Sophomore Lauren Holzwarth Repurposes Unwanted Clothes


By Amber Winkler

She walked through local thrift stores and Goodwills, seeing pieces of clothing she liked but were way too big for her or just not quite right. Eventually, she started to buy them anyway.

Sophomore Lauren Holzwarth had other plans for the imperfect clothing, she began to upcycle them.

To take apart any piece of clothing and resew it again to make a new and unique article is to upcycle. Upcycling repurposes and gives new life to the worn and old clothes and is also very environmentally friendly.

“I think it’s really good for the environment because you’re already using clothes that would otherwise be going into a landfill,” Lauren said. “And it’s a lot cheaper because clothes are expensive. So it’s really a win win.”

Lauren has been upcycling for a couple years, but before about five or six months ago, it had just been something she had done occasionally. Since COVID-19 left her with quite a bit of free time, her hobby turned into a passion.

“I really like the finished product,” Lauren said. “That’s probably one of my favorite things, just being able to  wear it and know that you put effort into it and helped make it unique in your own way. I also really like the whole process, finding it and then the whole sewing aspect, it’s very satisfying.”

Despite upcycling for a while, she still gets stuck on projects and when that happens, she goes to her mom to request help. Lauren’s mom Dorothy Holzwarth usually helps when Lauren gets stuck on how to sew something or when Lauren needs to hear that her idea might just be too far-fetched.

“I think it’s funny that what they used to call my mom jeans are now popular,” Dorothy said. “And then she was able to take an old pair of jeans that for some reason I hung onto and breathed new life into it.”

Tagging along with her on trips to thrift stores is her best friend of 10 years, sophomore Julianna Latham. Latham also upcycles clothes, but not nearly as much as Lauren. She admires Lauren’s ability to make the clothes look how she wants.

“I think the hardest part is probably knowing how to make the item sit right and to know the material and how to alter it depending on that,” Latham said. “And I like that whatever you make is unique to you and no one else has it.”