Why Sustainable fashion?
Tooksie Guest Blogger
If you had time to read our last blog, it was on sustainability in the fashion industry. To expand on this topic further, we invited designer, upcycler and entrepreneur Gena Culler-Green, currently making her mark on the industry in Detroit, Michigan, to share how she got involved in sustainable fashion, and why. She has given us an interesting and candid account of her experience in her own words.
Why sustainable fashion?
Why not? This helps us to be more resourceful and make our planet better. But, I didn’t originally do it just to save the planet, I had no choice. I have always loved to redesign in my head when I saw a coat with a dope collar and a dress that had a fly print. I would have never thought that my imagination would become my reality. I started upcycling when I lost my husband, had a baby, and lost my job in less than six months. I had two other younger kiddos and had to keep things going. I would make them things out of their Dad’s clothing, and it made them feel special and gave me hope. This practice became a fun thing for them and therapy for me. As a widow I was no longer a part of groups we once participated in, and the phone didn’t ring for hangouts, so, I kept myself busy. I found discarded clothing or fabric items and found making them into new pieces refreshing as it told a story and helped me to engage with others that were part of my community.
Now, I can’t do fashion without upcycling. I tend to see things as something totally different from the current state. I’ve been literally ‘Repurposed for Purpose,’ I design and repurpose garments, sheets, curtains etc. while telling and sharing my story, healing, and helping others through fashion while encouraging and inspiring others to never give up. I love creating for myself and others through fabrics that were thought to be trash, then turn them into gems, saving our planet, one garment at a time
These are just some of the contests, shows and articles that Gena has participated in on her journey so far.
• Your Couture Fashion Box Competition 2019-2021
• NYFW Group Show 2021
• YouTube Blue Print DIY Next Top Upcycler 2021 1st Season
• Michigan Fashion Week 2020
• Featured in Detroit True Stories
Gena will be showing her latest collection at Michigan Fashion Week 2022 at Eastern Market June 7-10 2022. Follow Gena on Instagram @gculle for inspiring ‘Repurposed for Purpose’ content.
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