On the other hand, there are a few revivals from the 80s, 90s and 00s that have excited us. Like tortoise shell claw clips, patterned scrunchies, printed head scarves and headbands throwing back to Blair Waldorf’s Gossip Girl era.
It’s fun to enjoy a nostalgic fashion hit (and seriously, how did we ever do an easy updo without a claw clip?), but what we don’t love is the environmental impact of these trends. Whenever accessories and styles cycle back around, we see an influx of low-quality products hit the shelves, made from materials that don’t bode well with the environment (things like plastic, elastane and polyester fabrics).
When looking for alternatives, natural and biodegradable products are always our preference. But the next best option is to find products made from recycled materials. From combs you’ll want to keep on you at all times to a stunning barrette made from factory scraps, these are our favourite recycled hair accessories.
It’s truly something when a brand turns discarded materials into functional, beautiful and long-lasting products – which is exactly what RE=COMB has done with its wide-toothed combs made from recycled plastic. After years of witnessing the exorbitant amount of waste produced on the fashion show circuit, celebrated hairstylists Sarah Jo Palmer and Christopher Deagle founded RE=COMB. Their mission was to create “beauty from waste” and make recycled products cool and interesting.
Its collection of combs, piks and hair dice is made using raw polypropylene plastics sourced within the UK from household and manufacturing waste. The materials are shredded down, melted and then formed using an injection mould process. Everything gets used to its fullest: even the offcuts or remnants from the batch before are saved and reused. We’re currently adding RE=COMB’s Budgie pik and Flamingo comb – both colours inspired by the animal kingdom – to our haircare wishlist.
Scrunchies are back. From Hailey Bieber to Bella Hadid, some of our favourite celebs have been rocking the quintessential 90s accessory – and though they’ve been popular for awhile, we’re still on the bandwagon.
If you want to easily upgrade your hair game, look to GANNI’s recycled polyester scrunchie (which you can style with a matching shirt). While the brand is upfront about the fact it still contains five per cent elastane for stretch (which is a virgin material) – we love that it is integrating offcut, organic and recycled fabrics from its other collections into other products instead of landfill.
Founder Rebecca Mapes debuted Winden’s first minimalist collection of hair accessories in 2018 to help redefine the everyday routine. To reduce waste, she designed an elegant comb and barrette using 100 per cent pre-consumer recycled cellulose acetate (a plant-derived plastic made from wood and cotton linters). The material is leftovers sourced from the family-owned-and-run factory, where the brand’s other products are made.
The accessories are free from added dyes and chemicals, and, due to the unique material makeup, each piece has subtle colour variations. Added bonus, if you find yourself no longer using them, you can reach out to Winden and it will send them back to be recycled again. With the colours, textures and shapes of its pieces inspired by nature, it makes sense the brand wants to protect it.
Forget piling your hair with half a packet of bobby pins – how about just one giant one? Used to secure an effortlessly chic bun, the recycled Jumbo Bobbi is thick and sturdy and designed with wavy lines to help lock styles into place. The bobby pins come in a variety of colours and each one is handcrafted in Melbourne from seven locally sourced reclaimed plastic bottle caps.
Precious Plastic Melbourne’s founders Kayla and Piers Mossuto are part of an international network of micro-recyclers. Running their very own closed-loop plastic recycling facility in Nunawading, the pair not only make their own products, but also help other small businesses and independent creatives incorporate recycled plastics into theirs. One that we love is Made By Howies’s pocket comb – the perfect travel companion to match your Jumbo Bobbi.
If you’re looking for an accessory to tie back your hair that’s a little bolder and brighter, then Yasmina Q has you covered with its scrap scrunchies. Recycled offcuts from its clothing collection, the scrunchies feature a mix of prints and fabrics, including recycled polyester, viscose, organic cotton, and a variety of deadstock and BCI cotton. One scrunchie that has caught our eye is this bright green variety, perfect if your wardrobe is in dire need of a sartorial serotonin boost.
Whether it’s for a night out or just a Zoom meeting, U-shaped pins are perfect to channel minimal effort into maximum results. Mara Roszak, who crafts wispy updos for the likes of Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana, and Lily Collins, says not only do they hold the hair incredibly well but they’re also a healthier option than elastics as they don’t pull on the hair.
Roake Studio’s minimalist hairpins will help you get that celebrity look without the waste. They’re handmade by a small team of artisan metalsmiths in a renewable energy–powered studio and they’re also crafted from recycled brass (a material that is infinitely recyclable).
Odette New York
Designed and crafted in New York, this jewellery brand has been spotted on influential women like Michelle Obama, Gigi Hadid, Issa Rae and Kaley Cuoco. Lucky for us, Odette also does hair accessories. The Agata Barrette is one of our favourites – made by hand in small batches by manufacturers who carefully carve the design in wax before casting it into a high percentage of recycled brass. And while using wax can be problematic, we do love the brand’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact by only using recycled metals.