Card Collaboration: Paperworks Studio and baabaazuzu

LAKE LEELANAU – Local boutique baabaazuzu, which has been upcycling vintage wool sweaters and turning them into wearable art and accessories for nearly 20 years, has announced a new partnership with Paperworks Studio, the Traverse City-based nonprofit and program of Goodwill Industries of northern Michigan that employs more than 150 special needs and disadvantaged locals.

Together the two are teaming up to produce an exclusive line of double-recycled wool stationery, affectionately named "Cardigan Cards."

"We're thrilled to work with Paperworks Studio," says baabaazuzu founder Sue Burns. "In the days of sometimes-impersonal emails, Tweets and texts, a handwritten note on a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind card is just the touch needed to convey a thought or thank you."

Baabaazuzu's clothes – mittens, scarves, bags, purses, jackets and accessories – are carried in more than 900 stores and catalogues around the country.

Due to the random nature of the production process, no two pieces of baabaazuzu clothing are the same. Once scads of reclaimed vintage wool sweaters have been felted – the process of washing and shrinking the wool into small, dense and fuzzy pieces – the resulting fabric is thoughtfully designed into unique apparel.

Cardigan Cards will follow this same aesthetic.

"Our customers often tell us people ask them 'Where did you get that?' when they're out sporting baabaazuzu clothing or accessories," Burns said. "I imagine the reaction to these fabulous new cards will be much the same."

Like baabaazuzu, which has gained much national attention in the last year (one highlight: actress Sean Young donned the company's fingerless gloves during her stint on Skating with the Stars), Paperworks Studio has been enjoying many a coup. In the last two years, the nonprofit has doubled in size and works with Fortune 500 companies like Lee Jeans, Yoplait and Baird.

In addition to it's new Cardigan Cards offerings, Paperworks features lines of one-of-a-kind handmade greeting cards created from blue jeans, coffee, flowers, and even beer.

Says Margaret Alexander, director of Paperworks Studio: "baabaazuzu Cardigan Cards are beautiful, just like their clothes. I've admired, and owned their clothes for years. I also admire their commitment to helping others and protecting the environment."