At Florida State University, a school with over 40,000 students, finding a way to stand out can be a challenge. Especially in college, students are looking to find their unique identity that makes them who they are. Clothing is an essential way that students are able to express themselves. Fashion gets its status from more than just sparkles and patterns. Within fashion is style, which is where people find their true identity. What shapes one’s closet comes to form a reflection of the character who wears it.
Sewed and studded, @remygirlreworks is a homemade brand created by Paige Sechrist. Named after her cat, her brand is a sustainable and ethically curated collection of reworked scraps. She has a handmade collection filled with pieces that are one of a kind. While curating her brand and studying at FSU, she is promoting environment sustainability by recycling old scraps.
The creativity that comes from a designer trickles down to communities and forms a culture out of ideas. Fast fashion is a term to describe a profitable business based on replicating catwalk trends and high-fashion designs and mass-producing them at low cost. A couple of examples of fast fashion stores that you are most likely familiar with are Forever 21 and Topshop. Fast fashion, both high-end and low-end, disturbs the meaning of style. The industry puts trends on a pedestal. This is a vicious cycle, as the world has seen, because no one can keep up with it.
Contrary to fast fashion, Sechrist puts her heart and soul into each piece in her collection. The time she puts into the clothing ranges from “one hour for crop tops” up to “five hours” for more difficult pieces such as corsets.
The idiom ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ applies to Sechrist in terms of the inspiration for her brand. “My mom is a crazy good seamstress and she is the craftiest person I know. I first got into sewing sock monkey’s in fifth grade,” said Sechrist.
From sock monkeys to flame studded pants, Sechrist’s talent for creation has blossomed into an aesthetically pleasing mode of sustainability.
“I get my clothing materials from thrift stores. I’ll have friends get rid of clothes and they’ll give them to me,” Sechrist said. I’ve partnered with @goodfair and they send me stuff. I really like them because they take the waste from thrift stores that would normally go to a landfill.”
Giving items that were destined for landfills a new life changes the perception of thrift shopping and recycling. By reworking some fabric, Sechrist has contributed to a new way of approaching fashion and self-expression. What was once bound to be garbage is now a handcrafted item selling (out) for upwards of $50.
“Empathy is what I think of when I think of being sustainable and holding yourself accountable,” expressed Sechrist. Her sustainable, handmade brand reflects the patience and promise that goes into bringing scraps back to life.
With lots of time, a good pair of scissors, some string and empathy for the planet, REMYGIRL reworks challenges the conception that an old t-shirt is worthless. Her custom collection speaks to the compassion that those who hand make items have for the community and planet.