven years – the shelter I am working with goes above and beyond to help the animals – so I finally got to make this dream a reality.’ The calendar is not only about sustainability but focuses on living an incredible action-filled life with your furry friend.