We had the good fortune of connecting with Hannah Le and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hannah, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
When it comes to the excessive waste crisis in the fashion industry, 84% of all clothing gets discarded, and 70% of clothes handed to thrift stores or consignment stores don’t get sold.

While sure, fashion is fashion, so the unwanted clothes might just be ugly or terribly out of style. Fair, let’s just recycle then, right? Well, not quite.

Not only are some textiles currently impossible to recycle, but there are ways we might be able to be a little smarter about it that many small businesses and independent designers have figured out…

Let me introduce you to RE.STATEMENT, the online marketplace for upcycled clothing.

“Upcycling” is when you create new clothing out of used materials. No need to use chemical processes to recycle, and no need to destroy to create again.

From edgy fashion shows on the runway, to part-time small businesses with a talent for design, even to my own mom who’s a full-time tailor but used her collection of saved fabric scraps to sew over 1,000 face masks at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic – upcycling is an efficient way of making use of what we already have and reducing waste by an incredible amount.

So what does the RE.STATEMENT, the upcycled clothing marketplace do?

We help both sustainable small businesses and eco-conscious consumers shine. We give small businesses and designers a space to promote and sell their original, upcycled clothing. They sell directly on our website to buyers who want to…

1. shop ethically, and
2. find distinct designs that set their best foot forward and start conversations that are remembered for a lifetime.

Instead of being exhausted on page 18-20 of Etsy or getting frustrated by countless thrift shop trips from not finding the clothes you want, you can express yourself and buy from small businesses that create with talents that no one else will ever match, all on shoprestatement.com.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My startup, RE.STATEMENT is the online marketplace where sustainable, talented small businesses or independent designers sell new clothes made from used materials to eco-conscious buyers who want something a little far from ordinary. The upcycled clothing marketplace.

That’s us, simply put.

However, there are more layers to this as we progress our growth day by day.

We’re reigniting a way to sustainably shop that has been around for centuries because making the most out of used materials to turn them into new products just makes sense. Many of us may not know how to sew, know how to design, or have the time to create new clothes these days. But instead, we can send this desire to stand out or express ourselves straight to talented, sustainable designers by discovering the clothes they upcycle.

These are the artists, the creatives, and the artisans who are hustling to make it. They’re seeing potential in what others would’ve gotten rid of, and they are creating beauty out of chaos.

Their sustainable, upcycled clothing deserves to be recognized.

Their clothing shouldn’t be on page 18 of Etsy, they shouldn’t need to focus on getting Instagram followers, and they don’t deserve to be listed in the same place as secondhand clothing on Poshmark. With RE.STATEMENT, their designs are put right in front of people who care about their mission and want to support small businesses.

And once we prove that the buyers and sellers on RE.STATEMENT can be obsessed with each other, we’re making more of an environmental impact. We’re bringing in sourcing and suppliers. Remember how 84% of clothing gets discarded according to the EPA? Yeah, well we’re going to meet those clothes right before they get destroyed and supply our designers with more materials to work with so they can continue earning from their talents. We also are going to calculate how much energy it takes to upcycle clothing and make these designers’ process carbon neutral.

That’s fully closing the loop on the circular economy of fashion, or the process that keeps the materials we’ve already produced in use. If we can reduce waste and carbon emissions AND look good doing it? We have no reason not to do it.

A lot of the time, in conscious consumerism (or the awareness of shopping to optimize for a positive socio-environmental impact) companies and consumers will act like it takes such an effort to be “green” or eco-friendly.

What I’m most proud about what RE.STATEMENT does is that it makes conscious consumerism EASY. We know that almost everyone likes to buy new things, spice up their lives, and express themselves differently. And if they can do all that while being sustainable and ethical? Absolutely go for it. And there are thousands of sellers ready to upcycle for them? Oh hell yeah.

RE.STATEMENT just makes sense.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh my gosh, whenever my friends come to town, I love matching whatever they’re feeling with the best parts of Houston that fulfill that.

I like to spend some time on Facebook events and Eventbrite to discover new experiences coming up, or I’ll ask around for any cool events going on in the city. My favorites are any live jazz performances, especially outdoors. But I’m also notoriously known by my friends to RSVP to the most random events I can find.

For weekend nights, I like to hit Montrose, the Heights, or EaDo (maybe even Midtown or Washington, depending on how chaotic I’m feeling).

My favorite nightlife scene I like to show friends around is definitely EaDo. I love how close the bars and restaurants are together. Everything is walking distance, and it’s a neighborhood where everyone just feels genuinely HOUSTON.

We usually start with dinner at Rodeo Goat, where I never know which crazy burger to get but for sure get a MoonTang drink. They are so good, and I don’t know how I got so lucky to stumble upon them on their MoonTang Monday happy hour the first time I visited.

Next, we hit up Truck Yard because their iconic ferris wheel and live music give any friends visiting the Texas experience they imagined getting. The outdoor seating is everything. Well it’s still early enough for 8th Wonder Distillery and Brewery to be open, we’d probably go there before Truck Yard.

Then, the rooftop bar next to Truck Yard, called Sunset, shows a beautiful view of the skyline. And if you know anything about me, you know I LOVE skylines.

Then as we wind down for the night, Pitch 25 is such an awesome place to be. It just has so much space, despite how busy it gets. It’s the best whenever there’s a Houston team playing that night.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom and dad. There are miles and miles of more gratitude I would love to show my parents, and I’ll never feel like I’ve expressed my gratitude enough. They’re a huge reason why I do what I do – because they’ve shown me I’ve been given too much in this lifetime to do anything less.

A logical, rational father with incredible precision, carefulness, and efficiency, who traded his computer and pens for machine tools after immigrating across the Pacific Ocean (and believes in giving to those in need, especially if you can). And a hardworking, social butterfly of a mother who let me watch her start and continue to grow her own alterations shop out in Tomball, TX (and inspired my fascination with fashion).

They have gone through points in their lives where they had nothing and nobody, but they continue to handle challenges like champions. They show me that if I am able to do and pursue something, I should do it. Because if we’ve been blessed with the opportunity to do more, we should do it.

Website: https://shoprestatement.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/re.statement

Linkedin: https://linkedin.com/in/lehannah

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