MOD Society Magazine Triangle Triangle: Dec/Jan 2021 - Page 38




photography by aura marzouk
We ’ re all familiar with paper waste . Plastic waste . Food waste and electronic debris . But who thinks about textile waste — the clothes and T-shirt slogans you ’ ve outgrown ?
Emily Neville does . In fact , she ’ s made a successful business of repurposing textile waste into usable , wearable goods . She founded her company , Reborn Clothing Co ., in the fall of 2017 when she was a sophomore at North Carolina State University ( NCSU ). She was a Park Scholar , studying political science with minors in business and French . She wasn ’ t planning to launch a startup or become an entrepreneur at the young age of 19 . But Emily had an idea and followed its winding thread ( recycled , of course !) to where she is today , leading a lucrative enterprise in the growing textile upcycling space .
Emily was born and raised in Cumberland County , North Carolina and began sewing at the age of 10 . She learned that overlooked , back-ofthe-closet items could be revamped with simple hemline or neckline adjustments that extended the life of wardrobe items . She carried that ethos with her to college where she quickly identified an unmet opportunity to reduce textile waste . She began by creating memory blankets , pillowcases , dog bandanas and other items from favorite T-shirts provided by customers . “ I came up