A mother of three with a knack for transforming old clothes into new pieces of eco-friendly fashion is winning love on social media.
Sarah Tyau only recycled clothes to save money at first. She started after the birth of her first daughter by going through her closet.
But the creative process of refashioning clothes eventually turned into a life philosophy.
“Look good, feel good, do good,” Tyau says.
“Refashioning or altering the clothes to fit the body I have right now helps me appreciate and love my body, just the way it is now, instead of putting a pause on body acceptance and healthy body image,” Tyau told BuzzFeed.
“And once you are wearing clothes that you love and you know makes you look good, you’re able to stop worrying about what you look like, forget about yourself, and start focusing on helping others.”
Since then, Tyau has amassed 140,000 followers on Instagram, where she posts her creations that inspire others to reduce clothing waste.
According to the Council for Textile Recycling, an average person throws 70 pounds of such waste every year.
Apparently, Tyau is far from that figure.
However, Tyau’s creative transformations appeal to her followers not only for their sustainable promise but also their simplicity and wearability.
Most of her skills are also self-taught, though she wants to take classes to refine them.
“Being a stay at home mom to three kids, time is very limited so I haven’t refined my skills as much as I want to but I want to take classes soon,” Tyau told Bored Panda.
“So my skills are actually very basic. Actually quite few skills are needed in refashioning since you keep the button holes, darts, zippers, and it’s mostly just straight stitching. My vision makes up for my skills though, it takes me 15-30 seconds to envision the piece to something I’d want it to transform into.”
Tyau sources her garments from thrift stores, yard sales, clearances and loved ones. She has since recycled countless of pieces ranging from oversized shirts to wedding dresses.
She also shares her process — including tips on designing — on her YouTube channel.
“My advice to limit your impact is to buy more timeless, classic pieces and mix it with a few trendy pieces here and there,” Tyau told Bored Panda.
“This way you don’t throw away as many clothes, and are not always having to buy constantly in order to stay on trend. Also throw a clothing swap exchange with your neighbors, friends, or other groups.”
Tyau suggests that clothing, much like any other object in the material world, don’t buy lasting happiness — so focus on matters that make you look good from within.
“Clothes, just like any other materialistic things, don’t buy you lasting happiness but only a fleeting moment of excitement. So if you base your happiness or self worth and identity on what clothes you wear, you’ll never be happy or content because the fashion industry will always tell you what you bought a month ago is now out of trend so you must buy this newly released item in order to stay relevant or happy.”
“So instead of putting so much importance on what you wear or how expensive or what designer brand you’re wearing, focus on being kind, having integrity and morals and you’ll always be in fashion!”
Tyau also runs an online shop, which you can check out here.
Featured Images via Instagram / @sarahtyau