Sustaining style

Senior competes in fashion competition with a focus on sustainability


Katie McClellan

Senior Audrey Kimball gets recycled fabric at a Goodwill bin.

Kate Denning, Editor

Cut, stitch, sew, but don’t toss out the scraps!

From a very young age, senior Audrey Kimball has been interested and involved in fashion. Using her mother as her first inspiration, Kimball has since stretched out and created her own style. Kimball will be taking that unique style to an FCCLA competition in January under the fashion design category–with an equally unique twist.

“What you do is you create a company and create four looks that you center your entire company around,” Kimball said. “So my company and the garment that I’m constructing was made with completely recycled fabric.”

Kimball got her recycled fabric from Goodwill bins in order to alleviate waste.

“[The fashion industry] is very unsustainable and we have kind of led on with this unsustainability,” Kimball said. “Like a good chunk, around 95 percent, of clothes that we throw away could be recycled. And so there’s much fabric that we can use to recycle and so I wanted to have a company that was just completely that.”

Before the summer going into her junior year, Kimball didn’t know how environmentally unfriendly fashion companies could be. But after watching a documentary called “The True Cost,” Kimball’s eyes were opened.

“It completely changed the way I viewed fashion and from that moment on I’ve made it my mission that I would never buy another garment of fast fashion,” Kimball said. “I would only go to thrift stores because personally I just did not want to contribute more than I already was.”

Now, through the FCCLA competition, Kimball hopes to spread the word about the lack of sustainability in the fashion industry.

“Normally if you’re going to competition, you would go to a fabric store and buy three yards of fabric,” Kimball said. “I wanted to use recycled materials because the fashion industry is the second most polluted industry in the world. So I went to Goodwill bins and instead of having to convert it to yardage I had to convert it to poundage.”

Even after the competition is over, Kimball does not want to end her role in creating a more environmentally friendly fashion industry.

“One of my career goals is becoming an environmental consultant for fashion brands,” Kimball said. “I feel like that will be more good to the environment than just working for any old company.”

Through the competition and hopefully her future career, Kimball said she wants to change the way the fashion industry impacts the environment.

“I really want to change the way that we see the fashion industry environmentally [rather] than just be in it,” Kimball said. “I think that doing little changes day by day will slowly change the way we view and we see the clothes that we wear.”