Nichola Prested is passionate about fashion and about sustainability. While looking for a way to expand her wardrobe without putting pressure on her wallet or on the planet, she stumbled into something bigger.
Nichola is telling her story on Changents. She truly represents what they're doing over there - one person - a Change Agent - making a significant impact on changing the world by banding people together.
Refashionistas take a pledge to avoid new clothing for anywhere from 2 months to a lifetime:
I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself for the term of my contract. I pledge that I shall create and craft items of clothing for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of the contract.
Membership opens up every 2 months, and members document their successes and pitfalls on the site. Many also share their handy refashioning tips!
We're thrilled that Nichola took some time out of her busy schedule recently to talk to us!
greenUPGRADER: Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got into sewing.
Nichola: Hi, I'm a Brit who emigrated to Australia with my husband and baby girl 5 years ago. I've always been crafty in some way whether it be art, photography, cooking (I was a pastry chef for 12 years), knitting, sewing or any of the other crafts you can think of, I've tried pretty much most of them! When I was pregnant with my first child I got back into sewing and knitting and once i arrived in Australia I started my blog Nikkishell and met up with other creative women. It grew from there really, having a blog has been a great way to keep me creating (always need blog fodder!) and a big help in meeting like minded people.
greenUPGRADER: What inspired you to launch Wardrobe Refashion?
I wanted to improve my sewing skills, do something to reduce my impact on the environment and save some money. I had come across 'Little Brown Dress' and 'FiftyRx3' who were both a huge inspiration. I didn't want to wear the same dress each day and was unable to afford the costs of organic clothing so I came up with the idea of not buying any new clothing for 6 months and making or refashioning instead. I mentioned it on my blog and received a wonderful response from people so decided to start an online community where others could join in and share their creations. The site has grown so much in the 3 and a half years it started, I've lost count how many have taken part but it's most definitely in the thousands.
greenUPGRADER: Where do you see Wardrobe Refashion going in the future?
Nichola: This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Wardrobe Refashion costs me a lot of time and money to run, I'm awarded when I read each post or receive an email from someone thanking me and this in itself keeps me running the site. I'd like to put some money behind it to take it further in some way, I'd like to be able to spend more time working on the site and be able to offer more to participants, also maybe a 'real life' community or book as well as online so I'm currently looking for sponsors.
greenUPGRADER: I was reading a bit about the Stitches and Craft Shows that you participated in. Can you give some details?
Nichola:The Stitches & Craft Shows are held here in Australia. Wardrobe Refashion has a 'Reconstruction Zone' set up at each show which consists of sewing machines set up with recycled clothing, tools and supplies available for people to make something new from something old and take it home for free. It has been a fantastic way of encouraging people to give sewing a go. Some have never touched a sewing machine, and when they know it's all free they're happy to get sucked in and make something without being scared it won't work out. They're usually really surprised with how well they do and leave the show with a huge grin and a new found interest in sewing. I found kids to be particularly interested in the area and they often drag their parents in to have a go too. Living Creatively who run the shows have been so supportive, they're awesome!
Wardrobe Refashion will be at all the shows next year with the Reconstruction Zone.
greenUPGRADER: Do you have any other projects in the works?
Nichola:I work for BurdaStyle and Tessuti Fabrics, run Wardrobe Refashion, attend the Stitches and Craft Show and have 3 kids aged 5 and under. Other than the odd sewing project or crazy idea that pops into my already busy brain i don't really have much time for anything else...at the moment!
greenUPGRADER: Thanks again for taking the time for an interview!
A new round just started in November. If you're interested in participating in the next round of the challenge, you can keep an eye on the Wardrobe Refashion site!