IWA Student Entrepreneurs Integrate Fashion, Sustainability
Incarnate Word Academy seniors Lily Collora and Anasofia Aragon were appalled to learn that today's fast-fashion industry promotes the adverse treatment of the environment and workers all around the world. The teens made it their mission to create a more sustainable solution to this problem and to share it with the community.
They started with basic purchases of clothing from thrift shops or from their friends’ closets in order to repurpose them. They were soon met with positive reactions and their friends loved the classy mixed with street style of the clothing items. They started their business, LANA Thrift Flips. By purchasing used items, they prevent fast-fashion chains from gaining support to continue their production cycle. This purchasing method promotes wearing clothes that have already been produced and worn, rather than being a catalyst for the creation of more fast-fashion products.
They knew LANA was successful when the teens found an old, loose, and baggy black top from a friend’s grandmother's closet and revamped it into a fitted cropped summer piece. These young entrepreneurs have made an ever-present impact on the way teenagers in Houston view used clothes, and it all started with just an idea.
"If we had any advice for the people thinking about doing anything relating to lanathriftflips we would definitely say to just do it! You are taking part in a great experience that will teach you so much and help contribute to sustainable clothing. This experience has strengthened our passion for wanting to continue down the idea of a business related career. We both have an overwhelming love for the marketing and finance aspect of running a business, so we are planning on taking it with us into the future. Along with business, we are passionate about creating a brand that stands for something good so that we feel it has a bigger impact than just selling clothes. Tying business and necessary change together is another aspect we would both love to keep striving for in the future,” said Lily and Anasofia.
Tessa Watson, also an Incarnate Word Academy senior, took a look at her closet one day and realized that she had so many clothing items that she did not need or even want. Tessa wanted to sell and give away her clothes in a constructive way, so she came up with the idea to sell her clothing items for lower prices and to also donate many of her clothes to the less fortunate. Through her business, TessaaCloset, she has helped many young women.
Tessa sometimes repurposes plain clothing items and turns them into something that everyone wants to wear. For example, while in California, she purchased some shirts from a thrift store, bleach dyed them and sold them. Over the summer, Tessa learned a lot about the importance within the balance of selling and donating. While selling clothing pieces she realized that she could give away many of her items to the less fortunate to make a difference in Houston.
“I donated the majority and I think the donation part was the most fulfilling aspect of it,” she said. “My clothes would be going to people who needed them more than me.”
These young female entrepreneurs have made a difference within the Houston community with the goal of creating a more sustainable and caring future. By setting an example for local teens who are thinking of starting a business and fighting injustice to act and to persevere.
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