(Photo: The sustainable designs of fashion designer Lindsay Weatherred)     

Shopping Green

By Jada Brazell     

Cattle everywhere are thanking fashion designer Lindsay Weatherread for her commitment to the environment.

Weatherread’s latest collection is fashioned from completely recycled leather that has been repurposed and refurbished from found jackets and other garments.

“It’s all one of a kind,” she said. “I take these giant pieces of leather and make them into something new.”

The latest look departs from those in previous years. While the new leather collection takes a more tailored and structured form, Weatherread previously used organic, hand dyed fabric to drape and ruche it uniquely into a soft, flowing look she labeled “origami for the body.”

The looks may differ, but one common thread unites them: care for the
environment. From day one, Weatherread has been creating organic lines. “I wanted to do something that was environmentally sustainable,” she said, adding that she struggled with the notion of buying bolts of new fabric for profit, paying no mind to her environmental responsibility. “It didn’t make sense to me to do that. If you have a talent in design, I figure you should put something selfless into it.”

While Weatherread wasn’t raised in a “green” culture, she innately knew preservation was important and began studying environmentalism independently.

After finishing design school at El Centro, Weatherread began making jackets from organic cotton that was grown in Texas. She hand dyed each piece with natural, organic dyes.

She first sold them at the Urban Street Bazaar in Oak Cliff about six years ago and at an organic boutique in McKinney. At the time, she said consumers in the Dallas area were just beginning to discover the importance of buying organic clothing.

Because of this realization, Weatherread’s line of organic baby clothing continues to thrive. “People want something that their kids can wear that doesn’t have chemicals or pesticides in it,” she said.

Just like her original women’s collections, the baby collections are created with a draping and rouging technique.

She said many designers prefer to make their collections based on patterns they have created. Weatherread enjoys working freely with fabric once its texture has been modified by hand dying. Her draped pieces involve hanging the fabric on a dress form, seeing how it naturally takes shape and sewing it accordingly. The process becomes an experience rather than an executed plan.

Her leather collection is designed for women, consisting of dresses and vests. She continues to sell her organic baby line as well.

Weatherread’s collections previously were sold in five area boutiques, but when she was injured in an accident more than three years ago, the recovery process took her out of the business. Now that she has begun designing again, she is currently selling her collections online and at trunk shows while she renews retailer relationships.

Weatherread will create and sell 12 looks each year. “I plan to keep designing for a long time,” she said. “I like having my hands in different projects.”

She also now serves as New Face Director at the Campbell Agency in Dallas, where she scouts new talent, signs them with the agency and helps to develop their careers.

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Jada Brazell is a freelance writer who also consults for fashion- and art-based businesses on branding. She has written for the Odessa American, edited for the Texas Senate and RadioShack, and contributed to several magazines and newspapers in Central and South Texas.