Joy Ashcroft, one of the many socially and environmentally conscious artisans featured at Community Forklift’s 5th annual Green Gift Fair, certainly knows how to make a positive impact on Maryland communities through her work. Not only does Joy purchase second-hand material from donation centers and thrift stores, she then repurposes that material to create meaning out of it.
In fact, what initially inspired Joy’s creative craft was seeing old military uniforms end up in waste bins. She felt compelled to restore and repurpose the regal and beautiful material that still carried a lot of meaning for her. Joy continues to create custom memory pieces for families seeking to bring back to life their own treasures in an important and functional way, and also donates a portion of her proceeds to Hero Dogs, a local non-profit that pairs military veteran with companion dogs.
But Joy’s thoughtfulness doesn’t end there. Once she has picked through and used up all of the material she can to make her goods, she donates her scraps to Mid-Atlantic Clothing Recycling, http://www.mac-recycling.com, based outside of Baltimore, MD. An innovative green business that prevents thousands of pounds of clothing from reaching the dump each year, MAC Recycling uses the scraps for insulation, mattress and upholstery stuffing, and even new textiles.
You can find an assortment of Joy’s scarves, bags, and stockings at the Green Gift Fair. The fair runs 7 days a week through Dec. 29, and features the handiwork of over thirty organizations and individuals. In addition to items from Upcycle Joy, gift seekers will find an assortment of eco-friendly & affordable paintings, clothing, metalwork, woodcrafts, toys, baby gear, beauty care products, candles, greeting cards, housewares and stained glass mosaics. Some of the artists will be sharing their skills with Forklift fans during free weekend workshops.