Designer Nadia Piechestein creates bespoke patches and garments from offcuts. Sublime joins one of her workshops on how to rework our clothes and to learn why DIY fashion is good for us and the planet
Sublime: If there was one thing you could say to big brands globally, what would it be?
Nadia Piechestein: For what I have been living all these years as a Fashion Designer I see that the apparel industry is more conscious about the amount of damage we are making with the way we produce Fashion. The awareness about the damage is already in us, but the changes we need to start making are still cloudy.
Every day and step by step we are building a reality where sustainable production is about to become the new normal. As you can see, I am quite positive in this matter. I know that some brands will keep on making things in a not sustainable way, but more and more old and new brands will make things better for our planet.
S: Tell us a little bit about your background?
NP: I started sewing when I was 14 years old watching my Grandma and my mum. They had a pile of fabrics in the attic, so I used to make colourful garments for myself. Clearly, I ended going to University and started my own brand where I used to teach people how to sew in order to create a job for them making my products. This was when I was living in Argentina, here in London I stopped making clothes and started repairing them. This is how TLZ Movement Clothes came about here.
I am also a dancer and I always felt that being comfortable wearing my clothes is a luxury that I would like to share with others.
TLZ Movement was the way I had to create garments that represents me, clothes to be used always: day, night, to work, to dance, to go on holidays and to use them all your life.
The liberty of movement is something that makes me feel good, I do not enjoy having a tight t-shirt that gives me stomach-ache when I eat or a hole in my crotch that makes me stay still so no-one can tell. The innovation in fashion for me is making clothes respond better and better to the needs of the consumer. My aim is to create for my clients’ ways to improve the features their clothes already have so they can feel splendid wearing them.
S: Why should people mend clothes? What does that look like? How does TLZ Movement encourage this?
NP: It is an experience that creates a deeper bond with yourself. You own a garment, and you feel that needs a change to improve or to be better than how it is now. As a result, you have a garment that has a new story to tell, has a new scar a new flower or a new pocket to show. It is more YOU than when you just bought it: now it is the size of your body! That is amazing!
Besides, if you bin it, the damage to the planet is big. If you give it to charity the percentage, they really use is small, the rest goes to the bin.
I make tutorials where I show how to rework clothes with my patches, I also have a very active Instagram where I show all the thing you can do to have a happy wardrobe.
S: TLZ Movement also produces patches, can you explain how these are made and what their purpose is?
NP: After a few years of making repairs and alterations I realized that I had a box with offcuts that I didn’t want to bin. I started making patches with them and then I added the glue to make them iron on. The colours and textures are a result of my client’s clothes really.
S: Why have you taken the approach of making the patches different colours, so they stand out, as opposed to making the patches a similar colour as the garment that’s being repaired?
NP: I love colour to spice up my outfits so I try to put some pink and yellow when I can.
The visible mending is something that also allow us to show that I put that patch there because I care, I mend because I love my clothes and I take care of the planet too. It is a really sweet message.
S: Is any garment beyond repair?
NP: You can repair anything! Let me show you in my workshops.
You can even make garments from all kinds of offcuts. At the moment I’m presenting my second collection made from offcuts. This time in collaboration with Freeweaver Saori Studios: they make the most beautiful weaving pieces with natural fibres.
Janine, the founder, gave me pieces that she was not using, and I mixed it with my offcuts. I wanted to make weaving textiles more comfortable, so I mixed it with jerseys and ribs. We are so happy with the result. The collection has been exposed during the Natural Fibres Festival last August.
S: If there was one thing you could ask consumers, what would it be?
NP: Would you like to rework a garment? It is extremely rewarding!