It’s no secret that the Denver fashion scene focuses on being sustainable and RE.STATEMENT is no different. Creator Hannah Le spent 10 months listening to designer’s stories, researching consumer behavior trends and building the online marketplace: RE.STATEMENT. It was created to help small business designers and artists upcycle used clothing into wearable art.
“The reality is that humans have been upcycling for over 30,000 years, it’s time we start putting a label on it and we’re making good use of it,” Le said. “We’ve gone from upcycling for utilitarian purposes to where we are today where we make beautiful, one of a kind art pieces.”
Hosted at the Grant Humphreys Mansion, Le launched her brand during Flip! A Sustainable Style Swap. Flip! helped show her just how much sustainability is ever growing, especially in Denver.
“It’s been so awesome to be a part of it,” Le said. “It’s really nice to be in Colorado because there are a lot more conscience shopping abilities here and it’s such a priority.”
Le grew up making Barbie outfits out of garbage bags and watching her mom start her own alterations shop — fashion was inevitably something that intrigued her. However, it wasn’t until the pandemic when she saw her mom use upcycled materials to create thousands of masks that Le began to create the foundations of RE. STATEMENT.
Unlike Depop, Poshmark and Etsy, RE.STATEMENT has a vetted designer process and heavily focuses on building relationships with them. Because RE.STATEMENT is an upcycled brand, customers have an easier time finding unique pieces while being sustainable and supporting local businesses.
“A lot of our sellers have moved from Poshmark, Etsy and Depop to RE.STATEMENT because their work is getting recognized and building these real relationships is what really matters to us,” Le said.
Similarly, Flip! helps to emphasize the importance of fashion and community. When a huge fire hit the town of Lafayette, Boulder some turned to Flip! to help those in need. Whether it be to shop for clothes they lost in the fire or for a friend or family member, Flip! provided alternative options.
Flip! A Sustainable Style Swap and Frolic and Vamp creator, Michelle Baldwin had the same idea of helping push sustainable fashion into the Denver scene. What started in her house has become an opportunity to celebrate sustainability with the public.
“I’m someone who has always shopped at thrift stores and second hand and really love the idea of not going out and buying fast fashion items plus it’s more interesting,” Baldwin said. “The clothes are more fun and I love that they have a history. I also have a lot of fashionable friends, that’s why we started swapping.”
Flip! provides a community for anyone to donate clothes they no longer need and swap them for new items for free. Whatever doesn’t get picked up will then be donated to local donation stores or thrift stores.
“It’s really positive and fun and people feel good,” Baldwin said. “They’re getting rid of stuff that has been lingering in their closets that they’re not going to wear and walking out with stuff that they will.”
Not only are Flip! and RE.STATEMENT looking to better the environment through sustainable shopping but by also providing unique experiences that allow consumers to find their style and support local businesses.
“If you’re a buyer that’s looking for the best gifts for someone that has a particular style or looking for something unique that stands out and represents the person that you want to be, RE.STATEMENT is the place for you,” Le said.
Stay tuned for an episode of “Style Your Values,” with Style Curator Koya Nyangi, Hannah Le, Michelle Baldwin and 303 Magazine writer Lauren Lippert where they have a conversation about sustainability, fashion and why it’s important.
All photos by Lauren Lippert