being ethical · inspiration

Haulternatives & What To Do After Fashion Revolution

Happy Monday! With Fashion Revolution week behind us, it may be easy to say “See you next year”, but around here, we want to encourage a Fashion Revolution all year long.  While most revolution-ers may be focused on asking brands who made our clothes, the goal of the week is to also inform about “Haulternatives” to shopping new and today I’m taking it a step further to talk about how to get rid of unwanted clothes, because even as makers, there are pieces we don’t want!

03SL2012BuyerarchyofNeeds

I’ve been on the search for the best way to dispose of unwanted clothes for years. Since my wardrobe isn’t 100% handmade, I still have store bought pieces I am slowly getting rid of because they no longer suit my style. My first instinct is always to refashion, but there are some pieces too good to chop up, and some too unusable to wear. I’ve done several things to limit my landfill waste when it comes to apparel including:

1.Selling online. Ebay is super easy to set up, and you get free listings every month, so you only pay when something sells! This is a great place for gently used clothing items that you actually want to get real money back for. Poshmark has also become a popular app, and a great one if you are constantly on your phone. A few other places are: Mercari, LetGo, and even Facebook Marketplace (although a few of these are more for furniture or tech pieces, I’ve seen clothing on them as well). Etsy is also an option – but the clothes must be “vintage” (over 20 years old) or have been altered in some way. (Etsy is also the best if you have handmade pieces to sell!)

When I’ve been on thrifting trips, I’ve actually picked up some items in the store that are New With Tags and have sold them online, making a small side income to support my fabric addiction. There are many people who make re-selling their full time job, and from my perspective, it’s such a great way to keep good clothes in circulation and getting them to the right customer.

2. Donate to ThredUp or a local location. ThredUp is an online thrift store that will pay you for your gently worn clothes. Fill up one of their polka dot bags, send it in and watch the money come in! You can use the funds to buy clothes through ThredUp, donate to a cause or cash out to buy more fabric! There are also local consignment shops that will give you cash for clothes and another favorite of mine is Plato’s Closet. These places will not give you a lot of money for your used goods, but it’s a great alternative to throwing them away, or dropping it in one of those “unknown clothing bins!”.

Worried about what they do if your clothes aren’t accepted? Here’s ThredUp’s response:

“We have high quality standards and typically accept less than 40% of the clothing we receive. Items that are still in great shape but don’t meet the thredUP standards are sold to third party sellers. Items that are no longer in wearable condition are passed onto our textile recycling partners and upcycled. The proceeds we recoup through this process help us cover some (but not all) of the shipping and labor costs incurred for the unaccepted items we receive.”

If you have specific items to donate, like a prom or wedding dress, a simple search will help you find local donation centers or charity events that look for these pieces! (and because I love making things as easy as possible, here’s a list of places to donate a wedding dress you may have: babble.com )

3. Recycle through H&M. They take any and all fabric/clothing waste & give you a coupon for the donation! What do they do with it? They re-distribute the good quality clothing for re-sale, upcycle the good pieces of material into new store collections and then recycle all the small scraps and unwearable pieces! This is the bag of scraps and failed sewing projects I brought in a few months ago. (and no, I didn’t use my coupon!)

IMG_4207[2140]

You can read more about their initiative here. I’ve come across a few people who are very opposed to H&M recycling program, saying that they don’t recycle as much as they claim to. While I don’t believe every single thing I read on the internet, I do trust that they are trying their best to make a change in this world, and putting greater power into recycling, so I am willing to give them a shot. They also have a pretty large voice in the industry, so I’m happy encourage their efforts!

Another alternative is to look up a recycling location with the Council for Textile Recycling. This council is something I’ve recently learned about but the mission is simple: Keep clothing, footwear and textiles out of landfills. They have a locator search tool to help you find places to donate used goods nearby. Near me, Goodwill takes old materials. I have heard that scrap bags and unusable materials should be labeled as such before donation – ask your local branch what they prefer.

clothing-life-cycle

Thrifting/second hand shopping is becoming one of the most popular forms of retail – and I don’t think that’s going to end any time soon. Take a look at the 2018 Fashion Resale Report by ThreadUP. Companies are listening to the demand of less fast fashion. They hear us, and they are making changes because now it’s either change or lose business.

02-01-closetoftheFuture-2x

As a maker, I am always on the lookout for recycled materials to use. My handbags use a lot of fabric swatches, which I got from a local interior designer and I just received my first order from Fab Scrap to use in my wardrobe!

