Meet the Winners of the Art of Reuse Contest

NBCUniversal’s “Green is Universal” and Etsy announced Friday the winners of the “Art of Reuse” contest, a competition to create handmade items out of purely recycled materials, in honor of Earth Day.

In just three short weeks, the contest drew over three thousand online users, many of whom submitted items and voted for their favorites on Facebook.

After the online community narrowed the list down to ten finalists, contest judges Martha Stewart, Oxygen’s Tori Spelling, Bravo’s Andy Cohen, TODAY’s Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, FEED’s Lauren Bush and iVillage’s Angela Matusik chose the top three winners. 

[ Also Read: Microsoft Going Green with Recycled Paper ]

The first place winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Universal Studios Orlando theme park.

Following are details on the winning items:

1st Place: A Cast Iron Claw Foot Bathtub Couch, created by artist Jill Morrison. Morrison transformed a discarded claw foot iron tub, which at the turn of the 20th century could be found in nearly every home, into a one of a kind “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” inspired couch.

2nd Place: Firefighter Coat Turned Messenger Bag (pictured above) by artist Evon Cassier. Cassier re-envisioned the cross body bag, giving an industrial aesthetic whole new meaning. By dissembling old firefighter jackets and leather scraps, she gave a new purpose and story to otherwise unwanted articles of clothing. Each bag is unique, just like the firefighter coat it came from.

3rd Place: 20-Minute Dog Sweater by Jennifer Kerr. Kerr’s entry is a hand-me-down in the true sense of the word. Instead of throwing away an old sweater, she transformed it into a cozy outfit for her dog. For anyone who wants to try this at home, Kerr provided easy instructions for assembling this dog sweater in just 20 minutes!

[ Also Read: Celebrities Say Our Planet is Not an Ashtray ]

“The enormous buzz around this contest speaks volumes, not only about people’s creativity, but the role ‘re-use’ can play in giving old materials a fashionable and practical second life,” said Beth Colleton, VP of Green is Universal.

“We hope the contest inspires more consumers to think about old items in a new way – I personally will never look at an old tub, used credit card or a discard soda can in the same light!”

Other creations that made the top ten include: Re-Zip! Zipper Brooch by Heather Sennabaum; Weego the Scarecrow by Leslie Wilton; tab top pet collars by Elizabeth Pickett; coloring markers jump rope by Jenna Riggs; flying alumifish by John D. Richards; gift card earrings by Jessie Katz; twirly skirt of upcycled sweaters by Kelleyanne Wank.

Launched in May 2007, Green is Universal is NBCUniversal’s ongoing green initiative dedicated to raising Green awareness, effecting positive change to the environment, and greening its own operations.

Throughout the year, NBCUniversal uses its media and entertainment platforms to educate the public on the environment, with over 250 hours of green-themed content airing across over 50 NBCU brands.

Founded in 2005, Etsy is the world’s leading handmade marketplace.

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