Jennifer Kahn

Fashion Design has always been in my blood — I come from a family who owns a 131 year old girl's dress business. Growing up, I often visited our family's company in the city; I loved the buzzing of sewing machines, the endless bolts of fabrics and trims and the creative energy of designers at work. However, I was not only drawn to the beautiful dresses, but also to the scraps of leftover fabric from the production of the garments. I learned that 30% of the fabric used to make each garment would be wasted. Upon further research, I am now aware that the fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. Each year, 26 billion pounds of textiles are thrown into landfills. Virtually every synthetic fiber that has ever been created is still in existence. With the rise of “fast fashion”, this waste will only get worse.

The goal of ‘Re-worked’ is to redesign garments at the end of their lifecycle to make them more relevant and trendy so they will appeal to teens and young adults—and at the same time, reduce textile waste. By upcycling and reinventing previously worn clothing, 'Re-worked' is making a step towards  increasing sustainability in the fashion industry. Additionally, all of the scrap fabrics that I collected from our family business have been put to good use: rather than heading to an incinerator, I have used them to design new garments as part of my line. 

My mission is to raise awareness about this huge waste problem and to make an impact on a local level. At my high school, I founded a club called 'Up 2 D8' where we also reinvent outdated clothing. I recruited members who have an interest in fashion design as well as helping the environment. This past January 2020, 'Up 2 D8' hosted a fashion show at our high school and raised over $1500 for Kids' Kloset, a charity I volunteer for. Kids' Kloset (a division of 914 Cares) is a clothing bank that collects, sorts and donates gently-used clothing to underserved children all over Westchester, NY.  It also provides a sustainable solution to the waste issue in the clothing industry.

50% of all sales from 'Re-Worked' and 100% of all sales from 'Up 2 D8” on this website will be donated to Kids' Kloset.