How A Bag Made Out Of Alyssa Milano’s Jeans Is Helping Wildlife In The Gulf

NWF   |   April 20, 2011

This is a guest post by Ashley van Tol, who runs Upcycled by Ash. She is hosting an online auction to benefit the National Wildlife Federation.

Upcycled Piping Plover
This Upcycled Piping Plover was made by Michelle Fahmy of Wandering Needles out of three different second-hand sweaters and a cotton shirt.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The ecosystems in and surrounding the Gulf are still being affected by the disaster and will be for years to come. What are you doing about it?

Your small individual contribution may seem insignificant and hardly worth the effort to you, but it’s not. Add all those small donations, gestures, mentions and movements up and suddenly you will see big change.

I believe that one person can make a difference. We can all be that person.

Helping Wildlife Through Crafts

Last year I decided I could make a difference. I started creating and selling eco-friendly bags made from upcycled jeans. I gave half the proceeds from the sales to organizations fundamental in helping wildlife in the Gulf. It was fun and I raised a couple hundred dollars for the organizations, much more than I would have been able to afford otherwise.

Inspired by the small difference I made, I decided to take my project a step further. I was determined that I could get celebrities to donate their pants to my cause. It worked!

Alyssa Milano Upcycled Bag
This Upcycled Bag was made from actress Alyssa Milano's jeans. Check out the auction on Facebook to place a bid.

Celebrities Donate Their Pants to the Cause

Though Twitter, with a lot of time, patience, and persistence, I managed to catch the attention of Alyssa Milano (Who’s the Boss, Charmed) and Keith Powell (30 Rock).

At the time, both Alyssa and Keith were advocating for the National Wildlife Federation. Alyssa requested that the bags I made from her pants be sold in an online auction to benefit the NWF.

As the time drew near to start planning the auction, I decided there was still more I could do. I started contacting other eco-friendly crafters and asking them to donate items they made to so we could raise even more money for the National Wildlife Federation. Crafters from all over the United States and even a few from Australia sent items to be included.

Place Your Bids! Upcycled Auction

There are 35 items in the Upcycled by Ash auction that is currently running on the Upcycled by Ash Facebook page.  Most of the donations are handcrafted and eco-friendly. Individually these contributions may appear small and insignificant, but when you see them all together as a group, they are quite impressive. It feels good to do good, and it feels great to inspire others to do the same.

Please take the time to visit the Upcycled by Ash auction to benefit the National Wildlife Federation. Whether you place a bid or simply share the link with your friends your action makes a difference. Help us help the National Wildlife Federation today.