No Serial Number Magazine Feature

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 4.46.17 PM

Italy’s No Serial Number Magazine has a feature on U.S. Upcycling and a full article in their Sustainable Fashion section entitled, “Deconstruct the things around you, Refashion the system: Lanni Lantto’s mystical journey to the Catwalk.  To enjoy the full article and the many other featured crafters visit:

You Magazine Cover & Feature

The Green Bay Press Gazette (USA Today Network) featured Fashion Redesigning in their April 2016 Spring Fashion Issue.  The article speaks about how Lanni Lantto turns fashion into environmental activism and includes a statistical break down of the harms of ‘fast fashion’ (in honor of April’s Fashion Revolution Day) and tips on how we can Upcycle or own Wardrobes.

Click here to read full feature article:

You Mag CoverYouMag

(RE) on Good Day Wisconsin (TV)

5/18/2015:  Eco-friendly is becoming more and more of a designer trend.  Lanni Lantto is a local fashion (re)designer who’s focus is to reuse, reduce, redesign, rethink, reinvent, recycle.  Lantto takes pre-existing materials and upcycles them to create a new look that works for any occaision. Her looks have also turned heads on red carpet Hollywood events.  FOX 11’s Pauleen Le spent the morning checking out her (re)designer fashion.

WATCH all 3 video segments:


9/29/2014:  Celebrating National Coffee Day + Local Artistry on Good Day Wisconsin Fox11.  (RE) is happy to announce that specially made upcycled applique clothing is now available in Northeast Wisconsin for the first time!  Taking “yooper” decals from old t-shirts, Lanni created specifically themed clothing for the grand opening of a new Yooper 906 Gallery in Wrightstown, WI.  The gallery hopes to support local artists and be a place of community for sharing ideas and creativity.  (RE) was happy to be involved in the grand opening ceremony for this growing arts community!

Finalist in Etsy Int’l Upcycling Exhibition

Retrash and Etsy proudly present Reart 2015 – International Upcycle Exhibition & Book Launch.

Reart aims to shift global perspectives on the waste we throw away in todays society, showcasing the best of what upcycling has to offer from artists and designers all over the world. The exhibition will also highlight the launch of Retrash, a coffee table book showcasing the upcycled work of 82 designers and artists from 20 countries around the world. [ (re)’s Lanni Lantto, fashion upcycler, has her fully upcycled Bold Betty apron dress included in the exhibition.]

Exhibition Details  (view on web here)

M2 Gallery, 450 Elizabeth St Surry Hills NSW Australia
22-24 April 12pm-7pm (Wed-Fri)
25-26 April 10am-6pm (Sat-Sun)

In it’s first year running, Reart will open it’s doors to the public on April 22nd to coincide with Earth Day. Author of Retrash Nathan Devine will be signing copies of his book on Saturday 25 April from 2pm-4pm, the winner of the People’s Choice Award will also be announced.

Fashion Revolution Clothing Tag Dresses

“Made in China”, “Made in Bangladesh”, “Made in the USA”, “Made in Mexico”… so many faces behind the seams. Have you ever wondered who those faces might be?  Fashion Revolution is a global campaign asking that very question: ‘who made my clothes?’ in order to initiate human connections throughout the supply chain.


As an upcycle designer who uses pre-existing clothing, I am very familiar with other manufacturer’s clothing tags.  I become most familiar with the names of brands that design for big chains like Old Navy, Kohl’s, Macy’s, ect.  Why? Because these brands are constantly pumping out new collections and malls exists across the United States.  Single serving clothing. Then they end up at the thrift store and this is where I have become familiar with these clothing tags.


A lot of this clothing finds a second serving (adopted by a new owner), some of it is shipped to another country, more of it is thrown away, and a few just sit there- like puppies in a window- waiting and waiting for someone to come along and give it a purpose again.  It sits there confused thinking, “But so much time and energy went into creating me. I was cotton blowing in the wind, I was fiber being spun, I was a multitude of hands who put me together. Why don’t you appreciate my beauty beyond the trend?”.  I’ve always cared about these social cast-aways and when I revive them, I cut out their tag and save them- a remembrance of what they were.  Over the past 8 years, I have amassed quite the memorial.


Fashion Revolution Day gave me the inspiration to use these clothing tags as material within a design.  With awards season approaching in L.A., I wanted to create 2 gowns that could be worn to Red Carpet events that displayed this social message.  The trick for me was to use the tags without having them over power the dress and thus the individual wearing it.  Here is a bit about how they were created.

The 1st dress began as a black cocktail dress made by Cache and purchased at a consignment boutique.  I did not want to alter the construction of the dress as it fit well and did not need altering.  This leaves a blank canvas to design on.  Thus, the hard part becomes creating that design and it took weeks of playing around with different patterns and directions. I was drawn to the clothing tags that had the specific name of the designer and were embroidered.  I didn’t want to call out anyone in particular and I felt that if I left their names visible it would distract from the overall message.  So I flipped them over and once I did that, it all fell into place.  They needed to be secured around the edges, so I used iron-on bias tape in black and white.  I followed the design around the shoulders into the back with finishing details on the bow.  My last element was to add a clothing tag from (RE) on the center front to answer the Q with a ‘Yes, I do know where my clothing comes from’ but mainly because it added to the color scheme.

IMG_2704sIMG_2715        BcT


The 2nd dress naturally evoked the spirit of the clothing tag, as it’s original construction of white frills resembled that of a field of tags.  Made from a 1950s dress, I took apart and completely reworked the waistband.  The black front lines were made from a black shirt collar and the back bow was made from a salvaged white bow + black straps from another dress.  For this dress, I used clothing tags that had the manufacturer’s instructions oh how to care for it and where it was made.  You know, those big long ones that we cut out because they ‘get in the way’.  The last element that really brings this dress together is the front question mark, which I took off of my Guess jeans.  This literally asks, “?… Who makes your clothes?”.


wctUP copyWhiteTagCU copy

WhiteTag copy Janine Jordan of Electronic Music Alliance


Sustainable Fashion (RE)presented at Red Carpet Green Dress Anniversary Party. (photo via Taryn Hipwell)

To see more examples of upcycled pieces I’ve created, scroll back up to “(re) collections”.  You are an integral part of the change, be inspired to inspire! -Lanni

Join in the conversation using hashtags #fashrev and #whomademyclothes

Double Feature in Coco Eco Magazine

Coco Eco Magazine has a great feature on upcycled fashion – where it’s been, where it’s going, and why it’s the future of fashion written by GoodLifer, Johanna Bjork. Which you can find here.


+ an editorial with Eugenia Kuzmina [Fury] in a (re) dress for their “trash to treasure” article style by Eco-Stylist Phu Styles.

Coco Eco MagCocoEcoMag

(RE) at Global Green Pre-Oscars

(RE) will have Upcycled Couture represented on the Red Carpet for Global Green USA’s 11th & 12th Annual Pre-Oscar Party.

(RE)’s Lanni Lantto is thrilled to be the (re)designer for Green “Artivist”, Janine Jordan who will be in attendance with her husband, Ken Jordan of The Crystal Method. Janine is founder of Green Wave and the Electronic Music Alliance. She lives her life helping other people and giving back to our planet and is the perfect (re)presentation of a woman who is greening the fashion industry.  Janine will be wearing a custom (RE) upcycled dress made from a variety of pre-existing materials.

