Everyone has their favorite pair of jeans, which may be hung onto like a cherished memory, long past the time when those jeans actually fit. But some, like furniture designer Liz Richardson of LegendBlues, may be hanging onto them to create something completely different, as she has done with her collection of down-to-earth yet elegant, antique-styled chairs and ottomans, upholstered with durable, recycled denim.According to the LegendBlues website, jeans are a fitting material because they "evoke memories of people, places and events much like music" and "rekindling those memories in a unique, sustainable way seemed like a good idea." Richardson's denim "a-ha" moment happened in 2009 when
[..] a friend gave Liz an older chair that had "solid bones," the denim dream began its journey. Working with a master craftsman, the chair was upholstered using the old jeans and became the prototype for this truly "one-of-a-kind" collection.
Richardson now works with a team of professional furniture makers, who handcraft each chair out of solid Northern Soft Maple (might it also be FSC-certified?). Clients can also send in their own jeans or chair frames for a custom job.
LegendBlues gives a new twist on a relatively old material: denim's been around since the 1870's and yet, the industry still has some ways to go before it can be considered sustainable, both environmentally and health-wise for workers. The best way to get around this is to buy fair-trade or organic denim.
Of course, the next best thing to finding a fair-trade pair of jeans is buying secondhand, which is what Richardson has done by using recycled jeans. These pieces are sweetly nostalgic, yet the unconventional pairing of rehabilitated denim with time-honoured furniture forms adds a sensible charm and contemporary edge to them.
For more information, visit the LegendBlues website.
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