IMG_5632[2142]

If you are unfamiliar with Fab Scrap, they are a company reducing waste in the apparel industry at the factory level. There is so much unused fabric in fashion collections, that most companies don’t know how to recycle or sell it. Enter: Fab Scrap, and now you can buy designer fabrics at cheap prices while supporting recycling efforts! You can buy scrap packs, which have smaller scraps or yard packs which include 5 + yards of curated materials. I bought a “warm pack” and asked for florals and solids to make blouses and dresses (silkier pieces) and they listened!

I hope my little series has inspired you to think about the pieces in your closet. Just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean you have to keep it! Keep Fashion Revolution going by Refashioning, Recycling, and Consciously Shopping. These are all ways to help make our planet a little greener.

It’s such a great time to encourage others to take a step to think about their wardrobe as well. Want to encourage more handmade? Me Made May starts TOMORROW and you know I’m taking part! I use Me Made May to see the gaps in my handmade wardrobe and which pieces don’t get any wear. It’s also a time to push myself to finish a few projects I have hanging around to have another outfit or two for the month!

IMG_5744

I am really excited for this year’s Me Made May and can’t wait to be inspired by every one else’s wardrobes!

Advertisements
being ethical · refashion · sewing

Fashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion

Happy Fashion Revolution Week! It’s going to be a great week of awareness and I hope you are taking part – whether you are a maker, or fashion consumer, your voice can make a difference!

For the past few months I’ve been wondering how I could make a difference during this week. How can I have my voice heard, in a way that relates to my everyday missions? I absolutely love making my wardrobe and selling handmade bags. When sewing came into my life, I had no idea what an impact it would make. I fall deeper in love with sewing every single day (alright some days it totally pisses me off, but we all have off days, you know?).

As a maker, I love looking at Fashion Revolution Week as a week of motivation for the creative side of the fashion industry.  (You can read all about my thoughts on the fast fashion industry on my post from two years ago.) 

I believe it’s important to get through to the big fashion companies, but it’s also important to change on a more localized level. What every day changes can you make to your buying habits? Over the past few years (and if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll have seen this trend) I’ve been super interested in repurposing, and saving items already in circulation.

Refashioning has become a major part of my life. I love taking something already made and turning it into something new. It’s a challenge, sometimes more challenging than building something from scratch. I’ve also been encouraged to refashion more because my financial situation isn’t what it once was. I’m becoming more financially dependent on my sewing, and with moving into a new house, my fabric budget has gone way down. Second hand stores are not just a fun shopping adventure anymore, they are my fabric resource. It’s made me become a lot more creative, but it’s also made me happier about my consumer practices.

All that being said, this week on the blog, I’m talking all about refashioning & repurposing! I’ll be sharing a few refashions, inspirations, and facts about the second hand world.

Today I am sharing a brand new refashion! My wardrobe needs to get summer ready, and shorts are on the list! I’ve been needing some lounge shorts, that can also be a beach cover-up or pajama pants (my wardrobe needs to work overtime, people!)

I got this scarf a few years ago as a gift, and always loved the print (and the adorable tassels) but I don’t always reach to wear a scarf. I thought this would be a good lightweight material to make a pair of shorts, but since it was such a large piece of fabric, I thought I could do something really cool with them…make them reversible! Two pairs of shorts for the effort of one?! I’m in!

apparel sewing8-002

I used Made with Moxie’s Prefontaine Shorts Pattern as a base and to keep them basic, omitted the binding and pockets. The trick with keeping the tassels on the hem was some creative cutting. The shorts required 4 pieces of material, so ultimately I cut four pieces (two front, two back) from each color way. To keep the tassels even, I marked where the tassels landed on the print side, and on the solid side I marked in between the print tassels, so they were all evenly distributed.

Fashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish Stitched

For the most part, I followed the pattern, but started with sewing the hems together, which wasn’t the best decision. In reality, the best way to make the shorts reversible is by making two separate pairs, then sew them together during the waist band step. This tutorial is an excellent resource to making reversible shorts and I totally recommend following this along rather than my messy way!

I LOVE how they came out! They are really light and comfortable and think they will be a fun summer short!

Fashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish Stitched

And the best part? I have TWO new pairs of shorts!

Fashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish Stitched

Looking for a pattern to make your own shorts? Here are three FREE options to make a pair!

City Gym Shorts- Purl Soho

Boxer Pajama Shorts – Melly Sews

Tutorial to Draft Your Own Shorts – Refashion Co-op

I also want to share my first real video! I bought a phone tripod so I can take videos with my iPhone, and it’s opened up a whole world of possibilities! Take a look at my video below! It’s just a quick clip but I’m excited to make more!

Are you ready to join the Fashion Revolution? Check out how you can get involved HERE.

