No, we’re not talking about a blanket poncho with two slits cut for arm holes. Wintervacht, an Amsterdam-based fashion company, is taking the term “repurposed fashion” to a whole new level with coats crafted from old wool blankets. If images of Snuggies are swirling in your brain, toss them aside. Wintervacht’s creations are more akin to something you’d see gracing the pages of a glossy fashion magazine than what you’d wear while watching reality TV. Get ready to spot your go-to coat for the rest of the winter.
Wintervacht’s founders, Yoni van Oorsouw and Manon van Hoeckel, met while in the same sewing courses taught by Yoni’s mom. Hoeckel tells Cool Hunting, “At that time, I lived in a house without any heating so I had three old woolen blankets on my bed to keep me warm during the winter. When Yoni’s mom suggested making a winter coat, I thought to make one out of one of these blankets.” After the compliments came pouring in, the two ladies decided to turn that project into a business – and after taking a glimpse at the winter wear, it’s easy to see why.
The duo began by sourcing their blankets primarily from thrift stores. While they do still peek in those shops for material, they also now find pieces primarily through textile sorting facilities (the last stop for all those clothes you toss in donation bins), where recycling companies have been kind enough to let them pick out blankets by hand. Most of the blankets they pick are between 30 and 40 years old. Every piece is checked for quality. After that, the blankets are cleaned and ironed, but never re-dyed to ensure that every coat they make is one-of-a-kind.
Aside from the sheer awesomeness of Wintervacht’s environmentally minded business model, the product is totally beautiful. The oversized coats are minimalistic, sleek and entirely original. The trademark style was initially a shorter coat, but this season Wintervacht has introduced longer coats for the first time. Usually, the designers can make two short coats or one long coat, from an average-sized blanket. They use the leftovers for headbands and return the smallest leftovers to a recycling factory that turns textile leftovers into insulation.
The coats will set you back about $180 for the short coat or $250 for the longer version, but for a piece with a story like this, we’d call that a steal. Unfortunately, they’ve already sold out online, but the duo is working to get more options on the web ASAP.
So sure, the coats are gorgeous and you can feel good about wearing something made from pre-existing materials, but here’s what it all comes down to: These coats make it socially acceptable to spend the entire day wrapped in a blanket. And let’s be honest, that’s really what life is all about.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever repurposed? Share a picture with us in the comments or on Twitter!