A young designer turns unwanted objects into fashion pieces
WINDSOR, ONT. – Future fashion designer Maddie Bevacqua seeks to emphasize the importance of sustainability by turning unwanted materials into fashionable clothes.
“The reason I got into fashion was because I no longer wanted to support fast fashion brands,” explains the 23-year-old designer.
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, even ahead of the transportation industry. One of the main culprits is fast fashion – the mass production of cheap, replaceable clothing that comes at an environmental cost.
“The second biggest polluter in landfills is textiles and clothing. So that’s a huge problem right now, ”says Elaine Chatwood, Fashion Design Program Coordinator at St. Clair College.
Bevacqua’s pieces made from recycled materials earned him the Best Designer Award at the St. Clair College 2021 Atelier Fashion Show, along with a $ 1,000 scholarship.
The recent St. Clair graduate created her unique clothes using tablecloths, curtains and tapestries she found at local thrift stores.
“I don’t like to take it as a perfect tapestry. I like to take something that’s damaged and might not be used for its original purpose and give it a new purpose, ”says Bevacqua.
The process of creating parts takes time. Bevacqua often searches local thrift stores and online markets for months before finding suitable materials. She then begins to design her clothes and make them by hand.
“The hardest part is cutting my fabrics. I’m really scared of screwing up. Once I miss a certain material, I cannot get a new one. So I’m going to have to find a solution, ”she said.
Chatwood says sustainable fashion is gaining popularity with younger generations as they become more aware shoppers. To break the habit of fast fashion, Chatwood suggests consumers think twice before purchasing an item.
“You should ask a few questions. First of all, do you need it? Second, what is the fabric? f possible, always buy organic cotton and recycled polyester, ”she suggests.
When shopping, Chatwood says the stitching can say a lot about the quality of the clothes.
“Look inside the clothes at the seams. If the garment is not sewn very well and the seam allowances are really small, after one or two washes it will become brittle.
Finally, she suggests consumers learn basic sewing skills.
“Learn how to sew a button, how to fix a zipper, and how to own a sewing machine again,” says Chatwood. “It’s a great tendency to learn how to repair your own items. “