It was quite a surprise to find Tyvek® hanging from a clothing rack in a Manhattan boutique store window. Fashioned into a petite raincoat, perfect for fashion-forward kids, the material appeared unchanged; showing the green screen-printed design that adorned its outer side during its previous life as a nearly indestructible envelope.

I am more used to the material turning up in my mailbox as bulky packaging, rather than seeing it used as waterproof clothing fabric. Designed by Mau (aka New York Fellowship for the Arts Fellowship awardee, Marian Schoettle) for what is dubbed “post-industrial folk wear,” the little coats are made from “recycled and reused Hard Structure Tyvek®.” (There are also adult options)

You can help the designer source material by raiding the recycle bin in your office’s mail room and sending your bounty of Tyvek® finds to: Mau Recycle Reuse, Post Office Box 299, Esopus, NY 12429. But don’t expect a discount. With or without a raw material donation, the Reversible Petite Jacket will still cost you a pretty penny.

Penny pinchers like myself can get a bit of inspiration by Ecouterre’s IKEA Bag Raincoat and then sew or glue a DIY raincoat for your kid, yourself or your pet. Don’t get enough Tyvek® pouches in the mail? You can always pick-up a few extras for free at the Flat Rate kiosk at your local post office (though I’m not exactly sure if that last bit is entirely legal, or eco-friendly).

+ Mau