Classic album covers adorn notebooks at Cosmic Crow Collective in Arlington. Photos courtesy of Cosmic Crow.
March 22, 2016
Greenies will feel right at home at Cosmic Crow Collective in Arlington. Since opening last year at 509 E. Abram St., the venue has become a Mid Cities outlet for eco-friendly accessories, fair trade jewelry, vintage clothing, goods made from upcycled material, along with vegan and vegetarian products. And true to its "cosmic" spirit, it’s also a gathering place for activities such as drumming, tarot reading and meditation.
Owner Tammie Carson says it was a dream of hers and her daughter Melissa Dacy, years before they opened last April.
“It’s a place for art and creativity, learning and healing and a place for like-minded people to gather.”
Many of the eco-friendly items are handmade by Carson, Dacy and a variety of local artists. One of more popular items are the upcycled record album cover notebooks made by Carson.
“It seemed like a good idea to recycle these classic covers into something useful,” she said. “I use recycled lined and unlined paper and I add a two-pocket folder to make it kind of an all purpose notebook. It's fun to hear people talk about the records.”
She also makes notebooks out of cereal boxes, beer cartons and frozen dinner boxes.
Fair trade jewelry made from recycled material is available at the venue.
As for the Cosmic Crow Collective clothing line, Carson likes to repurpose vintage and retro jackets, shirts and skirts creating one-of-a-kind steampunk designs so the clothes get a new life.
“I love to pretty up a plain jacket with yards of lace and lovely trim and jewels,” she says.
Several other local artists work in steampunk style, which combines Victorian and modern materials, creating cuffs, earrings and pendants along with art and sculpture. One artist even makes purses from wooden cigar boxes.
In addition, there are fair trade products from countries around the world, including jewelry made from horn and bags and hats made from recycled silk and hemp. Dacy also makes medicine bags and pouches from recycled materials and found art from nature.
Vintage clothing is embellished with steampunk flair.
“Most of our fair trade jewelry is made from recycled and reclaimed materials,” Carson says. “We have bracelets from India that look like leather that are actually made from discarded tires. From Haiti we have beautiful metal cuffs that are from reclaimed steel drums, and from Africa, there are whimsical earrings and pins in the shape of butterflies and bicycles made from aluminum soda cans.”
Cosmic Crow Collective uses mostly eco-friendly packaging. The Billyz Beanz locally roasted fair trade coffee comes in recycled paper containers and is always available. And folks take their purchases home in recycled paper bags too.
Tammie Carson and her daughter Melissa Dacy both handmake items for Cosmic Crow.
Even the store’s interior was decorated with the planet in mind, using pre-owned furniture, display racks and shelving.
The venue has become something of a hub for the environmentally conscious crowd with the enviromental group Liveable Arlington meeting at the shop the first and third Wednesday of every month, Carson says.
“Our goal is to make Arlington clean and safe for ourselves and our children.”
In addition, Carson has hosted classes on how to make cleaning products inexpensively and safely with natural ingredients, no harsh toxic chemicals, and essential oils.
In the future, she plans to add classes on health and beauty products that can be made at home with no dangerous chemicals.
Carson also stocks literature touting the veggie lifestyle. A vegetarian since 1997 and vegan since 2006, Carson says she has done the research and believes that factory farming is one of the worst offenders regarding climate change.
Cosmic Crow carries vegan and vegetarian literature.
“It's just a bad idea all around, not to mention the cruelty to animals,” she said. “A collective effort is needed to get our planet to a safer condition. Anything that can be reused or repurposed is one less item in a landfill or floating in the ocean and reuse slows the process of supply and demand.”