Two years ago, I was in a children’s clothing store with my then 4 year old daughter who was wearing her favorite dress at the time. The store owner asked me about the dress and when I explained that I had made it, she offered to sell them for me in her store, provided I produce several of each size.
I love love love sewing. It relaxes me yet I’m still creating something. I love textiles and deciding which texture, color, and design will coordinate well with others and to the style of the garment. To take a raw piece of material and transform it into something functional is gratifying. I have actually said to myself: “If someone would pay me to sew, I’d do it!” Actually, I’m mostly kidding. When the shopkeeper made that very proposition, I quickly did the math in my head and the ROI was negative. So I shelved the idea.
Last year, I discovered Audrey Acosta. Please check her out! She had a booth at the Hawaiian Festival and I was captivated by her line of women’s attire, mostly because the fabric was so unique. I asked her about her story. She explained how she traveled to India for vintage and used saris and re-purposed them into a women’s fashion line. Wow!! Honestly, I wished I had thought of that: I’d be traveling to India, and I’d be paid to sew (well, not really…I’d pay other people to sew)!!
Thus Utterly was conceived on February 18, 2013. I learned how there are at least 13 million tons of textile waste generated per year in the U.S. alone. Included in that tonnage are used clothing and bedding, surplus inventory, post production waste or remnants, and retail samples. I was thrilled by the vast possibilities of sourcing found textiles and creating something new, functional, and beautiful! Upcycling, while certainly not new, is a pivotal move in our fight to sustain our beloved planet and its’ resources. Rather than recycling, upcycling leaves an even smaller footprint, using less energy. The artistry in each garment is in the unique combinations of reclaimed fabric; basically each outfit is a one of a kind. We are committed to pouring our passion into creating a collection of stylish and whimsical children’s clothing in the spirit of doing a favor to our planet. Thanks for following our journey!:)
-Angela Chou, CEO & Founder of Utterly