Want to get involved by doing a refashion this week? Send me your makes!

being ethical · handmade wardrobe · sewing

Kalle Shirt & Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution week is just a few days away, and while my mind is on the cause all year round, it’s coming up on the time to inform and inspire – and I have big plans for doing just that next week!

Not sure what Fashion Revolution week is?

 

“On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in

Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and

another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth

largest industrial disaster in history.

That’s when Fashion Revolution was born.

There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women.

WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE:
The Model, Material, and Mindset”

 

Fashion Revolution is about asking retailers who made the clothes they sell. Are they working in safe conditions and getting paid fairly? Are retailers following environmentally safe practices to ensure a healthy world? Clothing doesn’t just magically land on a shelf for you to buy. There are a lot of steps and people garments go through to end up in your closet.

For the past few years, I’ve been an advocate for Fashion Revolution because, as a maker, I know firsthand just how much time and energy can go into making a garment. It’s been an important mission for me because I believe every single person that works in the fashion industry deserves a voice. From the farmers to the makers- working environments should be safe and wages should be fair.

FashRev_BrandAssetsforSocialMedia_11

For me personally, I’ve made it a mission to buy as little as possible from retail stores. I still buy basic necessities like underwear and socks, but almost everything else is made or bought second hand. (I also buy shoes, because that’s a whole ‘nother beast to tackle!)

But two weeks ago I had a breakdown. I was going to a concert for Drew’s co-worker and had nothing to wear. My go-to spring jacket wasn’t fitting comfortably (damn you, winter body!) and I was feeling really crappy about myself. So I ran to Target, and bought a jacket.

It’s actually a really cute jacket, and in a color I’ve been dying to make, but haven’t had the time. And I’ve worn it several times since purchasing. Is it the best quality and fit? No. Did I know that going into purchasing? Hell yea. But I know that I’m going to wear it constantly and I’m happy my sewing list hasn’t added a new item. What’s even better is, once this jacket has had it’s day in my wardrobe, I will be happy to refashion it!

Fashion Revolution isn’t about denying your shopping addiction. It’s about making smarter choices and getting major retailers to make changes. It’s about calling out a retailer and asking them to be more transparent. The more people who ask, the less they can deny an answer.

Kalle Shirt - Trish Stitched

Target, my new jacket goes great with my ‘me made’ Kalle Shirt! I know who made my top, but who made my jacket?

DSC_0060-014Kalle Shirt - Trish Stitched

I’ve done a little research about Target’s brands, and the company is filled with good and bad. I’m no expert, and I haven’t yet taken the time to fully research, but from the basics, they want to be ethical but still need to work on their transparency with each individual brand they carry. I will certainly need to do more research, and encourage you to give a little shoutout to a store you love and ask what their practices are!

 

A few more details about my Kalle Shirt. I made View B with a popover placket and band collar. The fabric was from my trip to California – I scored it at Michael Levine’s Discount Loft! I have no idea what it is but it was a pain to work with. It was slippery and did not liked to be marked with any kind of pen/pencil. It also didn’t care to be interfaced and I had to re-do the hem three times.

Kalle Shirt - Trish StitchedKalle Shirt - Trish StitchedKalle Shirt - Trish Stitched

This is not my best make, but it’s still pretty good. There are a few things I would change, but I worked SO. HARD. to get the prints to line up nicely, that I’m pretty proud of the result. Since the fabric was slippery, I had a difficult time with the collar band, and the topstitching is a little wonky, but it’s one of those things only I would notice.

This Kalle had a test run yesterday, and it’s super comfy and I really like that it covers my behind. I’m not a leggings person, so I don’t really like tunics, but this is the perfect balance between long and loooong.

I cropped my Kalle a few inches (to be honest I can’t remember how many) and took the back hem up to better match the front. Short bodies and long hems don’t mix all that well. I’ve been having crazy itches to make more tops, especially with Me Made May coming up, and this make was no where near my sewing list but I had to stop everything to make it!

Look out next week for my Fashion Revolution Posts!

 

being ethical · I really was a fashion major.

Fashion Revolution and Supporting the Makers

This week is Fashion Revolution Week. Consumers all over the world are asking their favorite brands “who made my clothes”. If you are like me (and if you are reading this post, chances are you can relate) you know who made your clothes because you made at least a percentage of them.

“On 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were killed
and over 2,500 were injured when the
Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka,
Bangladesh. We believe that’s too many
people to lose on one day.”

That complex housed 5 garment factories. This was the start of Fashion Revolution.

