Janine Hausif was busy working on a sustainable fashion line, when she realized there was another way she could help subvert harmful shopping habits.
Fast fashion thrives off of clothes that easily fall apart, with the expectation that shoppers will throw them away and buy something else rather than fix a rip, snag or stretch. And this isn’t just a fast fashion problem — plenty of quality clothing ends up being thrown out because people so rarely put in the effort to fix them.
“The fashion industry is notoriously wasteful and that really means, we (people) are wasteful as well,” Hausif explained. “So I decided to build a company to encourage people to keep their clothes longer — somewhat of a Trojan horse for sustainability and sustainable fashion.”
To do this, she launched Sew Sustainable, which offers easy and convenient alteration services. From hemming to patching, their experienced seamstresses will adjust clothing however you would like — they even have an upcycling service so you can turn a beloved garment into something else entirely. They have a quick turnaround time so that customers don’t have to wait long to enjoy their clothes again. On-demand alternations can be scheduled online, and the tailors will even come to you, making it truly easy to salvage stuff you need fixed.
Hausif believes that if you can fix or customize your clothes, you’ll keep them longer. As someone who used to do a lot of shopping, she has experienced first-hand the short life cycle clothing can have, but has since learned more sustainable practices.
“I was a shopaholic in high school and college (working retail jobs did NOT help that!). So I have first-hand experience of a person who likes ‘new and shiny’ things,” she explained. “It wasn't until later in life that I learned about the amount of waste I was creating in the world.”
Her advice for shoppers looking to make more sustainable shopping choices is to buy well-made clothing even if it costs a bit more, and to think long-term when making shopping decisions.
“Ask whether you see yourself wearing the item in five weeks, five months, five years. Go for the longer goals,” she said. “Fashion changes seemingly every month, but your personal style is your own and long lasting. Buy what feels true to you.”
Sew Sustainable also adheres to several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, providing equitable salaries for their tailors. Hausif and her team are currently working to expand their convenient tailoring services to reach even more urbanites. More about them can be found on their website.