Green Fashion Column, (web)

Ann Arbor Native Brings Upcycling to Michigan


Story from The Examiner Ann Arbor, 3/24/2011 by Amy Daguanno

When Lanni Lantto graduated from the University of Michigan she had no idea that she’d eventually wind up with a trendy upcycling business right here in Michigan.  Upcycling is fantastic for the environment since it requires no new resources to be manufactured or produced.  Upcycling is also a serious victory for fashion-savvy customers who can score one-of-a-kind pieces that show off their sense of style.

Upcyclers, like Lanni, use pre-existing fabrics and salvaged materials to create their unique designs.  Lanni even uses reclaimed mannequins, clothing racks and garment tags.  Eco-conscious fashionistas can help keep hundreds of pounds of textiles out of landfills.  According to the EPA, 5.2% of our solid waste is from textiles being thrown away.  That’s more than 12 million tons per year, and according to some estimates, more than 85% of that waste could have been recycled.

Lanni, who calls herself a “fashion redesigner,” has named her clothing line (re).  Her beautiful creations have been seen on runways in New York and are available through her online store on Etsy.  Her styles cover everything from casual to glamorous and her pieces have made appearances in several films.

Through her online store, Lanni also allows customers to send her their unused or unwanted tee-shirts which she re-creates into accessories like headbands or appliqués for trendy tops.  Her sense of style has customers coming back for more.

Lanni is active in her community and is a self proclaimed environmental and social activist.  She speaks at women’s empowerment events and is featured in numerous fashion shows and art exhibitions.  She also teaches upcycling workshops. For more information about Lanni, her designs, and her upcoming events, visit her website at