Unexpected Designer – Sarah Stahl

Sometimes it just takes a comment at a dinner party to move someone from an eager rubbish reducer to a trash fashionista. That’s what happened to Sarah Stahl last year when, over sushi, she confessed to saving 100’s of single use plastic bread clips for a someday Rubbish Renewed design. Get inspired by her story below, and maybe we’ll see your creation on the runway!  Submission deadline December 21, 2018.

RR: Why were you inspired to collect bread clips?

SS: Bread clips are small, colorful, light weight, and fun to tinker with- because of the different ways you can connect them and their movement. However, for almost all the same reasons- they’re a  real waste problem- especially for marine life. They’re also a great example how seemingly inconsequential, little bits of plastic can really add up quickly.

RR: How did our conversation over dinner push you from a lingering idea to runway ready?

SS: I’ve been to so many Rubbish Renewed runways and always thought, “It would be fun to create something!” but then I would forget about it until it was too late to realistically have the time to put something together. I had the idea of a bread clip dress in the past, and I figured if I committed “out loud” to reaching out to friends and collecting them, I would make it happen. I was at a point in my life where I felt like I needed some kind of creative outlet for some balance, even if it was a small amount of time.

RR: Tell us about your design process from conception to completion.

SS: Lots of collecting and getting the word out. I sketched out many ideas and tinkered with different ways to connect the bread clips. Once I started realizing how many bread clips I was going to need for my original idea, I started modifying.  Also, people started giving me that plastic food bag mesh, and that was easy to incorporate in as a base. Using the wire to connect them felt more natural to me than sewing, due to some past jewelry making experience. At the end, it was several long weekends and evenings of lots of drilling and wire work, along with last minute modifications.

RR: What would you say to inspire others who have an idea, but might not see themselves as runway designers?

SS: If you have an idea, go for it and prepare to modify! Start collecting early and tell your friends and family- everyone likes collecting and participating toward the final product. I got bread clips from out of state and from so many different people from all different arms of my life. It was a fun, unique experience to be behind the scenes the night of the show. The nerve-wracking part of walking the runway is really the shortest part of the whole process!  It’s a very supportive group and audience.

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