The clothing industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions, and remains the second largest industrial polluter, second only to oil. This fact somehow doesn’t get the same publicity as, for example, the negative impacts of agriculture or plastic trash, but it is something we urgently need to address.
Mom of 3 Sarah Tyau is one of many who are helping to break our addiction with ‘fast fashion, ‘ where retailers have to constantly seduces customers with endless ‘new’ fashions to sell products. Old items are swiftly deemed undesirable and binned, Americans throw away about 70 lbs of garb per person every year.
Sarah began recycling old clothes soon after the birth of her first daughter. What began as a route to save some money became a philosophy for life: “Look good, feel good, do good.” She has transformed hundreds of pieces of old garment, from oversized shirts to wedding dresses, turning them into stylish attires for her and her daughters, who love getting involved. “I have been meaning to teach them how to sew, we are supposed to start a sewing series on YouTube together where I teach them how to refashion, but they’re also so busy in their own lives, we haven’t gotten a chance to yet, ” Sarah told Bored Panda .</ strong> “But they have a strong sense of style in their young age and have very good taste so I think they’ll take over what I do one day and be better than me! ”
With only a high-school home-ec in the way of training, Sarah is pretty much self teach. “Being a stay at home mommy to 3 children, period is very limited so I haven’t refined my skills as much as I want to but I want to take class soon, ” she said. “So my skills are actually very basic. Actually quite few skills are needed in refashioning since you keep the button holes, darts, zippers, and it’s mostly only straight stitching. My vision stimulates up for my abilities though, it takes me 15 -3 0 seconds to envisage the piece to something I’d want it to transform into.”
She sources her material from thrift stores, family and friends, and has perfected her sewing techniques to such an extent that she now plans to design her own line of apparel based on her philosophy, with all proceeds going to children in need. “I also have a YouTube series called “Come thrift shopping with me” where I pick out a few items and right on the spot share what ideas come to my mind. Then the readers vote which item I should refashion next and the one with the highest referendum is the one I’ll tackle! ”
With 135 k adherents on Instagram, people are clearly enjoying Sarah’s work. She also has a Youtube channel where she shares clues and tips on technique and design, so you too can start refashioning your old clothes and reduce your impact. “My advice to limit your impact is to buy more timeless, classic pieces and mix it with a few trendy pieces here and there, ” she told us. “This way you don’t throw away as many clothes, and are not always having to buy constantly in order to stay on trend. Also throw a garb swap exchange with your neighbors, friends, or other groups.”
“What used to be only 2 manner seasons of spring/ summer and autumn/ wintertime is now at 52 micro-seasons. Clothes, just like any other materialistic things, don’t buy you lasting happiness but only a fleeting moment of excitement. So if you base your happiness or self worth and identity on what clothes you wear, you’ll never be happy or content because the fashion industry will always tell you what you bought a month ago is now out of trend so you must buy this newly released item in order to stay relevant or happy. So instead of putting so much significance on what you wear or how expensive or what designer brand you’re wearing, focus on being kind, having integrity and morals and you’ll always be in fashion! ”
To read more about the enviromental cost of the clothing industry you can start with articles here and here. Scroll down to check out Sarah’s work for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!
Mom of 3 Sarah Tyau began recycling old clothes soon after the birth of her first daughter
One of the easiest DIY’s I’ve ever done, simply add lace to the dress and viola! A whole new dress! For this piece I was featured on the front encompas of Altered Couture& a 3-page spread and on Sew, a U.K. magazine