Reworked clothing is both trendy and sustainable. In a world where fast fashion is an issue, thrifting has become particularly popular. However, sometimes these thrifted pieces need a bit of an upgrade. People have begun to take advantage of this trend by creating new pieces from old clothing and jewelry as a business.
Ferrin Schelvan, 22, is a digital marketing specialist with a reworked fashion business on the side. Schelvan started her business a year ago. Schelvan was inspired to start her business after thrifting and reworking the clothes she would find for herself. She realized that this is a product that people would be interested in.
“People like that unique aspect of it,” says Schelvan. “People like the fact that you’re the only person that owns that piece of clothing.”
Schelvan said that she likes the sustainable aspect of her business as well. Reducing textile waste is important to her and she feels that her target audience realizes this and wants to “get with the times”.
Schelvan hopes to be able to grow her business to a full-time career within the next five years. She currently uses her Instagram account, @reworksbyferrin, to sell her work.
Stephanie Wang, a Penn State alumni, currently works as a communications and operations associate. Wang was inspired to create reworked designer jewelry when she saw others selling similar products on the internet at expensive prices. She was considering purchasing a product until she realized she could make them on her own for a fraction of the cost.
Wang uses authentic designer buttons and attaches pieces to the button that will allow gold plated stainless steel chains to be threaded through. Once she finishes her pieces, she posts her products on her personal Instagram story, @swanggg, and sells on a “first come first serve basis”.
Despite working a full time job, Wang finds pleasure in making her unique jewelry on the side as simply a hobby.
“I encourage everyone to pick up a side hustle, no matter how big or how small,” says Wang. “I still find the time to make my own jewelry on the side, on my own time, with no pressure or stress. Just for fun!”
Maddy Doane, 19, is a full-time student and D1 athlete, but still finds time to create her sustainable pieces on the side. Once her grandmother taught her how to embroider, Doane was inspired to incorporate sustainability into her creative process.
“I loved the idea of being able to resurrect a piece of clothing that had originally been thrown out, and repurpose it into someone’s new favorite sweatshirt,” says Doane.
Doane tries to keep originality when making her pieces and makes things that people haven’t seen before. She also takes into account what is currently trending and would gain interest from her followers.
Doane sells her pieces on her Instagram account, @greenwrld.co. Her favorite thing about running her business is meeting new customers and creators. Making pieces that people will love that are still sustainable is rewarding for her.
VALLEY loves the idea of sustainable clothing and jewelry and reducing our waste! VALLEY wants to know if you love repurposed products as much as we do. Tweet us @VALLEYMag with your thoughts!