I firmly believe that makers should earn a livable wage. I firmly believe that every work environment should be happy and healthy. I firmly believe that every single person deserves a happy life, filled with opportunity, a safe home and food to eat.

DSC_0007-008

I “discovered” fashion when I was going into my sophomore year of high school. I started caring about the clothes I wore and how I looked to people. Before that, I would borrow my sisters clothing and thought Abercrombie was the only place to shop. And then I learned that I didn’t have to wear what the other kids were wearing. I could look however I wanted and feel comfortable in my skin. I saw clothes I wanted but couldn’t fit into them because of my small size. As soon as I fell in love with clothing, I hated it because my body wouldn’t fit. That’s when I discovered sewing and an entire world opened up to me. I learned just how difficult it was to make a garment- the time and patience it took to create a look- and how satisfying it was to have something fit so perfectly it makes your confidence soar. This world became a happy place for me.

I studied Fashion at Montclair State University, where every other girl in the program wanted to be a buyer. I felt very out of place because all I wanted to do was make. I then took on a double major in costume design because that was the only way I would learn more about construction. It was about that time I started to think about where my clothing was coming from. I didn’t have the skill or time to make all my clothing so I usually shopped at Target or Forever 21. Fast fashion became a huge learning point in school and my thinking changed drastically. I was learning about the conditions sweat shop workers were not only working in but how they were living. How multi billion dollar clothing companies wanted top dollar for their product but weren’t willing to pay their makers a decent wage. I learned that the designers I loved would rather ship production overseas and not think about who is making it just to add more money to their pockets.

I hated shopping. I hated walking into the mall and seeing the rows of clothing that was being put on super clearance to make way for next seasons looks. I started thinking how much a shirt cost to make if it was being sold for $5.

I started doing research on clothing companies that cared about how their product was being produced. Mata Traders came up in my search and I fell in love. My first job out of college was working for a Fair Trade company Mayamam Weavers, and I was fortunate enough to travel to Guatemala to meet the makers.  Around the time TOMS came out, more companies were emerging with the mindset of “ethical fashion” and Krochet Kids appeared with a great campaign to know your knitter. There are so many great brands and independent creators producing apparel and accessories with their makers in mind (& the environment!) and even the larger companies are taking notice. Modcloth is even carrying Mata now!

April 24th is Fashion Revolution Day. I urge you to go to their site and learn more about where your clothes are coming from. Look at the tag, ask questions. I admit I still shop fast fashion, and more often receive gifts from one of my favorite labels, American Rag (ironically made elsewhere). I still buy my undergarments, although I am planning to start making them- and shoes I do not plan on making anytime soon. I’m not perfect, and understand that this may sound hypocritical but I do believe my impact on the fashion world has gone down dramatically by making and refashioning. I now only purchase 3-5 tops, 2-3 bottoms, and roughly 3 pairs of shoes per year in brand new items. Most of the time, when I go shopping, it’s to buy fabric or go to the thrift store. It’s only been a few years since I started this journey so I’m still taking my baby steps. You can take a look at all my refashions here.

DSC_0010-002

I used to believe I didn’t have a voice. I was one person in the world and no one could hear me. But I have you, dear readers. And if I can inspire just one of you to question where your clothing came from and think about a more ethical form of consumption, my voice has been heard. I urge you to go to fashionrevolution.org and read about the movement that’s happening. And if you have a passion for the movement, share it with your followers and friends.

being ethical · I really was a fashion major. · Project 365

Project 365: Week Five

What my Monday night should have been: Coming home from work, having a snack and blogging my week.

What
Monday night actually was: Came home late from work, ate some leftover
chinese, and passed out on the couch before I could get to my bed.

Most things don't work out like you plan. But (a day late) here's week five!

July 29th:

Photo 1-007

Photo 2-007
These are flowers at work that I've wanted to take a picture of since opening. I have some close-up shots but the colors are magnificent and that little vase is so cool!

July 30th:

Photo 4-005

"Outfit of the day" (ootd). I don't usually take pictures of my outfits just because I don't have nice backgrounds and it takes so long to set up my tripod, but I think my phone did a pretty good job. I downloaded an app called pic collage, which has fantastic backgrounds and layouts.

I received this dress and necklace from Drew's family for my birthday and I am in love with it. It was the perfect dress for work and for the heat we've been having.

July 31st:

Photo 5-003

I blogged about this day last week, so for those who read the post know it was not a productive day. I've finally finished editing photos, which is not my favorite task as a business owner.