Global Green‘s zero-waste party will bring together Hollywood’s elite activists and eco-conscious celebrities to enjoy a night of plant-based dining, rare performances and an exclusive auction, all to raise funds and awareness for Global Green USA’s ongoing initiatives.


Evox TV: Bringing Upcycling to Hollywood

“Approaching the fashion industry from an ethical standpoint is, unfortunately, outside of the box. We are in an era of fast fashion—pump it out as fast and as cheaply as you can so that profit is king and people/planet lay in the background. Ego is a big thing in Los Angeles, especially for a designer—it’s all about YOU. It’s easy to get so caught up in the glamour of having the next big trend that issues like where you source your fabrics, what dyes are polluting what rivers, and under what working conditions things are made don’t matter so much. But what if we had different standards for ourselves—so that your design AND your ethics are what people look up to? Well, this was why I was eating ramen noodles in a small studio apartment in L.A…..”  Read more of my article on what it has been like bringing upcycled fashion to mainstream Hollywood at Evox TV.

Featured in Altered Couture Magazine


(RE) is featured in the Winter 2015 issue of Altered Couture Magazine!  There are 2 How-To tutorials on “How to Salvage a 3D Design” and “How to REdo a 1990s windbreaker”.  Pick up a copy of the issue here.

Altered Couture is a 160-page publication dedicated to altered and embellished clothing and accessories.

Eco over Ego the New Style

June 5, 2014 web:

From a recent interview for Oceana’s Canvas Ethical Fashion & Eco Lifestyle. To read the entire interview and see video from the Ethical Europe Tour, click here.

Oceana’s Canvass: What is your style pet peeve?

LL: Ego over Eco. When style becomes all about labels and there are benefits and consequences for wearing something. It’s the same principles I was teaching in women’s studies, and it’s the same in so many aspects of our culture, but I see it a lot in the fashion world. There is a value placed on the status that a brand will give you. If I pay a lot of money to get this bag that has a label all over it, then when other people see it they assume I have a higher status or I somehow feel that I am better than them – that is a very bizarre way to be stylish because it’s based on branding and money. I would rather see the value come from knowing that this bag was ethically made, specifically that the value comes from the people who made it and the material from which it is made.  To me, that is the best kind of style.

Oceana’s Canvass:  What is the most important thing you’ve accomplished in your ethical fashion career?

LL: The one thing that really keeps me going is knowing that the next generation of designers can have a new model to work from.  I love speaking from a designer’s stand-point because I’m able to show students interested in fashion design that they can use different materials. They don’t have to think about sourcing yards and yards of new fabric, they can have the option of working with materials that already exist and how much MORE creative that can be for them. This hasn’t been an easy journey because this is a pioneering path. We need to set-up a better system to divert fabrics and have them available for designers. We need to be teaching this method of design in schools, or even just know what the term upcycling is!  I am very happy that I’ve been able to inspire others to know about and hopefully follow this path.


(RE) supports Red Carpet Green Dress

(RE) was honored to be in attendance to celebrate Red Carpet Green Dress‘ 5 years of sustainable fashion in Hollywood prior to the 2014 Oscars.  RCGD (founded in 2009 by Suzy Amis-Cameron), is an internationally recognized design competition that combines the worlds of fashion and sustainability by challenging designers from around the world to create pieces made entirely of sustainable materials with the winning design worn on the red carpet at the Academy Awards.
Fashion Revolution Ambassador, Janine Jordan wore a gown made out of salvaged clothing tags.  The clothing tags represent flipping our clothing #insideout and asking the Q: Who Made Our Clothes?  Equally as important to Lanni Lantto of (RE) is the Q: What Is Our Clothing Made From? Which is why in addition to the clothing tags, this dress was upcycled from 1950s Dress + black shirt collar (front lines) + salvaged white bow + black straps (on bow) from another dress. Using fair labor and creating no new waste.
For more information on Red Carpet Green Dress and Fashion Revolution Day, click on the links above.
To see more photos of Lanni’s clothing tag dresses, click here.

Jennifer Lawrence v/s Household Items

The internet is a buzz with people taking selfies of themselves recreating Jennifer Lawrence’s 2014 Golden Globes Dior dress.  The linens are literally flying off of beds across the world.  This is actually a very exciting expression of our ability to rethink what we already own. Before we start wrapping our friends (and our pets) up to look like toilet paper rolls, here are some examples of how to wear household items..and keep your dignity intact.


LawrenceHowTo2                                                                         (AP Photo)

                                   Jennifer Lawrence in a dress resembling a bed sheet v/s  A dress actually made out of a bed sheet!



                                                                                                                       A Tablecloth!




                                                                                                                     A Parachute!

Eco Design Evening Gown



A Table Runner!

belle swipe



                                                                                                                  A Christening Gown!



                                                                                                                      An Outdoor Tent!



                                                                                                                            Your Curtains!




                                                                                                                     Your Grandparent’s Clothes!

Mens Look BeforeAfter

All pieces made by Lanni Lantto, who creates clothing out of pretty much anything clothing isn’t supposed to be made out of. She has saved hundreds of pounds of pre-existing materials from rotting in landfills by giving used items a reason to captivate us again.  More examples of her before/after pieces can be seen here.  Watch her turn materials from discarded to desirable at New York Fashion Week here.  Join the (RE)volution on Facebook & Twitter.


Join the Fashion (RE)volution!

Who Made YOUR clothes?

clothingtagsOut of these sampling of clothing tags here is what Dustin and I found:

17 Made from Pesticide Cotton / 1 from Acrylic (made in a lab)

4 Made in Hondorus; 3 Made in China; 2 Made in Peru; 1 Made in El Salvador, Madagascar, Canada, India, Nicaragua, & Bangladesh. 2 Made in the USA one of which was made Sweatshop-free.

Take a look in your closet and share what you find.  Investigate Behind the Seams!


(RE) is extremely happy to be a part of the USA Steering Committee which will be in charge of organizing Fashion Revolution Day state-side.  This is a movement dependent on in the inclusion of everyone, including YOU!


Fashion Revolution Day Turns the Garment Industry #INSIDEOUT

Asks Consumers “Who Made Your Clothes?” on April 24, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Bianca Alexander, Esq.
Director of Communications, Fashion Revolution Day USA (312) 618-1853

WASHINGTON, D.C. (JANUARY 1, 2014) – Fashionistas: turn your closets inside out with the launch of the first annual Fashion Revolution Day, a worldwide movement demanding fair treatment of workers in the garment industry. On April 24th, 2014, one year following the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Fashion Revolution Day aims to honor the lives of the 1133 sweatshop laborers killed and over 2500 injured as a result of unsafe working conditions and to create justice and transparency in the global fashion supply chain.

As large retailers like Walmart, The Gap, and Forever 21 continue to generate consumer demand for cheap, largely disposable clothing, they look to countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Pakistan where wages are still low and workplace standards for textile and garment production are marginal. The race to the bottom of a competitive global marketplace has lead to lowered safety standards and forcing employees to work longer hours. This has resulted in growing abuses and exploitation of millions of garment workers–mostly young women of color.

Fashion Revolution Day says enough is enough.

By educating consumers about the true cost of fast fashion in terms of human lives while showcasing ethical, fair trade clothing brands that are getting it right, Fashion Revolution Day will use fashion as a medium for positive change. On April 24th, 2014, people from all walks of life–industry leaders, factory workers, producers, designers, academics, cotton farmers and consumers–will come together to commemorate the first anniversary of the collapse, remember the victims of Rana Plaza and change the future of fashion.

