STYLISH CLOTHING FOR THE
FROM THE FOUNDER,
A favorite story my parents tell me is when I was 5 years old, I would refuse ice cream because I didn’t want to risk messing up my dress. What kid would pass on ice cream for fear of dirtying their clothes? Me…that’s who. When I was in elementary school, my Mom sewed all of my clothes. I particularly remember my favorite one….it was a white jumper with a red and white check blouse with a bow. I only wore dresses. For this reason, I had a drawer full of tights that covered the colors of the rainbow. That was probably the first sign of my passion for fashion.
As a military brat, I lived in Japan during my teenage and early adulthood years. During this time, I modeled. The exposure reignited by passion for fashion which lead to regular Saturday shopping trips in Tokyo. Eventually, I became a very discriminatory shopper. What I mean is that fabric and sewing quality is very important. Boutique shopping is all I was exposed to in Japan. There was no H&M, GAP, or J. Crew. Shopping meant buying one of a kind pieces I truly loved. Clothes were very expensive so I didn’t have a lot but I loved everything I owned. Plus, I was not privy to a big closet because I lived in a Japanese apartment. There were no closets. I had to keep my clothes in a space designated for my Japanese bedding.
When I decided to open Style Recycled in 2013, my goal was to offer the same type of shopping experience for customers as I had when I lived in Japan: quality made clothing and top notch customer service in an intimate boutique setting.
I started selling only previously loved and vintage clothing I’d find on my marathon Wednesday shopping excursions. In 2016, I was extremely dismayed to learn about the ugliness of fast fashion in the documentary “The True Cost”. I had no idea about the exploitation of overseas workers, the toll on the environment, and the poor quality of clothing. This new found knowledge empowered me to introduce fair trade 100% organic clothing to customers. Fair trade clothing respects and appreciates the hard work of people by providing a living wage. It is anti-slavery, anti-child labor. By selling fair trade clothing in Style Recycled, it gives customers the opportunity to make their voice be heard to demand equal rights worldwide.
Last year, I joined the new wave of sustainable fashion and created my own line of upcycled clothing, “Style Refreshed.” Upcycling is a way of processing an item to make it better than the original. I take authentic camo jackets and refashion them with scraps of fabric and textiles. I also refashion denim jackets by adding fabric, vintage patches and other textiles.
I hope I have given you something to think about the next time you shop for clothing. Every time you buy a product, you make a choice and cast a vote. By purchasing environmentally and ethically made clothing, you are supporting products that help improve our planet and move fashion to an industry that respects and appreciates the hard work of people.