Photo by Kelsey Blaylock
Photo by Kelsey Blaylock
Photo by Kelsey Blaylock
Photo by Kelsey Blaylock

Collaboration is key when it comes to Rebloomed Clothes, and May has constructed a system in which everyone involved gets a share.

 After sourcing her clothes and materials for the business, the process became time-consuming, so she hired local “bin heads,” which are people who explore bins at Goodwill outlet stores for specific clothing items.

 “This process is easier and feeds back into a collaborative community outlook that I have on things,” May said. “Everyone is reaping the benefits of people shopping sustainably.”

 Recently, she has created another piece, “Safety First,” that reflects her sustainability efforts for Bloomington’s Trashion Refashion Runway Show, which is an annual fundraiser for the Center for Sustainable Living.

 This bulletproof vest inspired piece is made entirely out of trash materials such as pop-tabs, binder-rings, gloves, and packing foam.

 “I made chain mail of out of the pop-can tabs with Swarovski crystals on each one, and it has a clear plastic back, and the sides are put together by binder rings,” May said. “To finish the ensemble, I did white pants with gloves stuffed with packing foam to create a feather-effect.”

 

During the Celebration of the Arts event, May displays her "Safety First" piece. Photo by Daniela Molina
Mays' "Safety First" piece, along with Well's Douglas's photography. Photo by Daniela Molina

Along with the bulletproof vest influence, she wished to express an underlying meaning affiliated with the title as well.

 “In light of how in today’s society we must protect ourselves from all of these things around us whether it's gun violence or prejudice, we just have to put up a guard and protect ourselves, so that’s where this outfit was inspired,” May said

 May plans on sticking to the sustainability aspect of clothing throughout her fashion design career and hopes to work for a company upon graduation with the same intentions.

 She recommends that students with similar prospects take advantage of the available resources out-of-the-class such as scheduling office hours with professors.

 If interested in expanding your knowledge past the requirements in a class setting, IU’s Engaged Learning site provides more information on how to get involved in the realm of fashion and design, or internships and overseas study programs, regardless of a student's major or field of study.