With a call to action to wear an item of clothing #insideout on April 24th, 2014 and share a picture of their statement via social media, this year’s Fashion Revolution Day asks the question, “Who Made Your Clothes?”, empowering consumers to be curious about the origins of their clothes while showing support for transparency across the entire fashion supply chain.

According to Oceana Lott, ethical fashion writer and Fashion Revolution Day USA executive director, “The way the people who make and sell our clothes are treated can and will change, if we as consumers are curious, do a little research, and act. It starts with a simple question. Let’s all wear clothes that we feel good about.”

Carry Somers, ethical fashion designer and UK based founder of the campaign is excited by the positive traction the movement has received to date. “Fashion Revolution Day has already gathered incredible momentum on a global scale. We have been inundated with fashion industry leaders, consumers, celebrities and media all wanting to mark the occasion and revolutionize the industry.”

For more information, including high-res photos, visit the global campaign site, the Fashion Revolution USA site, or contact:

Oceana Lott, Executive Director/Regional Coordinator, Fashion Revolution Day USA (415) 336-4479

Join the global fashion revolution! Like and follow Fashion Revolution Day on facebook at Fashion Revolution USA and twitter @Fash_RevUSA.

Upcyclers Push for More Exposure (web)


Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 5.01.31 PMArticle that I wrote for EcoFashion World can be found here.

Brandi Veil is (RE)’s Muse Red Carpet Event

Press Release – October 17, 2013

 Brandi Veil Will Model 100% Upcycled Eco-Fashion Look for (RE)


Brandi Veil is a transformational event producer, writer, educator and social entrepreneur focused on the shared economy and alternative currency for a paradigm shift. Through her cause sustainability marketing, promotions, and event planning business (including celebrity clientele), she has defined a new path that will pave the way for others to follow.

She is the co-founder of a conscious event that changed the face of Hollywood Nightlife called Grateful Fridays a series that provides “edutainment” in human development through holistic music, CEO/Founder of The Event Division, Inc.; international program volunteer with the NGO Operation USA and Co-Producer of L.A.’s LEARN.HELP.TEACH, a unique environment where designers, artists, community developers, & educators can share their skills.

Lanni Lantto is inspired by Brandi’s vision for a better world. Ms. Veil is an Ambassador of Sustainability and a charismatic catalyst for change. She is committed to educating a wide audience and being the spark that ignites social and environmental justice.  On October 23rd, Brandi will be an Ambassador of Eco-Fashion; modeling an entire look made out of pre-existing materials.  Ms. Lantto’s true inspiration comes from the discarded materials which she incorporations into her designs.  The intrigue of her pieces is always finding out WHAT they are made out of!

(RE) Top 5 Green Finalist fffashion Awards

FFFpressPresented by Born Free USA and E-Magazine: The Fur Free Fashion Competition.

Upcycling NYFashion Week (web)

Upcycled Favorites From Fashion Week 2013

Posted by on Thursday, September 19, 2013 · Visit blog post at:

On Monday, September 9th, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce held Tesla Style Night, an event which added to the unique excitement of Fashion Week 2013.

This fabulous evening featured the sustainable electric car designs of Tesla Motors, complemented by many emerging fashion designers whose focus is also on the importance of fabric sustainability.

Our first designer is Ashley McAleavy and she is the owner of Remedy.  Ashley shared that in the fashion industry there is so much excessive waste.  In her passion for design she has found a way of creating sustainable fashion.  Ashley calls her line of clothing “upcycled vintage” and works to give new meaning to the past to sustaining life in the present.  How cool is that!



Our second green designer is Anais Bouchard.  Her company is Anais.  Anais has designed a lounge wear-lingerie collection which is both trendy and urban.  She uses organic cotton and all her fabrics are from The United States, her manufacturer is in Long Island and her studio is in Brooklyn.  We certainly love the local love that goes into making the threads!


A third highlighted designer at the evening’s event was Lanni Lantto.  Her designs are a line of clothing that Lanni says, “Will take you on a journey.  A journey where things that were once tossed aside are brought back to life.”  She has some very unique creations, indeed!


And let’s not forget the kids in supporting this recyclable fabric movement. At Kaillo pre-adored vintage clothing is reclaimed, sorted and re-sewn to give it brand new lifeNothing is wasted!

Karina Kallio who founded Kallio shared her vision which is, “To create a conscious kid’s fashion brand that if fun, stylish and unexpected, that kids can play hard it, without being hard on the environment.



And now below, last but not least, I found myself being photographed by one of the attendees who said, “Hey, Sora, why not become part of the “sustainable” movement.  Well, as a Baby Boomer, I thought, “Why not?!” and so I  found myself sharing space with one of Tesla’s newest electric cars!



So if you’re a person who doesn’t believe in waste, remembers that adage, “Waste not, want not!” then check out Tesla Motors or any of the innovative impassioned recyclable designers and do your part for the movement!

(RE)@Tesla Style Night NYFW 2013 (web)

Monica Murgia: Where Art Creativity & Fashion Meet.

August 18th, 2013 by Monica Murgia

(RE) by Lanni Lantto

Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 1.20.38 PM

My previous post, Tesla Style Night, mentioned that this year New York Fashion Week will be exposed to emerging fashion designers that promote sustainability.  There will be over 10 eco-friendly designers will be coming together to showcase fashion and accessories made from reclaimed, up-cycled, or vegan materials.  I’ve been getting to know the various designers participating in the event, and they are all worthy of their own posts.  Today, I’d like to highlight (RE) by Lanni Lantto.

Lanni is a Los Angeles-based designer that focuses on redesigning existing garments.  Her label, (RE), embodies her design philosophy: reuse, reduce, redesign, rethink, reinvent, recycle.  Lanni sources all of her materials locally.  Everything she uses for the design process is second-hand.  In addition to reclaimed fabrics, Lanni uses reclaimed sewing materials and mannequins.


Lanni sourcing materials at the Melrose Trading Post for Tesla Style Night.

In addition to her label (RE), Lanni teaches workshops on up-cycling and consults with clients on how to redesign their existing wardrobes.  She explains:

I’ve taken an unconventional path to a non-traditional career.  I am not a fashion designer going eco; I am an environmental & social activist gone fashion designer- and rather than being a set back I believe it actually sets me apart.  I thought I had to be behind a desk to be an activist, making phone calls, networking, writing my thesis, teaching at university- what I discovered is that a (re)volution of the heart can come from anywhere; including through the art of fashion.


Stripes Evening Gown by Lanni Lantto.

As one of the participating designers, Lanni will be showcasing a series of evening gowns based on the designs of Tesla’s electric cars.  Interested in seeing these unique, sustainable creations?  Buy your tickets now!

Tesla Style Night Tickets

Tesla Style Night is Monday, September 9th from 6:30-9:30 at the Tesla Show Room in Chelsea.

Vintage Teams Up (RE)designed Clothing (TV)

Vere de Vere Vintage & Dharma Threads Vintage Team up with Clothing (RE)designer, Lanni Lantto for their 2nd annual PoP-Up show! 2013.

Recycled Fashion Ideas: (re) Spotlight (web)

Lanni Lantto, Fashion (re) Designer

Monday, April 15, 2013

View entire article at Australian blog, Recycled Fashion, a great site highlighting before and after upcycling projects and sustainable ideas. As founder, Erica Louise says,”Fashion doesn’t have to cost the earth… financially or environmentally.”

