Most of us recycle clothing – we’ve been doing it all of our lives either through hand-me-downs, swapping with friends, or ‘inheriting’ pieces (an old boyfriend’s sweater comes to mind). What we don’t keep recycling in this way usually gets donated to charity or what is truly unwearable gets ripped into cloths or used for patches. These efforts mean that only about 5% of landfill is textile waste.
But what if we could revitalize those pieces that are on their way to the charity bin? “I believe that most products have a second life.” says designer Deborah Brosenne. Her company Taxi CDC specializes in rebuilt, redesigned and reconstructed vintage clothing.
No stranger to alterations, Deborah, the oldest of eight children, was altering her siblings clothing before she was twelve. While attending Pratt in NY for architecture, she decided her true passion was in clothing design.
Deborah buys second-hand and vintage clothing by the bale, and takes something out-of- shape or out-of-date and breathes life into it again. Stylish and eco-friendly! She has shops in San Francisco and Los Angeles and has plans in the future to create a space where people can teach classes on printing, sewing, jewelry making - where customers can rebuild, redesign or reconstruct them into new pieces.
This fun summer dress has had the out-of-date shoulder pads and frilly neckline removed.
You could go shopping in your own closet, find a piece that needs renewing and try it yourself. If you don’t know how to sew there are great DIY videos on the net like Threadbanger. You can also look into your community center for a sewing course, or ask your local second-hand or vintage shop if they can recommend someone to help. It’s time to bring recycled summer fashions out of the closet!