"Show and tell... get to know me a little better and I'll show you something cool that is related to what I told you about me!"
It was almost 10 years ago, in April of 2004 that I started my little label called Laïla B, it was a collection for little girls made from recycled fabrics. You can see some photos in my "I SEW" page and a few more on my Flickr- I should really upload all of my photos... one day.
The term up-cycled didn't even exist then and recycling clothes for kids was sometimes frowned upon. For years, I visited thrift stores going through rows and rows of second hand clothing to find the right fabrics to create my little clothes. I then washed and dried all these clothes to then pick them apart and create something new.
It's one thing to make your daughter a dress form her dad's shirt and it's a whole other world when you are producing a collection to sell. The clothing you find isn't always the same size, some come with pockets and some don't- you need to fit your pattern pieces with the fabric you have. As much as I loved it, I have to say it was a lot more work than just finding a roll of fabric and cutting into it. However, there a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you've created something from an old shirt or skirt, not only have you created something beautiful but you've also recycled, reused and reduced!
2 years ago, with 2 little kids and new priorities, I took the decision to moved on and got a full time job. I still, every chance I get up-cycle some clothing for my kids and I enjoy it so much more without having all the pressures that come with selling a collection. Can you tell I am a poor business woman!
I can't tell you how impressed I was when I saw KALLIO at Playtime. It took me a little while before I realized the clothing was made from recycled Men's shirts. Every style was impeccable. The clothes were adorable. Every piece was nicer than the next. You can see for yourself in their Etsy Store, I had such a hard time choosing my photos for this post.
Not only is everything made from pre loved men's shirt, everything is re-sewn in ethical factories in New York City. Nothing is wasted, the clothing from the past becomes the ones of the future - what comes around goes around. Every item is one of a kind and has it's own little story to tell.
I know the hard work that goes into making every one of these one of kind pieces and I commend KALLIO for their incredible job. They created a collection that is contemporary, fun and easy to wear.
They even have some cute boy styles...
You must check out the KALLIO website for a really sweet video.
I can't wait to see all the future creations! Here's to amazing sustainable fashion!