Lanni Lantto, an eco-designer has a philosophy which she believes differentiates her between other fashion designers, this philosophy is the concept of her label name, “(re)”; reuse, reduce, redesign, rethink, reinvent, recycle.  The materials she uses for her collections are obtained from thrift stores, where no material is off limit.
Made from 9 layers of lace and a stunning back accent of an heirloom table runner.

“I breathe new life into fashion otherwise destined for the landfill. After all, the most eco-friendly fabrics are those that already exist. I am committed to creating a shift of consciousness by sourcing all 2nd hand materials locally, using reclaimed sewing materials (even mannequins), & displaying my pieces with recycled tags and on salvaged clothing racks. I’m proud to be a designer who supports my local economy through a business that essentially creates no new waste.” Lanni  Lantto.

A redesigned vintage blue blazer

art deco1

 From the ( re ) 2011 Collection at the 2nd Annual “ReFashion Fashion Show” in Marquette.  Art Deco Inspired Party Dress playing with shapes from various deconstructed blouses.

The ‘before’
mens look
This red and black men’s formal suit coat was created from a frumpy women’s blouse and a tailored children’s tuxedo blazer


“inspiration can come from anything … creating truly extra-ordinary clothing” Lanni Lantto
Lanni’s work, I hope, will inspire many.  You can follow her work on facebook, etsy, and her website:
Disclaimer; the review and opinion provided in this blog post is unbiased and unpaid


Posted by Erica Louise at 11:42 AM

Reconstructing Next Gen Fashion Students (web)

“Reconstructing the Next Generation of Fashion Designers”  by Lanni Lantto published on Eco Fashion World

Sustainable Fashion Designer & London Design School Professor, Jeff Garner, and his model

If you offered me a front row ticket to the hottest big name designer showcase at the hottest big city fashion week, I wouldn’t be interested.  Put me in front of some up-and-coming designers showcasing how they creatively reworked old garments into new and exciting lines, well I would pay you for that ticket.  I’m not intrigued by a blank slate, I want to see how the skills of a clothing artist can be demonstrated by how well they can rethink existing fabrics. To me, that is exciting.

At the latest Green Festival Chicago, a group of Columbia College students teamed up with clothing thrift store giant Savers to put on the Saver’s Fashion Show.  The event was headlined by Project Runway designer & Columbia College alumni, Alexander Knox, who turned two old sweaters into a gorgeous jumper (shown in image below).

Students were able to get all of their materials from any of the 9 Chicago Saver’s locations.  Jaime Dinino, a Saver’s representative, said that the show was a perfect fit for the goals of their store, “We live in a society where we just throw away things – trends come and go– [at Savers] you can take all these fabrics that already exist and repurpose them.  You can find vintage pieces that were often made here in the United States so you are also keeping it in the country.  Hopefully this show does inspire more students to use grandma’s ugly old sweater and make it something beautiful”.

This was the first time many of the students ever worked with second hand materials and found it to be a valuable experience.


 Sweaters repurposed into romper by Alexander Knox


Anna Ramiarz, a Senior fashion design major said the experience has inspired her future looks, “This was my first time deconstructing and reconstructing for a fashion show. It was refreshing not having to start with a complete blank slate, to make whatever it was already into something new and revamped.  As a designer I would do this again, I would go to Savers for vintage fabrics to use in my designs from this experience.” Goli Parvinian, also a Senior, agreed that thrifing for her materials brought added value to her pieces, “[Thrifting is] a really great resource especially for ethnic-inspired looks, which I had in the show. It gives you a cool new perspective, especially fabrics you don’t see as much any more in the [fabric] stores.” Jax Sirotiak said that price point and old-time tailoring were a factor in her choices,” I think when you design you have to keep in mind all the prices of the fabrics, but you can totally get better and affordable fabrics from a second hand store. I saw the construction [of these garments] and became further inspired by the tailoring techniques.”


When so many students find value in learning how to deconstruct and then reconstruct garments, the question worth asking is: Why aren’t we teaching this more regularly in fashion design curriculums?  Beth Shorrock is the Assistant Professor in Fashion Studies at Columbia College who oversaw the students’ work for the show, “There’s so much second hand fabric out there already, why do we need to keep creating more? [Redesigning] teaches the students to be really creative.  They must deal with seams, zippers and buttons, and the fabric itself.  There are a handful of designers that have dedicated their design practice to doing this but not enough.  It would be great if we had this as a class or even a 1-credit workshop. I do hope to see that more in the near future.”


Upcycled design by Columbia College students


By now, most of us are aware of the over-abundance of clothing and materials produced every year by the fast fashion machine.  Being able to produce designers who are able to understand and work with second hand materials seems essential… and potentially very profitable in a future of limited raw resources.


Sustainable Fashion Designer & London Design School Professor, Jeff Garner added that along with redesign, up-and-coming designers should be looking at their choices of fabrics.  “It’s important to deal with the materials we have already created but a lot of those clothes were made with synthetic materials like polyester which can be harmful to our health (bio-accumulation).”  Mr. Garner suggested that a smart choice of fabric to work with (perhaps if one wanted to mix old with new) would be hemp + eco-dyes.  “It can be done differently, we just have to look for the solutions.”

Giveaway // Win a closet eco-consultation! (web)

The following is a guest post for YouFrillMe by Lane from The Traveling Circus. Here, she writes about her eco-consultation experience with Lanni Lantto of (re)

Recently I found myself standing in front of my closet, unable to get dressed, actually uttering the clichéd words “I have nothing to wear.” False. I definitely have something to wear. Many things to wear. My closet is full of clothes, my dresser drawers are bulging. “I have nothing to wear” is simply a cop out. What I meant is “I don’t feel inspired by my wardrobe.” Uninspired and too lazy to sort through it and find some new direction.

Designer and environmentalist Lanni Lantto believes the idea of dressing beautifully to express yourself can be in harmony with the concept of decreasing your consumerism and environmental impact. Lanni started her line (re) with the goal of creating original, unique pieces of fashion from pre-existing materials. She says “By using pre-existing materials and creatively salvaged fabrics, I breathe new life into fashion otherwise destined for the landfill. After all, the most eco-friendly fabrics are those that already exist.” This statement struck me because even in those moments where I truly feel like I can’t pull an outfit together, there are aspects of certain items that I really do love. I don’t always want to spend my money on new clothes but I can’t figure out how to make the clothes I own work for me.

Eco-consultation is one of the services offered by (re). Available to her clients all over the world via Skype, Lanni works as a personal stylist who can reimagine your wardrobe in an eco-friendly way. She uses three main categories to help decide which clothes need to be 1)  donated/resold through consignment, 2) what will be kept, and 3) what can be redesigned.

When Lanni came over to help me with my closet situation, she spent the first few minutes talking with me about my lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. She was probably also getting a feel for how difficult it would be to get me to part with items that I didn’t need anymore. Was I going to be a free spirit ready to purge excess baggage? Or a borderline hoarder who ascribes sentimental value to each pair of underwear I own? Spoiler alert: I’m a natural at purging and have tendencies to over-sentimentalize things.  So how did it go?


