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Out of the Box Rubber Sun Dressing

Well if I was to honor a rubber tube design award, the winner would be the Pieces Goddess, Christa De Leeuw Van Weenen for Zuss Fashion Design in The Netherlands. This freaky, fashionable, wearable art is not only cool, it’s fashionable recycling at it’s best!

Sorry, this Strapless Adventure sun dress is SOLD. But you get the idea. Check out the site. All items could be appropriately displayed in an art gallery or museum, and in the ranks of haute couture, stage costume, and for the young at heart. The materials are used rubber tubes from bicycles and mopeds, sometimes decorated with beads and stuff.

Everything is handcrafted, including every hole, every lace, every knot. There are no machines involved. Just hands, scissors, a pincer, and imagination. To wear a Zuss is not only a fashion statement, it’s a physical delight. You see the wearer is very conscious of it, especially if worn skin-tight. That’s because it feels cool when it first hits your flesh, but becomes warm by your body heat and then becomes soft; — termed the Zuss Sensation, which is wearable in all climates.

Actually, from 1997 until autumn 2007, Zuss was two sisters turning old inner tubes into eye-catching hot couture for those intent on making a BOLD fashion statement. Since elder Virgo Goddess Krijnie, retired, Christa is taking Zuss to the future with established global fans, — solo style.

Yet neither of the two sisters ever went to art or design school. Christa’s inspiration started in 1997 at a symposium about art and rubber. She made a top and skirt. Then Krijnie got creative with hats. That same year the sisters had their first fashion show. Hence, they traveled the road to fame and appreciation. They drew the attention of American TV and domestic press, BIG-time!

“Beautiful artwork from wasteland,” says Christa. “It feels more like sculpturing than sewing. Recycling is our tribute, and the way mother earth teaches us about evolving. Every piece of art is made with love and is original and unique. Even when we tried to make a copy, the tubes wouldn’t allow it because every piece of waste is different. New materials may be consistent, but every tube-life follows different ways. And just as our life, isn’t it?”

Written by Delia Montgomery

I am Delia, d/b/a Chic Eco on, and established myself as an eco fashion guru by learning "who makes what in the world of environmental fashion and design."

Enjoy reading some of my freelance writing about environmental design, fashion and art -- from both consumer and supplier perspectives. You may notice I focus most on individual eco designers, movers and shakers.

From sustainable fashion apparel to paint and flooring, discoveries are a rush. I get my kicks this way. I also offer sales representation of earth-friendly designed products for wholesale buyers. Retailers may take advantage of my services with factory-direct pricing. Spend less time sourcing and prevent green-washed purchases!

My other forte is connecting suppliers with business-to-business tools. Aspects of my business vary with consulting services while I'm proud to be the aide that embraces unique and innovative gigs.

I'm originally a Kentucky Blue Grass gal who relocated to Maui early 2006 and the tropical Puna District of Big Island, Hawaii late 2007. Walk the talk is my motto here.

Early 2009 I constructed a yurt home office in a semi-urban setting on a tiny lot. My water comes from the sky, contained in a catchment that's not likely to dry in this rain forest. The electric is designed for solar conversion. I grow about 30% of my food organically, compost, and recycle to the hilt. Permaculture with a full eco system is my gardening style.

In fact, gardening is my ultimate joy. I seek gigs like design, weeding and planting between other jobs. My love is Hawai'i which has more climate zones than any state. There are frequent earthquakes here, typically under a 3.0 magnitude, and I happen to dig the vibrations. It's a wonderful simple life in paradise. As I grow older and wiser, I become more and more grateful.

Out of the Box Sun Dressing

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