Date: April 17, 2017 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Beth Hall |
This Northwest Arkansas entrepreneur handcrafts exquisite accessories with an environmentally responsible approach
You started Regenerous Designs in 2013 with a mission to make the world a more sustainably fashionable place. In a few words, tell us how you’re working to achieve this vision.
I create sustainable, handmade, limited-edition accessories from scraps that are leftover from clothing production.
That sounds like a very worthwhile mission. How did you come up with this idea?
After graduating from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, I had a couple of jobs in the industry and got to see firsthand the amount of waste there was during clothing production. After cutting out patterns, the leftover fabric scraps are collected until they have enough to call the trash man to come and haul them away. They’re still perfectly good pieces of fabric, just too small to use to make clothing. Nobody wanted these pieces…except me. I realized I could use this excess material to make something useful instead of it becoming waste.
The name “Regenerous” certainly seems to fit this idea.
Yes, we were trying to think of something that represented upcycling, reusing, and regenerating with a conscious heart. My mom actually thought of the name. Someday, I hope to incorporate a more philanthropic aspect into the business as well to fully encompass the generous side. Until then, I try to help in smaller ways where I can.
Tell us more about the types of accessories you make with these scraps.
When designing, I always try to keep functionality, versatility, and uniqueness in mind. The “Big Braided Headbands” are my top seller because they comfortably stay on the head and can be worn in several ways for different looks year-round. The smaller version, the “Button Band,” is unique in that it is adjustable thanks to the buttons through the braid. This makes it ideal to fit any head size. Scarves are also popular during cooler seasons. These are more of a one-of-a-kind item because when working with remnants I get weird-shaped pieces, and it’s like a puzzle to get them to fit together.
Are there certain kinds of fabric you use? Where do you find these scraps?
Regenerous Designs uses excess high-end material that ranges from soft knits and silky chiffons to heavier upholstery fabrics. Fashion production houses provide the scraps to us.
Your love for fashion and your sustainable practices seem to go hand-in-hand. Do you think your passions feed off of one another?
I really feel that sustainability can change the fashion game if people try to be more mindful of how things are created and where their excess is going when they toss it out. Pretty much anything can be used for something else if you just get a little creative. I guess all I can say is, one man’s fabric excess is another designer’s fashion goldmine! If they don’t want to come up with another use for it, I will. I love how this practice really challenges my creativity.
Regenerous Designs, Rogers, (818) 724-7388, regenerousdesigns.com