An opportunity to collaborate with other creatives and unique indiviuals is a hard one to pass up! I am collaborating on a giveaway with Lanni Lantto of ( re ), a brand she's created that focuses on upcycling beautiful clothing! And what better way to learn about her business and the creative process than to ask Lanni herself, so that's what I did, enjoy the little Q&A below to help you learn more about the amazing work she's been doing. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this blog post, Lanni is giving away one of her killer upcylced items!
What inspires you to keep creating?
The artistic creative freedom of creating pieces made from discarded materials is so fun and empowering. I started upcycling before I knew how to sew and I truly believe that anyone can create this way, you don’t need to go to fashion school. The materials I work with really keep me going because they always vary and it’s always a treasure hunt. Environmentally, I keep creating because it is necessary! On average, we buy 63 apparel products and throw away 10lbs per year when it takes 2,900 gallons of water to make one pair of jeans, it is really important to consume less and upcycle more!
How much time MONTHLY, do you spend seeking out materials to refashion?
I have a studio FULL of materials that I have gathered over the years and bins full of beautiful vintage clothing so I don’t have to go far at this stage of my label. Each material is organized into: buttons, lace trim, ruffles, tshirt material, zippers, scarves, ect. I also have bins for parts of clothing like pockets, collars, waistbands. I do make runs to the thrift stores & consignment boutiques every month to see what is new but that is mostly just because I’m curious and have to see what is there!
What are your hopes for the future of your brand and store?
My brand focuses on upcycled design and education so I see that only continuing in the future. One area in which I am currently expanding is what I like to call my ‘vintage adoption agency’. I come across so many beautiful vintage dresses, blouses, slips, and nightgown when I am out searching for materials that it is sacrilegious to cut them up! My Etsy boutique features over 300 wonderfully curated and hand selected vintage pieces dating back to the 1800s but featuring every era- including the 1930-1940s which is my personal favourite. I do all the leg work of finding them and then I get to adopt them out to the person meant to find them– which may sound odd but it’s truly what it feels like. I get so many people who fall in love with a piece and tell me they are going to wear it for their wedding or to a special event and this absolutely makes my day. I love sharing in that exchange with people all over the world.
How old were you when you knew this is what you wanted to do as a career?
I always knew I wanted to be involved with a career that made a difference, one that helped people and added positively to the world. When I buy materials that money goes directly to charity shops that use it to feed and shelter people and when people buy from me their money goes directly towards that same cycle. It’s such a feel good way to do business. When you buy a piece from me you’re not only directly helping me survive, you’re supporting a business which is both ethically and ecological minded doing really great things in the community- unfortunately not all brands and retailers can say the same thing especially those selling fast fashion.
Do you ever get tired of the search for new materials?
It’s impossible to tire of treasure hunting – it’s like going into a fabric store and buying yards of expensive fabrics- searching for materials is discovering a 1950s sock hop skirt in the back bin of trailer store flea market, a burgundy 1970s disco gown, a Victorian linen dressing gown in new condition at a garage sale, a 1930s peach satin nightie with little heart appliques all over it. That never gets tiring!
Has the growth of your business gone as you've expected it to?
Each year, I keep finding new vintage pieces and redesigning one of a kind clothing and constantly am updating the Etsy store. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on the quality of items I find/create and how people don’t usually see so many unique pieces in one spot. It’s not easy to find upcycled/vintage clothing spanning all styles, eras and ages (I just started a baby and child section) and I think offering this has definitely increased business. But it’s all word of mouth so I need people to help share the store with their friends. I’ve also created a ‘RE vintage lovers’ Facebook group where I offer special discounts and previews of new items.
Now that you've had the chance to learn a little bit more about Lanni and her beautiful work, she graciously has offered one lucky Samantha Elizabeth reader the opportunity to win one of her beautiful vintage nightygowns! Perfect for these warm summer months ahead. Here are a handful that she has available for you to choose from! A personal favorite – Boho Hot Pink Nightgown (if this fit over the baby bump it'd be mine!) this one is a close second, but also tied with this one.