I think Lanni and I were both surprised at my willingness to let go of clothes that weren’t working for me anymore. I have a lot of clothes that I still love in theory but haven’t worn since the early 2000’s. I also have clothes that I don’t love but that I never got rid of simply because they were of good quality or had been expensive. I do try to do an annual assessment of my wardrobe to get rid of items that aren’t worn, but when doing this task on my own I always find excuses to keep more things than I need.

With Lanni guiding me, I was forced to be a bit more honest. She asked gentle but blunt questions about pieces that I wavered on. “When was the last time you wore this? When was the last time before that? Do you feel this flatters you? Do you have another piece that serves a similar purpose in your wardrobe that you like bettr?” In the end, I had three garbage bags worth of clothes to donate to charity. This was much more than I had ever been able to part with in one session before. Besides being accountable to Lanni about the reality of my wardrobe, I also felt more relaxed about donating things because I knew Lanni would be helping me re-work what I currently had in the closet.

There were two pieces in particular that I felt resisant to donating simply because they were expensive and hardly worn. A J.Crew bridesmaids dress and a long GAP peacoat were both set aside to be consigned, in hopes that a profit from those items would give me a little money to buy items that might fill in the gaps of my now smaller wardrobe.


When deciding what to get rid of, Lanni made me feel extremely comfortable about how much she was “letting” me keep by explaining that I could have different categories within my overall wardrobe. She advises clients to have a base wardrobe that is combined with a summer and winter wardrobe during the appropriate season. She also allowed me to have a pile for professional clothes and yoga/exercise clothes. I had no excuse to cling to things unnecessarily because the “rules” for keeping clothes were so reasonable.

When we were finished taking out the clothes that would be donated, Lanni helped me organize my closet so that when getting dressed I would be able to easily access the type of piece of I was looking for. Cardigans/cover-ups together, underlayers together, dresses together, etc. This seems so logical, but before that day my closet literally had no rhyme or reason


The most exciting part of an eco-consulation with Lanni is the chance to get her help in reinventing pieces of your collection of clothes that you love too much to part with but don’t use as they are. 

Lanni focused two dresses that I love, one for comfort and one for  fanciness, but rarely wear. She took a shirt and a skirt from my ‘donate’ pile and showed me how some elements from those pieces could be combined with the dresses to create new looks.

A comfy gray jersey dress that I found a little too plain to wear regularly was transformed with the flowers from an old skirt into a funky, fun piece. My fussy, metallic dress (the time of strapless is over for me, I think) became more wearable and softer when the lace details from a long forgotten top were dyed to match and then used to create straps.

Under the “re-design” header Lanni also designates the subcategories of “self-mend” and “have tailored.” A beloved tunic with a tear and a favorite dress with loose straps were both easy fixes after Lanni gave me a basic tutorial on how to sew them myself. A comfortable sweater dress with a pattern that I adore was rarely worn because I found it a little too boxy. The look will be much more flattering after my tailor adds a few back darts.


The concept behind (re) and Lanni’s eco-consultation service combines the natural desire to express oneself through personal style with the responsibility we have to consider the way our lifestyle impacts our environment. This service can be provided to fashionistas all over the globe who already possess good taste and most of their wardrobe basics but need a fresh perspective to expand their options.

Want to win a FREE eco-consultation with Lanni? This package is valued at $120 and will give one YouFrillMe reader the chance to reinvent their wardrobe in an eco-friendly and budget conscious way! To enter you comment on this blog, and ‘like’ (re) and YouFrillMe on facebook.

–Lane from The Traveling Circus

(re) To Be Featured in New Book by ReTrash (Book)

(re) is extremely honored to be one of the designers featured in a new international book put out by Australian eco-pioneers, ReTrash. The book is a collection of ideas from around the world of ways in which people are upcycling, reusing and repurposing materials that may otherwise end up as landfill.

Recently, they did an interview with (re)’s founder which can be found on their website here.

(re) Designer – Eco Fashion

Lanni Lantto is an avid fashion designer with her own label (re): reuse, reduce, redesign, rethink, reinvent and recycle. Speaking with Lanni earlier this month it is clear to see that her entire creative design process is unconventional from start to finish.

By using pre-existing materials & creatively salvaged fabrics, Lanni breathes new life into fashion otherwise destined for the landfill. She is committed to creating a shift of consciousness by sourcing all 2nd hand materials locally, using reclaimed sewing materials (even mannequins), and displaying her pieces with recycled tags and on salvaged clothing racks. “I’m proud to be a designer who supports my local economy, who is keeping pounds of clothing from rotting in landfills, and can say that I’ve created a business that essentially creates no new waste. This is why I not only create clothing but I teach people skills to reconstruct their own wardrobes and offer personalised wardrobe eco-consultations.”

“There is no need to buy new clothes. Everything you own can be redesigned. All you need are the skills to see old materials in a new light. I can help you do this. Whether you make a commitment to buy one (re) piece instead of buying new or I give your closet an eco-make-over; YOU have the power to make a huge difference. (re)designing is a necessary component of living a sustainable lifestyle and a wildly adventurous way to honor and respect our world.

UPcycled Fashion Puts Community on Map (TV)

Re-Fashion Show
Posted on August 8, 2012 by Dan Gualdoni

“Reuse, renew, recycle that’s what we think of when we are recycling old products into new items. And that is just what some area designers have been doing with clothes. Garden Bouquet and Design is sponsoring its third annual re-design show. Local designers and fashion artists will be combining old, new, in–style and out of style clothes to create a new look. All proceeds from the re-design fashion show will go directly to the Marquette Regional History Center.”

Sunny 101 Morning Show Interview (Radio)

Special Fund Raising Fashion Show Set For This Week In Marquette, MI

MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News, The Sunny 101 Morning Radio Show with Walt & Mike) – The Marquette Regional History Center is partnering with Garden Bouquet & Design once again for the 3rd Annual (re)Design Fashion Show this Thursday night in Marquette.

Lanni Lantto and Nicole Corne visited the SUNNY Morning Show today to encourage listeners to take part in the event and see what local designers are creating with recycled materials.

They talked about how some redesigners will showcase their new pieces on the runway and found object artists from around the U.P. will have jewelry, sculptures, and a variety of artwork on display.  The event is happening at the Marquette Regional History Center at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are only $5, available at MRHC, Garden Bouquet & Design and at the door.  All proceeds will benefit the Marquette Regional History Center.

To listen to the complete interview with Lanni and Nicole, click on the audio player link posted on the Sunny 101 Website.

Fashion Designer Inspired To Go Eco (web)

“A recycled skirt for Lanni” by Sew Moe  6/12/12

A handful of weeks ago I was commissioned by Lanni–the lovely etsy seller behind fashionREdesign to create a look that honors her design philosophy. (Check out her shop! fashionREdesign)
Our project was to create the Preppy Gets Edgy wrap skirt–in its recycled form.  Lanni honors her sustainable fashion ethics full time–and I’m so delighted I get to help.  Its not as easy as you’d think to be a conscious fashionista…
I ended up finding enough materials from my pile of donated clothes and one lucky thrift-store-score to make this skirt fully recycled/reused except for the 4 little snaps and closure clasps.
Starting materials:
charcoal grey simple shift dress and matching house coat
floral print, sleeveless summer dress
cotton floral long sleeved tunic

View pictures and finished piece at Sew Moe.

Earth Day St. Vincent de Paul Show (TV)

Recycled Gift Ideas, (TV)


“Unique gift ideas from recycled materials”

MARQUETTE — Fashion designer Lanni Lantto has been busy this holiday season, cutting and stitching goods fit for even some of the trickiest gift receivers.

