I was ‘window shopping’ on Etsy for some summer clothing and started to notice that there are some seriously talented people creating beautiful fashions that are eco-friendly. And I wondered, what would it look like to spotlight all of them in one place? [ like here?! ] This series is what came next.
I stumbled upon Pondhopper Studios’ shop where Lorraine makes one of a kind clothing with the mindset of ‘no rules fashion’ and sewing outside all the lines. I was super excited to get to know this fellow Canadian more :
Tell us a bit about yourself
While I have always loved all things creative, I really disliked sewing classes at school – the need to follow patterns and rules exactly just didn’t work for my free spirit. Many years later, my young son asked if I could take the motif from his favourite (and threadbare!) T-shirt and sew it onto a new t-shirt. After I had dusted off my sewing machine and combined the two successfully, my aversion to sewing turned into a fascination with the possibilities it offered.
Everything in my shop is designed and handmade by me in my tiny studio crammed with collections of fibers, clothing, jewelry and ephemera stored in beautiful old suitcases and vintage apartment mailboxes. Tools, cameras and books jostle for space along with hastily written ideas on scraps of paper. Pieces in my shop are inspired by my addiction to rescuing otherwise forgotten and discarded items. I love the surprises and uniqueness that come from materials that have a story, a past life, and a soul of their own.
How did you decide to start a business making eco-friendly fashions?
My son’s request coincided with my growing awareness around the dark side of fashion: from environmental impacts, to unsafe working conditions in many factories and the sheer wastefulness of fast fashion. While it is a very small contribution, I felt I could be part of the solution by using salvaged materials destined for the landfill to create one of a kind designs with my newfound fascination to sewing.
I am now completely obsessed with creating clothing and accessories using discarded items destined for the landfill. I love that they have past stories and imperfections, they work perfectly with the visible stitching, asymmetry and artful tattering I love to incorporate into my pieces.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am constantly searching for existing ephemera and fabrics looking for a second chance, whether recently discarded or from another century. From gently softened and faded everyday cottons to vintage brocades, velvets, laces and trims; from retro fabrics and modern day plastics full of attitude to lost trinkets that hold untold stories in their aged patinas.
I combine these salvaged materials and marry them together with an abundance of stitches. I like to incorporate imperfections and asymetry to enhance the personality of my designs and love the way raw edges gently fray and soften over time. Each item is a unique, one of a kind piece created spontaneously without patterns, and includes artful tattering, raw edges and visible stitching.
You can find Pondhopper Studios at:
Come back next week for another Little Green Dress feature. Would you like to be featured? Comment below