One of the University of Northern Colorado’s newest clubs is Tailored Textiles. Co-founders Clare Bolon, a third-year anthropology major, and Kennedy Dechant, a fourth-year environmental studies major, soft launched the club last semester. The club only has three members so far and the newest member of the club is Meg Akin, who volunteered to be the community outreach coordinator.
Tailored Textiles came about by a professor sending an email to UNC students seeing if anyone was interested in clothing. That’s how Bolon and Dechant met. They started to talk about their appreciation for clothes and it led them down the path to start a club.
“We noticed where the lack of the upcoming generation on not being able to have or not knowing the skills to sew their own clothes,” Bolon said.
The club members aim to lead workshops revolving around textiles. The co-founders want people of all skill levels to join their club to learn more about sewing. The group also wants students to come work on their own craft projects. Most college students do not have allotted time dedicated to their personal projects, so finding a time for where people can do that was a goal for them.
“I feel like this can be a welcoming and communal space where people with a shared passion can get together,” Dechant said.
The club members are hoping to connect to the Greeley community instead of solely interacting with students on campus. Engaging with other small businesses in Greeley is a priority since all three members have their own environmentally conscious small businesses. “Plebeian Pockets” is run by Bolon on Instagram. She sews pockets on women’s clothing while also mending damaged clothes. “Eclecticism” is run by Dechant and is a small online thrift store that donates half of what it earns to environmental non-profits. Akin’s “Tongue Tied Designs” is a business on Instagram that makes tote bags and other clothing out of recycled neck ties.
Another big goal for the co-founders is to have people fix their own clothes. Bolon and Dechant want people to be more environmentally conscious about throwing away clothes that can be fixed easily and emphasize the environmental impact clothes can have.
“I would love to emphasize the power of making and fixing your own clothing,” Bolon said. “The environmental aspects and benefits it can bring if you know how to sew.”
Their upcoming workshop is a thrift flip that will be Sept. 11. A thrift flip is where people bring their own clothes that are damaged to be fixed or upcycled. Other workshops for the semester are sewing, knitting, buttons and rivets and an embroidery workshop. All materials will be provided to students at the workshops besides the clothes that need to be upcycled.
“I just feel like there’s this stigma around fixing your own clothes rather than getting new clothes,” Akin said.
If you’re unable to make it to a workshop, the club members encourage people reach out to them for advice or tips on what they are planning to create. You can contact them on Instagram at unco_tailoredtextiles or join their GroupMe to get updates.