The products she is making are new, but their materials have already seen a whole other life.

“Why use new when there’s so many fabrics out there?” said Lantto.

Taking something that already exists and making something else is the nuts and bolts behind the redesign philosophy. Whether it is making mittens and gloves from old sweaters or just a modern update on vintage clothing, Lantto says her products are gifts that speak.

“You’re making a statement to who you give it to that you care where it came from, not supporting big business stores,” Lantto added.

And if you’re looking outside of the closet for a gift, Lantto isn’t alone.  At least a dozen other designers at Marquette’s Zero Degrees Artist Gallery have the same idea, like Leonard Fieber, who creates furniture out of the beaver wood he collects in the forest.

“It helps me to create things; I’ve got different objects to work with,” said Leonard.  “I work with the shape the beaver left.”

At the gallery, you can also find more adult and children clothing, accessories, furniture and even wall decor with a twist.

For more information about any of the artists at Zero Degrees Artists Gallery, check out their website.

Read more: Local, Business, Consumer, Recycled Christmas Gifts, Zero Degrees Artist Gallery Marquette, Marquette Artist Gallery, Gifts Made from Recycled Materials, Recycled Christmas Items, TV6 News

Entrepreneur Feature, (web)

Local artist spreads environmental message through clothing

Lucy Hough | Wednesday, June 22, 2011 Story here at UP Second Wave.
Lanni Lantto displays one of her upcycled creations I Shawn Malone

Lanni Lantto displays one of her upcycled creations. (photos by Shawn Malone)
Many people have overflowing drawers of ratty, old t-shirts in a rainbow of colors. There’s always the inevitable point in our lives when we’re faced with the decision of what to do with the shirts we haven’t worn in a long time: are they in good enough shape for a Salvation Army donation, or should they just be thrown away?

Lanni Lantto has a solution. She takes old t-shirts and turns them into unique and hip headbands that women across the country have proudly worn to perfect an outfit. She considers this activism in its own right, by encouraging a proactive lifestyle of reuse.

“I thought I had to be behind a desk to be an activist, making phone calls, networking, and it really didn’t fit with my vibes,” Lantto says.” And that’s when I decided I’m going to do fashion, which I never thought I would be doing.”

Lantto is an unlikely designer. She has a degree in international law and no formal training in fashion design, but she has created an entire line of clothing with a mission: “Be bold, be unique, be green.” The clothing, called (re) by Lanni Lantto, is meant to express the importance of not recycling, but upcycling. Though they sound similar, the difference is the energy that is put into the process. Recycling is when you take one thing and make something else, but upcycling can use the original material as a base.

“In upcycling, we just take something that exists and add on and make it into something better,” Lantto says. She gives the example, “It’s just taking a tire, and then doing something really cool to it as is, and now it’s a planter.”

Lantto, who works in a Marquette apartment, does this with clothes. Like the t-shirts she turns into headbands, Lantto looks for “pre-loved materials,” like old clothes she finds at St. Vincent de Paul’s or Salvation Army, and then adds onto them or takes them apart and adds them to something else to create a line of clothing. Her clothes have creative, asymmetrical cuts and use unusual patterns to make one-of-a-kind dresses, shirts, skirts, and accessories.

Lantto typically creates clothing for three separate purposes. She does some commissioned work, in which people will give her old clothing that they own to improve; she creates pieces for the stores that she sells her clothing in, including the Zero Degrees gallery in Marquette and Lowenstein’s Antique Marketplace in Negaunee; and she also creates clothing specifically for her professional line of clothing.

Zero Degrees provides a space for local artists to sell their art, and is staffed by the people who showcase their work. Lantto works a regular shift at the gallery.

“The cooperative’s aim is to create a dynamic and diverse community of artists for the purpose of supporting, celebrating, sharing and selling art,” says Justin Savu, an artist in wood furniture and wood wall art and chairperson of the gallery’s 44 members.

Savu says that Lantto has a great social and environmental message to her work and that response has been favorable.

Lantto started designing clothes in this way with a lot of hesitation. She had no experience even sewing, but she wanted to try. She got some teaching jobs to pay rent and started experimenting with clothing she found at resale shops. She made enough pieces to participate in a couple of fashion shows and got feedback about her clothes, which encouraged her to start her own business.

“The first step was believing in myself, and I think a lot of people stop themselves from following their dreams or taking that next step because they just don’t believe that they can do it and they don’t have the confidence,” Lantto says. “So I had to first go through a lot to gain the confidence that I could be doing it.”

At the same time, Lantto lost her teaching jobs because of the poor economy. She had to think of other options, so she went to Europe to study green fashion trends there, benefiting from Europe’s forward thinking ideas on fashion. She learned the term upcycling and learned about how people around the world incorporate green ideas and activism into their clothing.

Now she lives in Marquette, where she grew up, and is making clothes and selling them in stores in the area. She says people in the Upper Peninsula have responded well to her ideas and she was surprised by the amount of people who participate in upcycling. She hopes to one day move to a more fashion-focused town, but she appreciates being a part of the green community in the Upper Peninsula.

“Marquette is always seeking to be innovative. It’s always seeking to get new entrepreneurs out there to the public and to help them succeed. Marquette’s really booming, in the next 10 years I’m so excited to see where we’re going, especially with eco-friendly design,” Lantto says.

She says that she is happy to have found a way to make a difference in the world in a creative way. The best part, she says, is that by providing people with clothes that they might really like, she is encouraging them to think about where those clothes come from. She hopes this will encourage people to think of upcycling things they already have before throwing them away.

Lucy Hough is a student at Northern Michigan University and is studying history and journalism. She is the former Editor in Chief of the NMU student newspaper, The North Wind.

Fashion for a Cause, (TV)

TV6 visits (re) studio, 3/28/11

Click HERE to view video

Fashion Show footage from TV6 News, 4/2/11

Click HERE to view video

MARQUETTE — Marquette residents will be able to check out some new spring fashions while supporting the Lake Superior Village Youth and Family Center.

The Public Relations Students Society of America will be holding a spring fashion show this Saturday.  The show will feature models showcasing clothes from local retailers such as Kohl’s, Maurices and Younkers.  It will also feature local fashion designer Lanni Lantto who creates clothes and accessories from items she finds in local thrift stores.

Lantto says this is the perfect event for her brand of fashion.

“I think it’s the best kind of fashion show to be in,” said Lantto.  “A lot of what I do, I get my materials from thrift stores which then go to help community members who need it most, so I think doing a benefit fashion show is right on with what I do.”

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

Interview with CounterCouture (web)

Upcyclers Unite! An Interview with (re) designer Lanni Lantto

–Read article online here. Visit CounterCouture’s website to see the fabulously brilliant ways they transform bridesmaid dresses!!!–

We were so pleased to meet Lanni Lantto at our Spring MNfashion Week event last April called Alter/Nation, an event right up her alley. She specializes in creating the ultimate vintage inspired one-of-a-kind pieces for her line (re). We started chatting about industry, partnerships, education, and agreed that together we can help grow this industry to a bigger marketplace. Because, in fact, a rising tide lifts all boats. She sat down in her tiny UP Michigan studio and answered some hard hitting questions for us… and you.

