Cabinteely student reworks vintage clothes into amazing clothes and accessories

Sustainable fashion is a concept we’ve only heard about in the past few years, but it has gained a lot of prominence in discussions of climate action.

A number of people are now considering their carbon footprint when it comes to buying clothes, choosing to visit vintage and charity stores instead of department stores.

Meanwhile, others are finding creative ways to incorporate sustainability into what they wear by reworking what’s already in their wardrobe. Kristen Tindall is one of those people, who puts together amazing clothing, apparel, and accessories made from recycled materials.

Cabintelli, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in environmental policy, used the first closure in 2020 to build her tailoring skills and is now encouraging others to discover the second, third, and even fourth lives some of their clothes can enjoy.

At first, she made the laces for her friends who lived 5 kilometers away from her, before moving on to other pieces like a cropped top made from an old adidas T-shirt.

Discover a new hobby in lockdown

She explained, “I was at home, bored of my rocking chair and cleaning out the wardrobe.

“I’m not lucky in the length department, so a lot of pants have to be eaten. My mom showed me how to do a few things. I had a little bit of fabric on, I watched a YouTube video and did a tie, and I thought it was kind of cool.”

“My grandmother found out I was interested in her and gave me a sewing machine that was gathering dust.”

Young woman in the park wearing an embellished jacket with pink and purple bag and black pants
Kristen makes pants, jackets, shirts, bags and other items using materials from old clothes

She added, “All of my friends were cleaning the wardrobe, so I had a flow of clothes bags. And suddenly I had all these stuffs to work with.”

The importance of sustainability in fashion

Explaining the importance of being aware of the waste generated by fast fashion, Kristen said: “The process of making one piece of clothing in the first place is so long and then putting it on once and then throwing it away is insane.

“Went to the clearest talk in Ireland generations ago, you had your group clothes and your work/farm clothes and then your back-up. That was all you needed.

“Now, every mentality is needing a new dress for a night out. Or there’s such a thing with posting the same outfit on Instagram twice. It’s absolutely insane.”

“I used to buy clothes for one time when I actually didn’t need them. Especially with marketing nowadays, one thing is a trend and then something else is ‘in’.”

Good hobby for your brain

Mental health has been a well-spoken topic during the various lockdowns in Ireland. With so much time at home and not much work done, many struggled to stay positive and mentally sane.

Kristen revealed that sewing was something that helped her during this time, giving her something to focus on.

Blue bag with flower and jacket design on a young woman in front of a brick wall
Kristen finds sewing is a savior for her mental health in confinement

She said, “I am a human being who cannot be left alone doing nothing.

“Obviously I was in a closed situation with my mom who was working from home, my dad and my brother who didn’t want to play with me, I was able to sew on something in the background like a podcast or a real crime show.

“I think it helped with my mental health, being able to put energy into something.”

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