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Associate Spotlight: Dan’s Repurposed Crafts

POSTED UNDER By Our Associates

When winter weather hit New York, a colleague complimented Dan Pasky on his scarf in passing. Pasky explained he actually wove it out of old T-shirt scraps. It turns out that scarf only scrapes the surface of Pasky’s craft-work. His colleague shared his story with us, and we had the opportunity to talk with Pasky about his sustainable crafts, and the story behind this creative outlet.

As we discussed in our last post “What You Didn’t Know About Textile Recycling,” textile waste occupies more than five percent of all landfill space – about 21 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste. Pasky is a great antidote to this startling statistic.

Pasky, Senior Art Director for Macy’s Merchandising Group (MMG), spends most of his days producing graphic design on his computer. In his free time, Pasky likes to be creative in a more tactile way, primarily through knitting and crocheting. A self-proclaimed packrat, he also hates it when good fabric goes to waste. 

No fabric or yarn is thrown away in his household; he cuts up items like old shirts and cloth napkins and pulls them into yarn. He even has yarn spun from the fur of alpacas he owns, and he sells the yarn he doesn’t use, expanding the sustainable impact of his craft.

Along with his repurposed T-shirt scarf, some recent projects include: 

  • Two quilts made from leftover fabrics
  • A $5 Bar III men’s shirt repurposed as a shirt dress for his daughter (who for the sake of this story we’ll call Miss B)

Pasky has a basic philosophy for his pieces: “Life is too short to knit with cheap yarn.” However, he explains that materials don’t have to be expensive to be high-quality. And repurposing is an excellent way to find good material while also being sustainable, “leaving things better than we found them” for future generations. His advice: “Get creative!”

Along with repurposing materials, these pieces also preserve sentimental moments. Pasky made a quilt paying homage to his mother using blouses that once belonged to her. He enjoys making items for his daughter to wear, who likes assisting her dad with his creations. She helps him dye fabric using leftover cake dyes and lemon juice – a process that uses no artificial chemicals, fumes or potentially poisonous materials – making his crafts that much more environmentally friendly. Although his daughter is not yet five, she has taken a liking to sustainable crafts. The sustainability message is still a concept she has yet to fully grasp, but she will surely have the principles ingrained in her from her father.

Thanks for your creative contributions Dan, and thanks for sharing your story. If you’re a Macy’s associate and have a sustainable story to tell, or know someone who does, please contact us. We’d love to share it.

  • Dan's scarf made from repurposed T-shirts

  • Dan turns fur from Alpacas he owns into yarn

  • Miss B in a repurposed Bar III men's shirt her dad made for her

  • Dan paid homage to his mother in this quilt by repurposing her blouses

  • Dan made this piece using old striped shirts and cloth napkins