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Vintage shirts, recolored and restyled with natural dyes and graphics.
21 backers pledged $652 to help bring this project to life.
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Recolored Apparel:

1) Purchases shirts from thrift stores and donation centers that are hard for the business to sell.

  • These shirts may be out of style, losing their original color, or stained beyond correction.
Original Tee

2) Uses a chlorine free bleach to strip the garments of their original color.

  • The fabric in these shirts is still perfectly usable for years to come.
  • Chlorine free bleach is not harmful to the environment.
Bleached Tee

3) Redyes the naked garments with dyes derived from plant pigment.

  • In the case that a Recolored Apparel garment ends up in a landfill, the dye decay over time will not damage the environment.
Recoloring with natural dye

4) And turns these wickedly beautiful and naturally pigmented t-shirts into a simple lifestyle brand with vinyl printing locally sourced in Chicago.

  • Vinyl graphics can be removed with heat and some coaxing from solvents designed to eat away at the adhesive used in vinyls.
Recolored Apparel Tee

Reward structure:

Each shirt will be made to order.  When you back my project you will be able to indicate which color and what size you have a preference for in a Survey that is sent out immediately following an order.

$25.00 = One Recolored Apparel Tee with no logo

$35.00 = One Recolored Apparel Tee with brand logo

  • Sizes:  XS / S / M / LG / XL
  • Colors:  Red / Green / Purple / Orange / Blue
  • Shirt style:  Will vary depending on the size availability at thrift stores. (for example:  One persons Medium shirt might be crew neck, but another persons shirt of the same size might be a V neck)  I will try to aim for crew neck tees.


These shirts will be dyed all naturally and by hand.  What does this mean for backers?  One shirt may be more or less saturated than another persons shirt of the same order.  Natural dyes are less pigmented than the artificial dyes used today, and are highly dependent on water acidity.  A fabrics ability to receive a color is dependent on many factors meaning that sometimes the dyes have some variations.  I will try my best to mitigate this, but I think that the randomness is one of the coolest aspects of Recolored Apparel.  As a brand, garments retain uniformity through company branding.  As individual garments, each product ends up being unique in its own way.

Red derived from Hibiscus and Cabbage
Green derived from spinach
Purple derived from red cabbage
Orange derived from Orange peels and onion skin
Blue derived from indigo and red cabbage

Why does Recolored Apparel exist?

In a world that is driven by fast fashion, it is no mystery that in the US alone, 14 million tons of clothing end up in landfills annually.

I founded Recolored Apparel to address this problem by intercepting the stagnation that occurs at donation centers, leading perfectly usable clothing to be labeled as waste and thrown away.  Sometimes this clothing might be sent to other countries around the world, but these clothes more often then not just end up in a landfill.  What a waste.

Did you know that 95% of all clothing that ends up in landfills has the opportunity to be recycled?  I am personally interested in this idea because as someone that comes from a family that depends on re purposing used clothing, finding ways to make these old garments cool again would help these organizations achieve their goal of getting more clothing to more people.  Helping to reduce the stigma behind wearing used clothing by making it "new" again may just be what the industry is looking for and what our planet needs.

The goal of Recolored Apparel, and the reason I am asking for your support, is to see whether or not the stigma behind clothing that has been previously donated can be broken.  This would significantly reduce the waste of an industry that is literally filling the earth with completely reusable material.

Why do people donate their clothing?

Individuals may decide to donate their clothing to a donation center or resale shop.  These articles are still perfectly usable, but immediately become stigmatized do to their previously worn nature.  Other reasons for donation include:

  • To reduce clutter in their home.
  • Update their wardrobe without wasting clothing.
  • Get rid of stuff that just isn't cool to them anymore.
  • They pigged out on some fries, and ketchup got everywhere (maybe that's just me).

So what happens when this donated clothing doesn't find a new home?

  • It may be sold to other thrift stores.
  • It may be sold to wholesale used clothing distributors who resell the clothing at various quality grades and at a reduced cost for bulk orders.
Bales of donated clothing destined for other countries
  • It may be sold to other countries around the world where it may end up being tossed out anyways.

But can we blame these stores?  They have profit margins to maintain, new inventory coming in all the time, and if junk doesn't sell, it must be junk.

This "junk" decomposes into the environment, leaching dye and other chemical additives into the water we drink and the soil we stand on.  There is so much pollution from the apparel industry that it is actually the second largest polluter of the environment next to the Oil industry.

By backing Recolored Apparel you will be:

  • Helping me collect shirts for re purposing (5.00 a piece)
  • Acquiring ingredients for dye, color remover, and capital to get a high quality and long lasting logo printed on each shirt.
  • And MOST IMPORTANTLY helping me prove that waste doesn't have to be waste so that maybe people begin to realize that nothing is entirely junk, and that with some time and patience, even the ugliest apparel can once again be Recolored.

Shirts that are eligible for Recolored Apparel recoloring:

For right now I will be working with cotton shirts as they are the most receptive to natural dyes.  There are several qualifications for a shirt to be considered for recolored apparel:

-Cotton shirts with stains such as sweat, oil, or bleach

-Cotton shirts with faded color especially around the neck and armpits.

**future operations will allow for the full recycling of shirts with vinyl graphics and shirts made of artificial and mixed fabrics**

Risks and challenges

One of the biggest risks associated with this project is that the market for natural dye is very limited at the moment. Natural dyes are nearly four times as expensive as traditional dye, but I am committed to ensuring the well being of our planet during the production of these shirts.

This will be an experiment in selling many shirts at a time with a dying process that is time consuming and very delicate. I am excited to try selling multiple shirts made of natural food based dyes.

Additionally, removing the dye of old t-shirts is a relatively toxic process. There are currently no substitutes for chemical dye removers, but I am exploring every option on every corner of the internet.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thanks for your donation!

    Thank you so much for your donation.
    Enjoy a graphic designed by me!

    • Digital Graphic
    • Thank you letter from the creator
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers

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    Kickstarter is not a store.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    One T-Shirt with no logo

    Get a first edition Recolored Apparel T-Shirt with no Branding or logo in the size and color* of your choice!

    This is a 100% recycled and naturally dyed T-Shirt with no branding or graphics.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 4 backers

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    One T-Shirts with Logo

    One first edition Recolored Apparel T-Shirts in the size and colors of your choice.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 9 backers

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (14 days)