Turn Trash Into Treasure

The idea started with the production of a movie which inspired the start of a non-profit organization that shares the same name, Made Out of WHAT?!

Get inspired by Made Out of WHAT (MOoW) and learn how you can grow your company by reusing branding and marketing materials you already have!

Let’s Talk Trash

Made Out of WHAT is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the use of trash as raw material for high-quality design and art. They aim to grow an international initiative with participants and contributors from all over the planet using the tagline “Let’s Talk Trash,” with the intention to start the conversation about adaptive re-use and encourage a shift in perception of waste.

Listen to what Denise Domergue had to say about the beginning of Made Out of WHAT (MOoW).

I started a non-profit. The idea was to make people aware that there are practical and ingenious solutions to the problem of trash.
— Denise Domergue, Founder Made Out of What

Enter Relan

Made Out of WHAT reached out to Relan in hopes of partnering with us at the Design Pavilion for the 2017 NYCxDESIGN, New York City’s official design week and citywide celebration of global design.

We are great admirers of what you are doing, and we’d be honored to partner with you to make custom tote bags for use in several of our upcoming activities. Your products are amazing and stand for common values with our own, so we really understand what you are doing for the world.
— Made Out of What

We, of course, accepted their offer and we were just as honored to partner with them!

The Design Pavilion served as the public hub during NYCxDESIGN which attracts the city's most renowned names in the design world and beyond. A collaborative platform to showcase the tremendous artistry that can be found across the five boroughs.

Managed by NYC & Company and NYC Economic Development Corporation and informed by a Steering Committee composed of leaders from the design industries, schools and museums in the City, NYCxDESIGN features a calendar that includes exhibitions, installations, trade shows, talks, launches, and open studios spanning all disciplines of design.


Tote Bags from Billboards

MOoW had three purposes for creating the bags:

1 - The upcycled tote bags would be distributed directly from the Made Out of WHAT exhibition space from May 18 - 22, 2017 in the Design Pavilion, a five-day cultural event of curated sets of interactive displays bringing design and innovation directly to Times Square's newly renovated plazas.

The Design Pavilion served as a public center for the city’s official design weeks increasing awareness of the power of design and the many design events occurring around town. The event was expected to draw 100,000 visitors.

Can you image that many sets of eyes on your brand?

  Photo credit: Made Out of WHAT

2 - The repurposed tote bags would help in MOoW’s crowdfunding effort as a premium thank you gift to donors.

recycled tote bag

3 - The upcycled tote bags would be offered for sale on MOoW’s online boutique tastefully bearing the ?! logo on the label. People were encouraged to purchase the unique bags explaining that their “friends will stop and stare at their beautiful demonstration of environmental friendship.”

 Photo Credit: https://www.madeoutofwhat.com/moow-signature-item/

Photo Credit: https://www.madeoutofwhat.com/moow-signature-item/


We want to thank Made Out of WHAT for this fantastic opportunity to bring continued awareness to upcycling. Beauty can be found by repurposing existing products and by doing something good for the environment.

Keep up with MOoW by following them on Facebook (@madeoutofwhat), on Instagram (@madeoutofwhat), and on Twitter (@madeoutofwhat) to see what works of art they are busy creating now!

Relan Wrap-Up

At Relan, we are on a mission to create a more sustainable future for generations to come. If you want to join us, contact us and we’ll help you determine the many ways you can help the environment while growing your brand.

Kari Brizius is President of Relan and is a West Point Graduate, certified personal trainer, a US Army Veteran, and a wholehearted entrepreneur. Kari’s passion for the environment, the planet, and healthy living fuels her entrepreneurial spirit. Her mission is to provide thought leadership on sustainability initiatives surrounding healthy living, the environment, and sustainability messaging.

Get more ideas for your organization about the benefits of using upcycled marketing products by subscribing to the Relan Blog!

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