Portrait of an Artisan ~ Revive

Linda Lavelle's Story:

After separating from my husband in 2010 and with my financial situation changing drastically, I truly understood the meaning of the words of my friends from former communist countries:

"There was nothing for us so we had to be very creative".

As an environmentalist in spirit all of my adult life, I did occasionally shop in Thrift stores, now I had to convince myself that these were the only stores where I would be buying my clothes and clothes for my three children. Don’t get me wrong, I love classic, good quality garments, but what about the unique, trendy, one-of-a-kind look? I pulled out my old sewing machine. Making clothes for myself and my children proved to be one of the most joyful things I have ever done.

Selling my creations right off my shoulders during my grocery shopping was one of the most rewarding things that happened to me in a long time. And so, "Revive" was born. But unlike other "green" designers, I rescue a lot of 100% new material. If you are a regular Thrift store patron, quite often you will come across one or two dozen of 100% new, but very outdated garments in the same style, donated by a clothing store.

These are a special treat for me and my clients because now I can repeat my masterpieces and offer them in different sizes. I made another discovery talking to a Canadian designer with whom I share similar values (ie go green!). She told me that hundreds of pounds of scrap fabric-leftovers from large volume clothing productions go to the dump every week. I started purchasing these scraps and ended up with a unique "green" line of upcycled clothing – much of it made out of 100% new material.

After doing some research I realized that most existing recycled clothing lines target only young, petite women. Unfair! Ladies of all sizes are welcome in my booth, because every woman deserves the chance to Revive!

Posted on August 21, 2014 .