Backing this project will fund the purchase of 10,000 used T-shirts (equal to 5,000 lbs), making it possible to produce our cute, refashioned clothing line that is sourced, sewn and sold in the USA.
Our goal is to make this clothing available to wholesale buyers across the country, so that thousands of families will have an accessible alternative to conventionally produced fashion, making REfashion an everyday choice.
I love to create beautiful, simple, colorful clothing...clothing that is wearable every day.
While it is true that I love to be creative with found fabrics, what really inspires me is the potential to make a significant environmental and social impact on the way we interact with one of the largest financial industries in the US - the fashion industry. Refashioning is the perfect solution to so many problems! By pledging to this project you are eliminating thousands of pounds of solid waste, saving natural resources, supporting small business (the backbone of our recovering economy), increasing awareness of solutions to fashion pollution, encouraging creative collaboration and being a catalyst for change.
About 5 years ago I started making adorable little baby dresses and rompers out of shrunken sweaters. Later that year I made some women's skirts out of sweaters, too. As summer came along, one of my friends talked me into making skirts out of T-shirts. I was skeptical…who would want a skirt made out of old T-shirts? Turns out everyone wanted my skirts made out of T-shirts! After refining my designs over the next couple of years I thought, “how can I make these skirts affordable and available to more customers?”
So last year I spent several months researching every aspect of my company and customers. I wanted to make my skirts available to more people, which meant creating a viable wholesale business. I needed to find solutions to the many obstacles I faced in wholesaling my refashioned clothing. One-of-a-kind is perfect for selling at the Farmer’s Market, but very problematic for wholesale buyers. I had to find a way to make the skirts look similar & predictable without losing the unique hand-made quality that my customers love.
This is where the 10,000 T-shirts comes in! To keep my retail prices affordable, I had to lower my cost on raw materials. In order to get the best price, I will have to place a minimum order of 5,000 lbs. which is about equivalent to 10,000 used T-shirts. In addition to getting a better price, I will also get a good selection of colors which allows for similarity within the color-ways I am offering.
I also found that I needed to give the skirts some kind of uniformity, something that buyers could look at and know what they were going to get when they received their shipment. I decided to try adding a simple screen print designed by one of my favorite local artists and it was a great success! The screen prints add a specific style that will allow wholesale buyers a sense of comfort, knowing that even though the colors may vary, the screen will have the look they want. (I am excited to add a few more screen prints this year, to be an integral part of that see the $500 reward!)
One of my favorite comments from customers is, “This is recycled”? Even though I love the recycled look, what I really love is making recycled clothing that doesn’t necessarily look recycled. I want the opportunity to reach a variety of customers. I want my refashioned designs to embody a sense of simplicity and grace. I want to inspire all kinds of women to buy refashioned and to cross the boundaries of genre, age and income.
Rescuing 10,000 T-shirts is one step in a long journey to make attractive, quality refashioned clothing available to all. It is an important part of the movement to save needed resources of arable land and clean water for growing food rather than cotton. It is a way to enthusiastically say "yes!" to sustainable fashion that is truly sustainable - sourced, manufactured and sold in the same country.
With your help I will be able to take the next step in this process. I have my clothing samples made and my wholesale catalog ready to print...so what is the next step? April 1-3, 2012 I will be showing my wholesale clothing line to buyers at the North West Trend Show in Seattle, WA. It is the perfect place for me to begin, right here on my home turf in the Pacific Northwest.
With your pledge I will be able to remove thousands of used T-shirts from our solid waste system. My goal is to reach thousands of families that might not actively seek out an alternative to brand new clothing. You are my inspiration to keep going!
Many blessings, and thank you for your support!