Lanni LanttoLanni Lantto

What is your favorite part about doing upcycling?
I love that I could potentially thrift shop for a living!  My favorite part of upcycling is breathing new life into something discarded.  When I add an antique fabric on to a dress, I’m thinking ‘I wonder if this table runner ever thought it would become part of the most popular dress at this party!’

What is your least favorite part, or the most challenging part, about taking such an unconventional direction?
Finding the materials to reproduce a design.  For example, I make appliqué designs out of old t-shirts and I put them on shirts/sweatshirts.  It’s impossible to find the same shirt in various sizes/colors without buying it new- I need to be able to have a variety of the same product in order to satisfying customer demands.  Upcyclers want to be able to stay true to their mission which means we need to build relationships with established brands to reuse what they don’t sell.  This is not common place yet.

What do you think upcyclers have to do to differently create a demand for retail buyers?
We need to keep creating pieces that are so cool that people want to buy them.  If the design is hip, if the cut is flattering, if the piece is well constructed, people will buy it – and retailers will carry our lines because it sells.  However, we do have something to offer that gives us an edge; upcyclers are the greenest of the green.  The most eco-friendly fabrics are those that already exist and consumers want to make a purchase knowing they are making a difference.

The designer's favorite piece - made from a tentThe designer’s favorite piece – made from a tent

How is the creative process different from a traditional one?
Personally, I do not begin with the process of sketching or cutting new fabric from a pattern.  I start with letting the materials speak to me.
1.) I find materials in thrift/antique stores.
2.) I hang them in my (way too small) studio.
3.) I spend hours playing with piecing things together.
4.) When inspiration hits me, I begin construction.

Sometimes a piece will hang for 2 years before I find the right piece of lace or satin to marry together.

How do you escape the stigma of “green” and use it to your advantage?
My mission as a designer is part educational.  I’m proud to be a designer who supports my local economy, who is keeping pounds of clothing from rotting in landfills, and can say that I’ve created a business that essentially creates no new waste.  This is why I not only create clothing but I do workshops in my community that empower people to become upcyclers and raises awareness that we all can make a huge difference.

How do you see the fashion industry changing overall in the next 50 years?
The 21st century is an era of reuse in all areas of manufacturing.  We simply understand now that we cannot go on sourcing new materials and buying into ‘fast fashion’- the Earth won’t let us.  Right now, consumers are slowly being offered more choices for buying ethically made clothing- but soon it will be out of necessity.  A shift of consciousness is happening.  The fashion industry should start promoting upcycling designers in runway shows, hiring us as design consultants, and begin building partnerships based on a closed loop no waste model.  It’s truly the model of where fashion will be going.

shirts & sweatshirts made using upcycled t-shirt fabric appliques (for sale)shirts & sweatshirts made using upcycled t-shirt fabric appliqués (for sale)

How did you realize this was something you were passionate about pursuing?
When I was living in Washington DC trying to get my dream job in international women’s rights and I was spending all my free time redesigning in my basement.  I took a leap of faith and moved to Ithaca, NY- once I did that everything fell into place.  Jobs, opportunities, fashion shows, and mainly ideas kept flowing.  I had no idea where they were coming from- I’m left brained by training so to be able to be this creative I know it’s a true gift and a part of my calling.

What do you think the biggest misconception is surrounding eco-fashion?
That it is a tiny section of reality with minimal options.  That it is reserved for only ‘those people who really really care about our environment’ and that’s it.  When it is actually all of our responsibility to make educated decisions about what we support with our money.

How is business going? What are people’s responses to (re)? What’s in store for the future?
It’s amazing to begin a business in a community that absolutely embraces what you do.  I have t-shirt headbands and appliqué bold design shirts in a few stores and have been approached to do an Upcycled Fashion Show in the spring.  I’m slowly developing my Esty store while also creating (re)’s 2011 Collection.  It’s difficult to do everything by myself, especially when you never thought you’d be doing this.  2010 was a year of foundation building & 2011 will be a year of collaborations and creating opportunities to get my pieces on people at a national/global level.

Remade vintage piece. Old prom dress material made into belt. (for sale)Remade vintage piece. Old prom dress material made into belt. (for sale)

What do you think of CounterCouture?!
Love it.  In all honesty, CC was the first brand that I saw where I felt a connection aesthetically. Our style and fabric choices are very similar.  CC gets elegance, edge, and hip style!  I’m inspired by the Tiers of Transformation and how organized and easy it is for a customer to have a piece remade for them.  The girls at CC really are paving the way for a concrete business model- and going that extra step by giving a percentage to a nonprofit.  This is how a business should be, and will be.

Where can we find your stuff?
People can purchase from me online at: or contact me directly via my website

If you happen to be in Marquette, MI, you can pick up my stuff at: (re ) Remade Clothing for ReBlossoms Consignment Shop, Garden Bouquet & Design, and Mango Lane Gallery.

Jumper + Skirt.  Jumper made from a hideous white shirt found in garbage bin in Berlin. Black lining is from a tent & words from a canvas grocery bag. Skirt 100% upcycled from various materials.Jumper + Skirt. Jumper made from a hideous white shirt found in garbage bin in Berlin. Black lining is from a tent & words from a canvas grocery bag. Skirt 100% upcycled from various materials.

Designing Woman, (Article)

Story from The Mining Journal 12/24/2010 Front Page Article

Marquette resident focuses on earth-friendly clothing

December 29, 2010 – By JOHANNA BOYLE Journal Ishpeming Bureau
MARQUETTE – Lanni Lantto works surrounded by fabric and clothing of all different sorts. Her studio is filled with curtains, dresses, slips, lace table runners and T-shirts.

All of that fabric, however, wasn’t purchased at a fabric store. Lantto is an “upcycler,” a clothing redesigner specializing in remaking clothing by adding pieces of different kinds of reusable fabrics, from lace to camping tent material.

“What really bothers me is the wasteful surplus that ends up in the landfills. We have too many clothes in the world,” she said.

A self-described “left-brained person living in a creative person’s body,” Lantto said she never planned on becoming a clothing designer.

“I’ve always had a deep seed planted in me that’s focused on human rights and caring for the earth. Originally, I was very focused on getting the degrees,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about clothes.”

A graduate of the University of Michigan in women’s studies, she received a master’s degree in Brussels, Belgium, in international law in 2006. While living in Washington, D.C., however, she discovered a small ceramic owl at a thrift store.

“I went home and I took any material I had, mostly old T-shirts, and I recreated that design on a skirt,” she said.

Later, after moving to Ithaca, N.Y., she helped create the costumes for three low-budget film projects.

“You don’t have a budget. It all started from the idea that you don’t have to have a lot of money to create things,” Lantto said.

Now she has set up a studio in Marquette, called (re) by lanni lantto. Besides creating redesigned T-shirts and everyday wear and taking custom orders, she also works to put together a showcase collection each year, which isn’t sold until it has been photographed and documented.

Her studio is organized into finished pieces, pieces that are being redesigned and a closet of thrift store finds that are waiting to be reworked.

“These are all the pieces I collect from the thrift stores,” she said, carefully pulling pieces out of the closet. “These are all curtains and chair covers and God knows what else.

“I call it fashion redesign. I take old things and make them new. I don’t take a pattern and use new fabric.”

Her designs include everything from appliqued T-shirts to formal wear. One of her gowns was created from material from a tent, another contains portions of a parachute.

