Last weekend, I did something kind of brave: I finally launched Reclaimed, a small-scale social enterprise that upcycles vintage and existing dresses into modern, one-of-a-kind creations. The idea for the shop arose over a year ago when I first started seriously learning how to sew by practicing on vintage dresses I found at thrift and consignment stores. Along the way, I began selling the dresses to friends and on sites such as Style.ly (now defunct) and Poshmark.
For those who have been reading my blog and following along on social media for some time, it is no surprise that I am a committed advocate for sustainable, ethical, and eco-friendly fashion. As I shared in this post on why I care about sustainable fashion, I believe that fashion can be a beautiful way to express our unique identities and styles, as well as can even be a force for good around the world. Yet all too often the mainstream fashion industry perpetuates an unsustainable race to the bottom in which profits are prioritized over people and tragedies like the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh occur.
Reclaimed is one small way that I am contributing to the "fashion for good" movement.
The mission of Reclaimed is to create high-quality, one-of-a-kind garments that reduce apparel waste by upcycling vintage or vintage-inspired clothing. Since the vast majority of garment workers around the world are female, I am also committed to donating 5% of all sales to high-impact nonprofits around the world that educate and empower women and girls. You can learn more about Reclaimed here.
Each weekend I plan to add a couple new upcycled dresses to the shop, but for now check out the four I've already listed.