August 1st:

Photo-001

Another OOTD. I've talked about this company quite a bit, I just love them so much! The skirt is from Mata Traders. FAIR TRADE, at a GREAT price. (It is currently $37.99-on sale!). I actually wore this outfit to my interview and it worked so well, a little creative with a touch of professional. I bought the bracelet in Guatemala and can't believe how well the colors match this skirt.

August 2nd:

Photo 2-008

OOTD-this dress was from Drew's family for my birthday last year. This one, and the other, are both from American Rag by Macys. It is a great line and on a petite figure, it is a perfect fit (NO ALTERATIONS!). Watch and Bracelet from Fossil, Shoes from Payless by Zac & Zoe, Necklace from my trip to Paris in college.

August 3rd:

Photo 3-007

I bought a book called "Fall in Love for Life: Inspiration from a 73 year marriage". It was recommended to me for an engagement gift and I opened the book just to read a little and opened to this page. I don't think embarrassed is the correct word, but I've been apprehensive about going back to work in retail, thinking it might be a step back in my career, but this text reminds me that this opportunity will open so many doors.

August 4th:

Photo 5-004

Photo 4-006

Sunday I went home to work and saw I had a package. I didn't order anything so this was a total surprise. I opened it to literally a package of mustaches. A ring, necklace and earrings! For the past few years, I've loved mustaches but never bought anything with them on it, so as soon as I opened this, I knew it came from my college roommate. It was such a nice surprise and I am so happy that my fingers have a mustache now!

Also, homemade pickles. They can't get much better than this.

I can't believe the month of July is over. Just over a month and I've taken about 46 pictures for this challenge. I can't wait to see where I am this time next year and see how life has changed. If you want to join me on this challenge, just start taking pictures! You don't need a smart phone with all the apps I have, and simple camera will do. Just take a snapshot of something in your day and start keeping a record. Blog about it and share your link!

being ethical

New York, New York

Last week the company I work for, MayaMam Weavers, made its New York debut at the New York International Gift Fair. It was an amazing experience and I really did learn a lot. The second day there I was able to walk around a couple sections. I had never been in the Javits center before and therefore never realized how big it is until I walked around…and got lost…a lot. I was able to walk through the section we were in (Global Handmade), Designer Handmade and New York's Newest.

There is nothing I enjoy more, other than sewing, than discovering great companies with a story. Handmade products almost always come with a story, especially if they are international. As I walked through, I wrote down the names of all the booths I wanted to learn more about. The first was Mata Traders.

I'm obsessed with clothing. I love looking at the creativity that a designer can bring to a garment. Mata Traders is a lovely fair trade company from India who makes beautiful clothing and accessories. I intentionally walked by the booth many times just to keep looking at the clothing, but was always too nervous to stop and talk. So I purchased some products online! I bought a dress, a top and a skirt. (Also, their prices are amazing!)

Zephyr top green

Zephyr Top $28.00

Santa Clara dress

Santa Clara Dress $88.00Show and Tell skirt

Show and Tell Skirt $46.00

Another company that stopped me in my walking tracks was Poppy Treffry from the U.K. Their bags are adorable and I'm in love with their website.

Makeup Bag £24.00

 Teapot £45.00

There were a few other companies that I wrote down, but can't find them online. I'll get more info when we go back in August.

 

(all images taken from companies' sites)

being ethical · off to see the world...

Adventures in Guatemala

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to travel to Guatemala for work. I'll blog more about my job eventually, but for now I just want to share some pictures of where I went. First stop was Cajola, then Shala (Quezeltenango) and ended in Antigua. It was such an incredible experience and I do hope to go back one day. I tried to get a few photos while traveling to each location but they drive so fast it was difficult to get a clear shot!

Here's some pictures from the week.

 

 

DSCN7544
DSCN7423

 

 

DSCN7455

 

DSCN7572
DSCN7573

 

 
DSCN7602
DSCN7652

 

 
DSCN7611
DSCN7623

 

DSCN7638
DSCN7635

 

DSCN7639

Every place we went had such beauty and it was really nice to completely surround myself in the culture. We weren't in typical tourist locations, besides Antigua, and even then you could feel the authenticity in all the architecture. I'm not very fluent with my Spanish so while I couldn't communicate very well, everyone was understanding and so welcoming.

 And just to share, I work for an ethical company, MayaMam Weavers. Our artisans are from Cajola, Guatemala and they make home and fashion accessories. It's a truly wonderful company to be a part of and shopping ethically has been a passion of mine for a few years. Here's the last picture I took in Guatemala…in the airport with a pair of TOMS and my travel companion, a stone and cloth backpack.

 

 
IMG_0053

 

 If you are looking for great gifts for the holidays this year, all three company's have fabulous AND ethical ideas. It's nice to give more than just a gift.