A former Quality Assurance executive in the Medical Device industry and now a trained fashion designer, Michelle is an advocate for green fashion with a talent and passion for transforming (upcycling) existing fashion. Running Paganoonoo is Michelle’s dream 2nd career!
Michelle has been a featured artist in Discarded to Divine, twice having her upcycled garments displayed at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. She authored an article on upcycling in Threads Magazine, issue #177. Michelle loves to share her passion and is available to speak about upcycling & give workshops.
I have a commitment that every stitcher in the world try upcycling at least once, have a successful experience, and get hooked. Upcycling is not a replacement for traditional sewing with flat fold cloth. I see it as an excellent supplement that is both good for the planet and easy on the budget.
Why do I say easy on the planet? Because the greenest clothes are those that have already been made. They require no (or very little) new resources to be used again. The less new resources we use, the better for the planet. With upcycling as a piece of the green fashion movement we begin to move more in the direction of sustainable fashion. Image if we stitchers, with our magical powers, all adopted upcycling as part of our toolbox.
Right now the fashion industry is the 2nd largest polluting industry on the planet, second to oil. We can make a positive difference.
As a citizen of America I am against exporting the social injustices we fought against and won almost a century ago: child labor, unsafe working conditions & slave wages & devastatingly long working hours. I am against exporting the environmental devastation we fought and won against decades ago: rampant contamination of water, soil, air and more. I am against supporting and perpetuating these injustices through the import and purchase of ridiculously under-priced fast fashion built on the platform of unpaid social and environmental costs. I am against fashion that is ill-fitting, ill-looking, shoddily made of poor materials that is good for nothing after a season of wear. I am against a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear coupled with an itch to buy more.
I am for beautifully made fashion with a timeless quality, favorite pieces that are reached for again and again, clothing that lights you up and lights up those that see you. I am for looking great everyday, at every age, and every shape, being the walking work of art you are as you live each day, year, and decade of your life. I am for supporting those who do business ethically, both socially and environmentally. I am for buying from and supporting artists and the gifts of beauty, innovation, inspiration and creativity they provide us all. I am for transforming the already existing abundance of fashion around us into new fashions, and that upcycling become a common way of thinking, a common way of life.