As part of Magpies & Peacocks Arts Education program we teach young designers about sustainable fashion practices and incorporating post consumer textiles into their production process – to decrease the large percentage of textile waste that hits landfill. Houston boasts one of the largest consumer economies in the country, but as a port city, it is also home to many of the nations largest textile recycling plants that process and ship out our post consumer textiles problem. By educating consumers on how to responsibly shop, dispose of their clothing and the issues surrounding our current system; creating programs for school participation; and encouraging emerging designers to incorporate sustainable practices, we can significantly impact that textile waste statistic.
Retaining Hand Skills: By offering fashion camp to kids as young as 12yrs old with our partners at Fashion Camp Houston, and an up-cycling design competition Catwalks & Classrooms for teens through college, we reinforce the value of creativity through sewing skills, pattern and dress making, deconstruction and reconstruction. We currently host workshops outside of school hours and classes within college curriculum, supplying up-cycled textiles from our resource library as raw materials. With the decline of creative classes in schools and the upswing of interest in green fashion, we have found that kids are excited to be able to create unique clothing for themselves, especially when they are cognizant of their environmental impact.
By collaborating with the community, business partners, schools, artists and designers we find that social enterprise can thrive – opening the door to educating consumers and creatives about our take/make/dispose economy and presenting an environment for sustainable change and responsible innovation.
We aim to be an agent of change in the way people celebrate and appreciate the business and creation of fashion, with a better understanding of our planets resource constraints, ethical practices and a more circular approach to consumption. Targeting kids from 6 years old through college we can ensure that our graduates have a clearer, sustainable and more collaborative career path in the arts with a healthy respect for people, profit and planet. Emphasizing the importance of the circular economy on the industry as a whole.
Magpies & Peacocks has collected over 200,000 lbs in donated post consumer textiles and accessories since 2011. 65% of the donated items are used to supply materials to local schools, colleges and extracurricular programs, the balance are repaired, reworked or up-cycled into new collections for sale. 25% of the items that we create are donated as silent auction items for local grass roots non-profits.
Magpies & Peacocks Inc. is a Houston based non-profit design house (501c3) dedicated to the collection and sustainable reuse of fashion, textiles and accessories. Working with local students, educators, up-and-coming designers and artists in the Houston area, we create unique, curated, up-cycled collections from formerly fabulous donated items, provide a resource library of material for art education and offer sustainability education. The money raised from the sale of our collections supports the organization's programming and community grassroot causes.
Images – Fashion Scout/Tony & Guy, Fashion Scout/Freemasons’ Hall. Video by Project-Video, UK
All of the pieces in our collections start their lives as donations from one of our Closet Deposit events. Our Closet Deposit events are hosted at local boutiques and businesses, guests are invited to make tax-deductible donations into one of our popular closet deposit boxes – donations of anything from clothing, purses and jewelry, ties, scarves and belts through to the broken, orphaned and tangled – in fact anything new, broken, inherited, re-gifted, ex-husband, vintage, or even just a-good-idea-at-the-time works for us! A portion of those items are selected to be up-cycled through our repurposed luxury designer program.
How To Host A Closet Deposit: Magpies & Peacocks partners with a selected boutique or life style store where we set up a donation box and small table with our marketing materials. We provide refreshments for the boutique customers and guests. Prior to the closet deposit event our PR | Marketing team promotes the event via a digital campaign, including cross marketing of the selected store. Our graphics team creates a co-branded invite both digital and printed for the event which is listed on our website’s event page. We have at least two team | board members at the event to give customers tax deductible receipts for their donations and share information about our organization. With the boutiques approval, we typically leave the donation box in store for the entire week of the event and then pick up after. If the closet deposit event is Monday-Friday we suggest 3pm-6:30pm, and if it’s on a Saturday we suggest 1pm-4:30pm.
To host a Closet Deposit in-store or privately please contact us!
Check out our EVENTS page for the next scheduled Closet Deposit.
Call to Action: Whenever you are cleaning out your closet think of us! We collect all year round – you can drop off at our facility or keep an eye out for the next closet deposit event. Shop strategically: choose ethical brands and timeless pieces.
NB: Click HERE to download a copy of our latest Closet Deposit Handout including tips and tricks from our stylist friends at Lisa Powers for Stylepoint and organizational gurus Squared Away.
Under our arts education program Magpies & Peacocks provides local design students with mentorship, donated raw materials and creative guidance. Exposing up-and-coming designers to successful local brands and design role models is an important tool to create a more collaborative industry – where educators are receptive to new ideas and thriving businesses have an open door policy. Magpies & Peacocks has at least 20 industry leaders who lend their talent and time to the program.
Non-profit Design House Magpies & Peacocks puts forth an enormous effort to rally the Houston community behind arts and sustainability, we have created numerous programs designed to reach out to the young designers, artists and industry professionals.
We are able to accomplish this largely by maintaining a facility in Houston's thriving Greater East End Cultural District to accommodate workshops, classes, artists in residency, a resource library and design studios – a collaborative workspace for arts, culture and sustainability.
Our programs are only possible through the generous donations of our supporters and those who believe in the future and sustainability of arts education and fashion.
There are a variety of ways that you can share your time and talents as a volunteer with Magpies & Peacocks!
At events: Join us to network and help out at the same time! Our events are typically arts, fashion, environment, philanthropy or community related.
As a ReMaker: We are constantly looking for ways to transform the materials that we harvest. We develop and prototype all kinds of products at a variety of skills levels and are always looking for creative types like you!
As a ReDesigner: Are you a designer looking to experiment with new materials and expand your talents to incorporate up-cycling? We would like to feature you and your work and create a capsule collection with you.
As an educator: If you would like to share your skill set by hosting a workshop with us or incorporating us into your class curriculum.
Or maybe you would like to offer professional services as a member of the advisory committee?
Here are a few of our favorite collaborators – artists, photographers, stylists, designers and makers who have shared their expertise with Magpies & Peacocks.
Cover Photo: FireHeart Photography for Magpies & Peacocks
Not only do we go to local artists in support, we also bring them in. With our artist residency program, Artist in Nesting, we open up our space to allow artists in varied mediums a place to work and find inspiration.
Here are a few of the non-profits we have supported (and that genuinely rock). Support your community, shop local and give back!
Help make a Houston high school student be the belle of the Ball!
We are excited to be partnering with fabulous online and in store powerhouses and a host of gorgeous local boutiques to sell our products and help to spread our message.
For further information contact: Ahshia Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover Photo: Robyn Arouty Photography for Magpies & Peacocks
For behind the scenes photos of products, events and collaborations follow us on INSTAGRAM. For news and views on the business of fashion and sustainability, follow us on TWITTER and like us on FACEBOOK for current events and information on community partners.
Magpies & Peacocks is run by an all volunteer working board. Dedicated to the core values of the organization, this Philanthropic team goes above and beyond in spreading our mission to the community.
These art covers are part of a thirty piece portfolio series entitled ‘America is a Tapestry of Cultures.’ Each portfolio was entirely hand made from reclaimed materials by Magpies & Peacocks, and featured the work of one of our local artists on the cover.