I never thought much of sewing, but I grew up with a mom who adored sewing. I spent many hours growing up in Joann's Fabric or Hobby Lobby constantly looking for new fabric for her to make window treatments or surgical bonnets. It wasn't until I visited home a few months ago and saw yards and yards of fabrics in her garage. I asked where they came from and she said that our neighbors' friend gave them to her but she didn't know what to do with it because it wasn't the correct fabric to make her surgical bonnets.
After spending the day together I realized I couldn't shake the thought that this fabric was going to essentially be thrown in the trash. It was no fault of my mom's or even the woman who gave it to her. Our infrastructure and lifestyle constantly give us the out to throw things away, as if they "disappear".
My mom and I started talking about what we could do with it and I realized it would be a great fabric for grocery bags. I needed some new reusable totes and began working with my mom to make a pattern and honestly, learn how to sew.
It wasn't until I was making these totes and started selling them that I realized how important it was to be transparent with customers where your fabric comes from. I wondered what would make me different in the growing industry surrounding reusable items, but it was a no brainer.
All of my fabric is donated or collected from the thrift stores. Yeah, you wouldn't believe how much fabric you can find at some thrift stores. This is all fabric that someone has deemed "useless" or simply not known what to do with the scraps that they had collected. I plan to collect as much fabric from being thrown away as I can (and so far doing good, you should see my guest closet). In turn, I make that fabric into zero waste swaps. Goal: to save fabric from the landfill and make it into items that remove plastic from the landfill. That's a win-win if you ask me.
If you have any questions about our upcycling of fabric, feel totally free to ask. And if you are local and have fabric to donate, we would love that too!
The Totally Taylored Team