Umbrellas Repurposed

By Lily Engelmaier

My initial interest in the disposal of broken umbrellas after a rainy day in New York City began after a friend of mine, Amira Stone, posted photos of all of the broken umbrellas she noticed in the city after a particularly windy, rainy day. After seeing these photos, I couldn’t help but notice the immense amount of umbrellas left behind on these days. Generally speaking, the umbrellas were more so damaged then ruined, whether the handle, pole, canopy, or fabric that was ruined, the rest of the umbrella was usually salvageable. Since we are aware that the fabric left behind when an umbrella is damaged is waterproof, it makes a lot of sense to repurpose as another product that requires waterproof fabric. My mind immediately went to a rain jacket, this idea became more and more of a priority when I thought about the fact that I currently did not have a rain jacket. Using two broken umbrellas that I found, I constructed a rain poncho, that was completely functional, out of the exterior fabric of the umbrella, this is the final product. 

Lily Engelmaier is a rising sophomore studying photography at Parsons School of Design. Within her photographic work, she focuses on portraiture, and aims to create humanist images. She also has a fascination with the natural world, and hopes to fuse naturalism with humanism in her future works. Umbrellas Repurposed was Lily's final project in Sustainable Systems, taught by Allison James.