Environment

Designer Catches Celebrities' Eyes of with Daring, Recycled Fashions

We throw away millions of tons of clothing each year, taking up space in landfills. Designer Ooh Baby wants to give old clothes new life.


When you think about landfills, you likely picture piles of plastics, electronics, and cars. But each year, millions of tons of clothing is thrown away, emitting the same dangerous greenhouse gasses as deadly plastics.

According to Newsweek, "In less than 20 years, the volume of clothing Americans toss each year has doubled from 7 million to 14 million tons, or an astounding 80 pounds per person. The EPA estimates that diverting all of those often-toxic trashed textiles into a recycling program would be the environmental equivalent of taking 7.3 million cars and their carbon dioxide emissions off the road."

Much of the recent explosion in waste has been attributed to the rise in fast-fashion, where brands and websites increasingly turnover cheap clothing, shorten style seasons, and speed up trends. Thus, clothing is piling up in landfills faster than ever as consumers chase the next great look.

Ooh Baby , a clothing brand based in Pittsburgh, is flipping the switch by saving clothes that would otherwise end up in the trash and turning them into artistic, well-made pieces that are catching the eyes of celebrities like Bebe Rexha.

Courtesy of Instagram

A former med-student and founder of Ooh Baby, Anika creates colorful, rebellious styles that have been crafted from well-made fabrics she's saved from certain doom. She goes to thrift shops, implores her friends and colleagues to donate old clothing, and travels the country showcasing and selling her upcycled designs. We talked to her about her growing popularity.

Want a piece for yourself? Head to her website to explore her designs and find inspiration for custom orders.

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