Nicole McLaughlin is a multidisciplinary designer based in Boulder, Colorado. In 2018, a hobby evolved into a career of exploring new and greater possibilities for sustainability. In addition to plenty of solo projects, the designer has partnered with brands like JanSport, Gucci, Puma, and more.
While sustainability has become a marketing buzzword, Nicole embraces a functional, accessible, and witty approach to the concept. She transforms discarded items into objects with new and unexpected uses, using a circular approach to design and manufacturing to reframe waste as an opportunity.
The only way to combat overconsumption is to produce less and repurpose more: that’s the serious message behind her tongue-in-cheek approach to the creative process. With this in mind, Nicole has made shoes out of old tennis balls, transformed camera bags into bralettes, and even crafted a jacket using our signature Crux reservoir.
Most recently, she created an epic hydro skirt out of unusable materials from our very own ChillBak Pack 30 soft cooler backpack. You can check out the skirt and see her process here.
McLaughlin was raised in Verona, N.J., by an interior designer mother and carpenter father. She studied digital art and photography at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. After earning her bachelor’s degree, Nicole began a graphic design internship at Reebok in Boston, Massachusetts. She springboarded the opportunity into a full-time job before eventually transitioning to freelance designer and collaborator.
Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Italian Vogue, and Women’s Wear Daily, as well as in music videos.
Keep an eye on this designer and the exciting projects she’s got in the works—including sustainable design workshops, summer education programs, and building a non-profit organization to connect design schools with overstock and dead stock materials from large companies. We’re proud to have her as a CamelBak Ambassador!