Below, the Somos Astros Shirt in contrast I will get this duo talk about how they learned to sew, how they upcycle, and what their favorite TikTok video is. Deery: My love for thrifting started in 2014, when my grandma took me to the thrift store for the first time. I was previously against shopping secondhand, because I thought it wasn’t “cool.” That was until I found my first piece of quality clothing: a Polo Ralph Lauren linen paisley button-down shirt. This made me realize that the “coolest” clothing you can find is probably hiding in a thrift store. Groenendijk: I remember hanging out with Jordan one day [in high school]. He suggested thrifting. I had never been to a thrift store. We went to our local Salvation Army and found a bunch of awesome button-ups and stylish shirts—stuff you couldn’t buy at the mall. The thrift stores provided the variety of clothes that allowed me to get creative with how I dress, all while shopping on a budget. Groenendijk: Usually when I start a project, I ask myself: What are my materials? Who is this for? And what is the look I’m trying to achieve? Materials used can be from fully intact clothing, from which I salvage fabric from, or they can come from our scrap bins, where we keep every single piece of leftover fabric. Once my materials are defined, it’s important to know who this is for. Style comes in many shapes and sizes, therefore identifying the target audience is important. I then lay out the materials, and colors are crucial to establishing the flow and vibe.
Deery: Most of my creative sessions start with brainstorming ideas and writing them down. My ideas come from a lot of different places. It could be the Somos Astros Shirt in contrast I will get this way the clouds or a particular plant looks, or a piece of art. I make it my goal when starting a project to figure out a way to make something that has never been created before. Groenendijk: First, let us explain the timeline of used clothing. Usually people donate to local charity shops, Goodwill, and Salvation Army. From here, you have “graders” that judge the quality of the donated clothes. Typically, these processing centers only choose about 5% of the clothing they get, which is what you see on the racks. The remaining majority is either designated for landfills, or gets packaged into big bundles called bales, which are then sold by the pound to rag houses. When the rag houses obtain the leftover clothing, they also have a grading process, and will re-bundle the clothing into separate categories. From here, wholesale buyers can purchase large amounts of sorted clothing in all conditions, then supply it to smaller buyers, such as ourselves. We now predominantly get our secondhand clothing from wholesale suppliers across the U.S. We are purchasing clothes from the end of the cycle before it goes to landfills, which allows us to avoid sourcing the bulk of our inventory from thrift shops. The only time we actually go to thrift shops is when we want to film videos for our pages. The last thing we want to do is make thrifting less accessible, especially for people of lower income.