GRAPHIC DESIGN Jennifer Ji
As a lover of sustainable fashion, I find myself eager to share the amazing creations of Meagan Ribeiro, a local artist who creates unique, upcycled jewellery from preloved cutlery. Not only is Meagan dedicated to creating beautiful, custom pieces for her clients, but also counteracting the impacts of the fast fashion industry on the environment — one spoon at a time.
Meagan’s hands have always been adorned with rings, oftentimes more rings than fingers. Little did she know this love would guide her down a path that would, eventually, flourish into a business. SOULFULL is a brand Meagan launched with the intention of creating and sharing pieces that are fulfilling to the soul. Inspired by a curiosity for repurposing and a passion for sentimental jewelry, she introduced RELOVED RINGS to the world. From the handles of vintage spoons and forks, various styles of rings are born. The bowls of spoons, tines of forks, and handles of dinner knives reduce any potential waste and are used to create earrings, pendants, and napkin rings Every item goes through a completely customized process, with each piece resting in Meagan’s hands. SOULFULL became an irresistible calling, allowing Meagan’s artistic voice to grow in a new direction and reach others.
When asked where the idea for her brand initially came from, Meagan told the story of a lady she met selling gorgeous rings and other pieces of jewellery made from antique silverware at a local market. Falling in love with the pieces she collected over time, Meagan ordered a basic ring-making set online. She took an English pastry fork from the kitchen and worked for hours until she held an imperfect ring that had started its morning nestled in a drawer, waiting to be used.
With sustainability being such an important issue in today’s fashion industry, Meagan not only reuses materials to make her jewelry, but integrates sustainable practices into other aspects of her business. Meagan explains that as an artisan putting her art into the marketplace, she wants to mirror the personal goals around sustainability in her brand; she’s challenged herself to think of new possibilities for integrating sustainability into every step of the ring making process, from gathering second-hand work tables and tools, making her own paper for ‘thank you’ notes, and using reusable ring bags. Customers expressing their appreciation for sustainable practices reinforces her belief that amazing examples of sustainability, no matter how small, spark the same creative ideas in others.
Meagan does not simply choose any spoon to use, she spends countless hours searching through local thrift stores for the perfect pieces to work with; not only does this allow her to support local antique and vintage stores, but also ensures she picks the exact piece for every client. Her favourite part of the ring making process is finding cutlery and imagining the journey it took to land in her hands. From delicate spoons perfect for resting at the side of a teacup, to forks that once carried mouthfuls of birthday cake, she’s told me of the endless excitement she feels when presented with the opportunity to give old silverware new life.
Meagan feels there is a positive future for small, local fashion brands such as SOULFULL. Explaining that since the launch of her brand, she has been reminded of the vital role we, as fashion lovers, play in making change. As a member of the community of small artisan businesses, Meagan wants to lead by example. She believes that there has been a significant shift in individuals’ mindsets surrounding sustainable fashion and shopping locally; making enlightened choices “will lead to greater sustainability in the industry and allow small, local businesses to thrive.”