Nicole McLaughlin makes wearable art out of almost anything, mostly with everyday household items and occasionally, food. Some of her creations include a jacket made entirely out of oven mitts, a bikini top pieced from Patagonia fanny packs and a vest stitched-together by ziploc bags filled with cereal. The items are ultimately fun, kitschy but most importantly sustainable. McLaughlin is already seen as an icon in the world of upcycling and she’s leading the charge amongst fellow millennials on the importance of being more environmentally conscious.
This year, McLaughlin continued to create more eye-catching repurposed designs and big brands took notice of her influence. Crocs, the footwear company that makes its popular foam clog shoes, tapped the 28-year-old creative for her first shoe collaboration. McLaughlin’s version of the clog was part footwear and part storage unit for camping goods. The shoe featured a weatherproof ankle gaiter, a headlamp, paracord, stuff sack, carabiner and a compass. The limited edition shoe was an instant hit amongst McLaughlin fans and sneaker collectors.