Up-Cycled Salon Capes on Etsy
What in the world is an up-cycled salon cape, you may ask? The thing that sparked my desire to learn to sew was the idea of making my own salon wear. I studied one of my haircut capes in the salon one day (because I’m always lost for something to do when I don’t have a client in my chair), and thought, “hey, I could make these…they don’t look difficult“. I started shopping for water-resistant fabrics online right then and there.
Do you know how expensive waterproof fabrics are? We’re talking $12-$15 a yard, people. I can buy a cheap, poorly-made cape from Sally’s for like $12, including the parts and pieces that make it functional! What’s a girl to do? Up-cycle, of course!
Do you ever think about how many things get thrown into landfills each year? Not just common garbage (food scraps, paper towels, water bottles), but bigger stuff (household items, furniture, shower curtains) gets tossed on a daily basis. It got me thinking…what if I made something new for hard-working hairdressers out of all that old stuff that is just going to get tossed? Spending 19 years behind the salon chair led me to thinking about up-cycled salon capes, and how discarded fabrics could be made into something so useful…something that gets used up to 20 or 30 times a day per hairstylist! I was already making pajama pants out of old bed sheets, fashioning pillows from rejected t-shirts, and designing scarves out of people’s discarded clothing…why not make something for the salon?
As I did research for this post, I discovered that there aren’t many searches on Google for up-cycled salon capes. But, I’ve had customers who have raved about what I do, and are so happy to find something environmentally friendly to use in the salon.
There are green salons popping up all over America as the world becomes more earth conscious. Hairstylists are concerned and taking a stand, refusing to use toxic chemicals on their clients (one of the top 5 reasons why I left the beauty industry), and recycling more. (Click here for more about going green in the salon.) It’s a wonderful thing, and using my hand made, up-cycled salon capes can be a small step toward a big solution!
Up-Cycled Salon Capes Are Born!
What do I mean by up-cycled salon capes? I shop at second-hand stores like Goodwill and missions-based dig stores, and I purchase and refashion shower curtains, window treatments, and even bed sheets into beautiful, functional salon apparel (don’t worry…I only use sheets that still have store tags on them…nothing gross going on here…and I launder everything in hot water with a bleach alternative before using it). Some of these items might not be the latest trend in decorating your bathroom, but look cute, fun and stylish when draped around your client for a 15-minute haircut!
I’m not claiming that every item in my Etsy shop is made from repurposed fabrics, but I buy second-hand for quite a lot of my hand made merchandise. My Flaxie Hugs are made from new fabric, but each and every one is lined with a rejected fabric, lovingly rescued from a dig store. I’ve recently started sewing aprons for hairstylists, as well, and so far I’ve only used new fabric for those (although I found some gorgeous black satin at Goodwill yesterday that is going to become an apron). My popular bobby pin bracelets are a mix of new fabrics and those that have been rejected by others.
Green, cute and functional
I also keep common needs in mind when I sew up-cycled salon capes, like the fact that I could never find a cape for my plus-sized or big and tall clients that wasn’t heavy plastic with a velcro closure. Same goes for kids’ capes…poor little things! Kids get sweaty enough if they’re not happy about being in your chair, and thick, sticky plastic does not help! I hate heavy plastic capes (unless I’m perming), and I hate hate HATE velcro closure…it’s so scratchy and all the hair clings to it! My capes are made to fit average-sized folks up to ample folks, without causing them to break into a sweat or leave with a rash on their necks.
I’ve had some success with pint-sized capes, as well, using breezy, soft fabric and snaps!
I do purchase new bias binding for many of my up-cycled salon capes, but I’ve even made the bias tape myself for some of them with the same fabric the cape is cut from, or a coordinating rescued fabric.
Taking Small Steps
I’m not the most environmentally-friendly person around, but I do try. My family has made the switch to cloth napkins instead of paper, we almost never use paper plates (if I’m feeding a crowd, all bets are off), and I’ve even made myself some kitchen towels out of repurposed material to reduce my paper towel use. We recycle what we can (we don’t have pick-up out here in the sticks), and drink tap water instead of buying bottles. I just firmly believe that every little effort goes a long way, and I’m proud of my beautiful, comfortable up-cycled salon capes.
On that note, check out my new stash of fabrics!
It’s not very telling, as it’s all in a pile waiting to be properly washed, but I scored BIG TIME at Goodwill yesterday. Be on the look-out for new listings in my Etsy shop soon!
And, know that if you buy hand made from A Hair In My Biscuit, your taking a small step toward saving our beautiful Earth!