Designer upcycles everyday objects into unique, wearable fashion

Emerald Pellot

Nicole McLaughlin turns everyday objects into sustainable fashion. McLaughlin’s pieces are wearable, functional and evoke a certain street style aesthetic that feels ultra-cool. 

Cupcake pool slidersa personal fan bikiniLego shorts and a breakfast cereal utility vest are just a few of her dopest designs. 

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A post shared by nm (@nicolemclaughlin) on Jun 18, 2020 at 9:54am PDT

McLaughlin said her hobby became a career in 2018 when she began to garner public attention. She ditched her day job as a graphic designer at Reebok to work full-time as an artist. 

She first began to dabble with sustainable fashion as a way to balance all of her time spent on a computer.

“I think it was a lot of being on the computer all day, which can sometimes get so mundane. And you want to be able to exercise your ideas outside of that,” McLaughlin told Teen Vogue. “I’m definitely a more hands-on person. I like tangible things. I have to physically make things.”

While working at Reebok, she became more interested in garments and athletic wear. Eventually, she learned to hand-sew and could do things like turn an old Patagonia fleece jacket into a skirt

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fleece skirt

A post shared by nm (@nicolemclaughlin) on Apr 18, 2019 at 9:59am PDT

McLaughlin credits her Instagram account, where she has over 471,000 followers, with launching her art career. 

“This probably would not have taken off if it wasn’t for Instagram,” she told Teen Vogue. “I definitely feel really fortunate to have had the success that I’ve been able to have through the app. Mainly just being consistent about it is the biggest thing.”

If you liked this story, check out this fashion designer who upcycled potato chip wrappers into a chic outfit.

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