Bay Area artists exhibit environmental installations in the front window of the Georgi & Willow store. The only caveat? The raw material for their work must be sourced – free of charge – from things donated to Goodwill.
A Passion for Fashion and Reuse
San Rafael fashion designer, artist and blogger, Laurel Shaffer, has a passion for fashion and reuse. Her online style journal, Downright Red, celebrates “The Lost Art of Living” with a finely curated look at all things marvelous in fashion, dance and globetrotting adventures, with musings on the nature of sustainable living.
A 2010 graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Laurel’s work in upcycled couture has been displayed in San Francisco’s De Young Museum and the California Museum in Sacramento.
In addition to custom upcycled designs, Laurel is deeply committed to working with natural fibers, particularly wool. “Wool is magical in its luxurious feel and incredible versatility. It can be knit, woven and sculpted into beautiful classic shapes, or avant garde experiments. It’s the ultimate sustainable fiber–recyclable and compostable!”
The treasure trove of wool suits in every Goodwill store triggered Laurel’s interest in upcycling and sustainable fashion. Having studied the astounding amount of human labor and natural resources required to make fabric, she began sourcing from Goodwill for use in her projects. Laurel will feature wool and other organic fabrics in her upcoming slow fashion line, Fable, launching in Fall 2013.
“There is a terrible amount of waste involved in fashion- from creating the material to producing extensive collections that don’t sell and end up in landfills or decaying in warehouses,” Laurel explains. “I want to disrupt that cycle of waste and over production with re-made couture.”
Laurel has always admired Goodwill’s mission, and refers to Goodwill stores as an Alladin’s Cave, fabric emporium and vintage heaven all rolled into one.
“Goodwill is the original fast fashion resource that empowers people with jobs and helps save the planet at the same time,” says Laurel. “I’m excited to share with a wider audience what is possible with a little imagination and some pre-loved clothing.”