The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

Retro, Recycled Jewelry: Fusion Ethos Fashion

suzanne piubeni jewelry upcycled

Besides her spunky attitude and sweet demeanor, we love Suzanne Piubeni, founder of Sew What? and the force behind Fusion Ethos Fashions, for her sincere dedication to both sustainability and design.

Initially, we were drawn to these two jewelry collections from her line because of their cheeky play on our “Flashback Fitness” and “Vintage VHS Workouts” stories, but we were stuck on their modern appeal and modest prices — and think you will be, too.


Suzanne says she was inspired to create this collection (pictured above) “after looking at 3D viewers, which are closely related to film negatives, and thinking of a way to incorporate pictures into wearable art.”

Turns out we weren’t too far off the 80s childhood memories, after all.

“One of my favorite materials to work with is the film negatives, because I often reminisce when looking at them,” Suzanne said. “These negatives are often left behind, as everything is digital now, and it’s so exciting and fulfilling to give them a new life. What is especially exciting is also doing custom film negative pieces for others as well. Everyone has film negatives with some of their favorite memories and if people are able to wear these memories it makes them even more special as well as great conversation pieces.”

Suzanne says that when people first see her jewelry, it’s a discovery process: first laughs, then smiles, then lots of ‘wow, it’s a…cool!’ comments. With pieces priced between $12 for earrings to $35 for a loop necklace, jewelry from Fusion Ethos’ film collection is affordable in addition to being accessible.


One of the first ‘found object’ collections Suzanne made after launching her Fusion Ethos Fashions line in 2003, the Measure Up collection features vintage  seamstress tapes in neon pastels with metal eyelets. Since we’re currently trying to trim our waistlines with free and low-cost workouts, we figured these daytime jewelry pieces might just do the trick to keep us on track — in authentic ’80s style.

“I often tell people that I look at jewelry in everything I do and everywhere I go,” Suzanne said. “If there’s a way to turn something into jewelry, I will try. The materials for the found pieces come from a variety of sources, such as local recycling centers, Freecycle, flea markets, yard sales, and swaps.”

Ranging in price from $7 for the leather-backed ring to $35 for the loop necklace, Suzanne’s collections rival the cost of those found in cheap jewelry shops like Claire’s and H&M – only far greener and handmade, too.

To purchase any of Suzanne’s jewelry, shop online at or, in person at Magpie in Somerville, Mass., or by contacting Suzanne directly at Suzanne at fushionethosfashions dot com.


Story Copyright 2009 Shoestring, LLC. Photos courtesy of Suzanne Puibeni