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Brands I've Worked With:

Hi everyone! For those who don't know me, my name is Nafisa and I'm a junior at the University of Pennsylvania. I am super passionate about social impact, particularly in areas of sustainability and gender equity. Here is a little bit about why I started Simply Sustainable:

 

My grandmother’s sewing table was always overflowing with various fabrics—rough denim, soft cotton, smooth silk. Curious about whichever project she was working on at the time, I always ran to the sewing table in her home when I visited her. It was like magic before my eyes as I sat beside her, attentively watching her transform yards of fabric into lavish gowns, playful jumpsuits, and accessories. Oddments of fabric from her creations would be saved for my experimental purposes. Spending hours attempting to mimic my grandmother’s adeptness by turning scraps of charmeuse into headbands and teaching myself how to sew colorful lace onto my old tops to alter their look became a form of self-expression I relished. 

As I grew older, I learned that the production of garments often comes with social and environmental costs to the global community. As I conducted my own research by perusing countless articles from The New York Times, watching and rewatching the documentary The True Cost, and studying the textile section of the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, I became torn between my passion for fashion and my morals. On one hand, fashion and style became part of my identity and, on the other, they posed a conflict with my ethics. I have relentlessly turned off the running faucets in my home and sorted through the trash bags to pick out recyclables since the 4th grade, yet I only recently realized the severe environmental impact of the cycle of fast fashion. I am a passionate feminist and environmental activist, yet fashion is my creative outlet. With each new purchase I made, I dwelled on who had made it, where the fabric came from, and what had to be sacrificed in order for me to wear it. 

I realized I could not compromise my ethics or my interests. I spent hours researching sustainable brands, learning new ways to upcycle my clothes, and finding the best thrift stores. From this came Simply Sustainable, an organization I started at my high school through which I held workshops every month to teach my peers how they can upcycle their clothes and raise awareness about fast fashion. Eventually, I turned Simply Sustainable into the blog today to reach a bigger audience. A student myself, Simply Sustainable is meant to be a resource for learning how to live an affordable and sustainable lifestyle. Now, when I spend my evenings and free time working on new sewing projects and crafting new DIYs, my own sewing table becomes flooded with rough denim, soft cotton, and smooth silk—just like my grandmother’s.