“I’m inspired by what I see first. I let the materials speak to me. There’s no boundaries that way,” she said. “If I see a curtain or if I see an old coat – anything. It’s usually the fabric that draws me into it.”

Drawing attention to the idea that clothing can be upcycled into something unique and wearable, creating no new waste, is Lantto’s mission.

“There’s a lot of waste in the fashion industry and there’s something we can do about it,” she said. “As consumers we should be aware of the immense waste involved in the fashion industry from production to packaging. You have the cotton pesticides, you have the wages that are really low, you have the electricity and water that’s used to create it.”

In January and February, Lantto will be leading two workshops, one through the Marquette Area Public Schools Community Education program and the other through the Marquette Arts and Culture Center, that help participants learn how to shop at thrift stores and to upcycle their own clothing. To register or for more information, contact MAPS at 225-4210 or MACC at 228-0472.

To learn more about Lantto’s work, visit or search for (re) by lanni lantto on Facebook.

The Doug Garrison Show Interview, (TV)

Live interview with The Doug Garrison Show.  Including show-and-tell of pieces with live models and photos.

OR direct link on YouTube: Lanni Lantto on The Doug Garrison Show

One Person’s Trash, One’s Business, (TV)

Story from TV6 News

Click here to watch the video story

MARQUETTE — Marquette fashion redesigner Lanni Lantto isn’t into recycling, she prefers “upcycling.”  It’s part of a developing movement called “ethical fashion” and it’s gaining popularity in Marquette.

Lantto says recycling is using more resources to reproduce something, while upcycling is adding onto something that already exists.

“All you need is a needle and a piece of thread to begin,” says Lantto.

Ethical fashion also means no new supplies for Lantto’s business, even upcycling the small things like a crooked dress form and pins.

“I try really hard not to buy anything new, which means I can’t,” Lantto says.  “If I need a clothing rack, I can’t have it unless it’s donated or I can find it at the time that I need it.”

In her quest to cut her carbon footprint, she stays local.  She gets most of her materials off the racks of local thrift stores.

The end result is a saving of thousands of gallons in water, electricity, and carbon pollution.

Lantto has recently been the headliner of an upcycled fashion show in downtown Marquette and has lead a workshop at the Joy Center in Ishpeming.  Joy Center Director, Helen Haskell-Remien, says she’s been inspired to recreate her own summer clothing.

“It’s really…it’s taking off.  We’re upcycling,” says Remien.  “We’re taking things that maybe we were going to throw away and making them into something that is really fun to wear.”

Lantto will lead an upcycling workshop and fashion show Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Marquette Peter White Library.

Upcycling Meets High Fashion, (Article)

Story from The Mining Journal 6/23/2010 Front Page Article

Upcycling meets high fashion

July 23, 2010 – By JOHANNA BOYLE Journal Ishpeming Bureau

MARQUETTE – What happens when your favorite pair of jeans wears out? Or when your umbrella breaks? What about your family’s old camping tent?

If you know how to “upcycle,” those items can become new pieces of clothing instead of heading for the trash can.

The inaugural (Re)Design Fashion Show at Garden Bouquet and Design Thursday evening gave spectators an idea of what can be done to turn used items into fashionable clothes.

“The fashion show shows you how you can have high fashion and a green ethic,” said Kim Smith-Potts, owner of Garden Bouquet and Design.

The show was organized by Smith-Potts and Anastasia Greer, an art and design major at Northern Michigan University interning at the floral shop. The idea for the show came from an art workshop that advocated using art as a tool for activism.

“I showed some of my clothing I had made,” Greer said of the show. “That’s mainly what I do is sew and make clothes.”

Greer was one of four designers to participate in the show, which featured everything from kids’ clothing to formal wear.

“There is so much creativity and design,” Smith-Potts said. “That’s one of our goals in this business, to support creativity, but also a green ethic.”

Children’s clothing, designed by Paulette Carr, included dresses, pants, hats and skirts refashioned from pieces of adult clothing.

Andrea Pernsteiner’s “everyday upcycled looks” featured skirts and tops created from items like T-shirts, allowing things like race or event T-shirts to be worn in unique ways.

Greer’s line of clothing showcased trendy skirts and outfits, often made of unusual materials, including two skirts made from umbrellas and necklaces made from old T-shirts.

Finally, Lanni Lantto’s line of clothing featured dresses made from everything from a tent to curtains.

The show gave spectators a chance to reimagine what their previously used fabrics could be turned into and gave the local designers a chance to display their talents.

“I’ve been sewing for ever and ever,” Carr said. “It was fun.”

The show filled up quickly until there was standing room only. Plans are being made to move the event to a larger venue for next year.

Recycling Meets Fashion, (Article)

Story from The Mining Journal 6/19/2009 Front Page Article


Recycling meets fashion

Dresses from discarded bags and tents get positive notices

June 19, 2009 – By MIRIAM MOELLER Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE – A dress made out of a tent? How about paper bags?

Two Marquette women have made fashion part of their sustainable lifestyles by creating clothing from recycled materials and second-hand clothes.

Marquette native Lanni Lantto, 29, got interested in recycled fashion when she made her Marquette Senior High School prom dress from her grandmother’s old slips, corset and lace 10 years ago.

“I didn’t think of it as recycling – I just thought the material was beautiful and I knew I could design something that represented my style more than the cookie cutter, expensive store-bought dresses,” she said. “Ever since then, I’ve found myself drawn to second-hand and antique stores looking for things to piece together.”

Over the past year, when Lantto was living and teaching in Ithaca, N.Y., she made 22 dresses out of a recycled tent; antique, vintage and thrift store finds; recycled fabrics; and household materials.

“I’ve made pieces from curtains, tablecloths, 1800s nightgowns, bed sheets, and even an outdoor tent,” she said. “Basically, if it’s hanging in your house or you’re eating off of it, I can make it into a dress.”

While Lantto doesn’t call recycled fashion a trend, she said it’s just something that makes sense if living a sustainable lifestyle.

“We consume way too much and there truly is no need to be manufacturing so much new clothing,” she said. “The Earth is hurting and it’s time we took responsibility, not only listening but acting. Why shop at the Big Box stores and add to the monstrous waste and landfills when you can have way more fun creating your own personalized T-shirt? It’s simpler and you feel better about yourself – that is a great lifestyle change.”

Lantto has gotten so involved in her hobby that she now hopes to make a living from it.

“I would like to develop a sustainable business model that encourages creativity over mass production, and create a real cultural and ideological shift in this country and the world,” she said. “I am currently spending the summer in Europe to research their perspectives on eco-fashion and to hopefully get myself out there as a designer.”

Another Marquette native, Mia Cinelli, 20, recently won the recycled category of the Port Moody Arts Centre Wearable Arts Awards program in British Columbia, Canada.

“(My dress) is entirely made out of paper bags,” she said, adding that she used 50 bags to make an archetypal gown with 16 yards of brown paper bag lace. “The dress itself cost $10.”

Cinelli, who is a graphics communications major at Northern Michigan University, said she wants people to think about sustainability in a broader sense and not just in terms of conserving energy or “getting a compost pile.”

“So many people don’t think of sustainability as something beautiful,” she said. “People aren’t thinking about it outside of the box.”

Cinelli said she believes sustainable fashion will be a huge market soon, and she keeps working toward participating in that market. In fact, she just finished a dress made out of lace bed sheets.

For more information on the wearable arts contest, go to

To contact Lantto, e-mail her at