Growing up, my mother always instilled in me the idea of recycling, reusing, repurposing. Not necessarily because she was an environmentalist, it had more to do with being an immigrant and growing up dirt poor. Nothing was wasted.
When we immigrated to America (I was 8), I remember having to wash every jar so they could be reused (great for leftovers, for organizing, for vases). I washed and dried to-go containers (great for lunches or bringing food for your neighbors). Garments you grew out of were sent back to the Philippines or re-made into something new (clothes for my little sister, squares and blocks for quilting). My mother gardened and nothing was wasted there either. She composted. Pruned roses were dried and petals were made into potpourri (the sachets were made from, you guessed it, scraps of fabric).
This idea of waste not, want not, is ingrained in me and I knew I wanted to apply this to my own clothing line. And so, I have! It makes me feel so good to do this! When I am designing, I try to design garments so we’re using up as much of the fabric as possible. Then when we’ve cut out the patterns and have estimated how much fabric is leftover, my manufacturer and I work together on what can be made from the scraps instead of just throwing them away.
I feel so good about the path and direction I am heading in for Atèlette and I am so happy to share this journey with you!