Natasha Halesworth is the founder and owner of The Consistency Project, which is a shop that curates secondhand fashion and designs reworked clothing.
The Consistency Project (@theconsistencyproject) does more than sell clothes, though — they are working to break the stigma of secondhand and drive conversations about the unique value of pre-loved fashion in the industry.
In this episode, Natasha is giving us a glimpse inside what it’s like to run a secondhand and reworked clothing brand. She’s sharing the unique approaches to sourcing, designing, and producing for reworked or upcycled garments.
Natasha is also sharing:
- What her sourcing process is like and what she keeps in mind when shopping for secondhand textiles;
- What deadstock is and how the deadstock system really works in the fashion industry today;
- What the production process looks like for reworked garments — and if that process can or should ever become scalable;
- And her advice for other small businesses focused on pre-loved fashion and reworking.
Tune in to this episode of the Conscious Style Podcast below, or on your favorite podcast app.
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The transcript of this episode of the Conscious Style Podcast is below.
ELIZABETH JOY: Hey there, and welcome or welcome back to the show. In continuation of this season’s theme on circularity, today we are talking all about secondhand and upcycling.
I am chatting with Natasha Halesworth of The Consistency Project, which is a shop that curates secondhand fashion and designs reworked clothing.
But the Consistency Project is not just about selling clothes. They are working to break the stigma of secondhand and drive conversations about the unique value of pre-loved fashion in the industry.
In this conversation, Natasha is giving us a glimpse inside what it’s like to run a small business focused on secondhand and reworked clothing, which offers us a really fascinating perspective on this side of the circular fashion economy.
Specifically, Natasha is sharing:
What her sourcing process is like and what she keeps in mind when shopping for secondhand textiles;
What deadstock is and how that system really works in the fashion industry;
What the production process is like with reworked garments, and if that process can — or should — ever be scalable;
And her advice for other small businesses focused on selling secondhand fashion and reworked garments.
As always, the transcript for this episode is available in the show notes, which are hosted on consciouslifeandstyle.com. And the video version of this episode is available on YouTube, on our channel Conscious Life & Style. The links will be in the episode description.
And if you like this conversation, make sure to hit subscribe or follow on your favorite podcast app so that you don’t miss any future interviews like this one!
Finally, for more conscious content on all things sustainable fashion, you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter, The Conscious Edit, where I share what articles and books I’m reading, what podcasts I’m listening to, videos and documentaries I’m watching, brands I’m browsing, campaigns I’m supporting, and more.
To sign up, you can head on over to consciouslifeandstyle.com/edit or visit the link in the episode description.
All right, now let’s get on to the conversation. Natasha is going to start us off here with a bit of background on herself and tell us why she decided to create The Consistency Project.
NATASHA HALESWORTH: Hi, I’m Natasha.
A lot of things define who I am. But basically, I was born and raised in Hawaii and had grown up there for a while. I’d lived in California for a bit and then moved to New York.
And really along that journey, I had done a bunch of different jobs and explored different careers. And I’d always been interested in fashion.
And so over that timeframe, I decided to kind of start a little side project, now, The Consistency Project, to really kind of explore my interest in fashion. And I think it’s evolved over time.
So what it was when I started, is definitely not what it is today. And I definitely see in like 10 years, if I still got to be doing this wonderful thing, I feel like it could be different then.
But then I’ll dive into The Consistency Project as we probably get into the interview.
ELIZABETH: Yes, for sure.
We will be talking a lot about what The Consistency Project does. Because you do come at reuse and secondhand from various angles that will be really interesting to explore.
To start off, I think it would be helpful for us to sort of set the foundation here and discuss the difference between secondhand, vintage, reworked, and upcycled clothing. That’s a lot of terminology there.
So I think it would be helpful to define what all of that is. Could you break that down for us?
And so this was definitely something that I, in the beginning of my journey of starting The Consistency Project, that I didn’t really understand myself and was exploring.
And so really to break it down, I think secondhand really — and the reason why we try to use the term secondhand more so over vintage is because it encompasses a lot more. So vintage really is defined as at least 20 years or older. And so really kind of that gives a date.
But I think nowadays we’ve loosely used the term vintage a lot more. And really, it has almost like, taken over the term secondhand a bit, which I think can be beneficial in the sense that vintage has become more mainstream.
But I think truly secondhand encompasses everything, whether modern, it was just used yesterday and given to a friend the next day. It’s really something that you’re able to reuse and give another life, essentially.
Within the rework and kind of upcycle space, I think rework and upcycle are both basically the same thing.
I think upcycle has traditionally had a little bit more, not a stigma around it, but a little bit more of like, oh, if you’re upcycling, it seems more of like a project that might be just at home and may or may not be something that you are necessarily doing full time.
[Upcylcing] doesn’t give kind of this air of like a business, I guess you’d say.
So, I think, obviously, there are businesses that upcycle. But I think the term rework was kind of instead adopted by us to give the air of like, we are literally taking something and reworking it.
Just like upcycle you’re taking something and you’re upcycling, so it’s like, re and cycle, like maybe you can buy recycled… it’s basically the same thing.
But I don’t think there’s much of a difference.
And truly, we are also an upcycle brand if people identify with that term more. We just personally identified with the rework aspect because we’re really in the business of taking existing garments versus only deadstock fabrics and reworking them.
Yeah I’d love to talk more about that as well, like the difference between using deadstock versus using existing garments.
So could you walk us through your sourcing process?
NATASHA: I want to ask you a question about this — I thought it’d be interesting.
I think this idea of sourcing has this air of like a hidden secret. Or I don’t know, it seems like weird! So from your perspective, why do you think that is? I’m curious
ELIZABETH: I feel like I envision it being like a warehouse, like maybe something that’s only available B2B.
Like you have to be an insider because I don’t envision them being just like shops that you can go to.
I envision them more like these warehouses that you have to know where they are to get access to them.
So sourcing, I think it’s such a complex thing to talk about because it really depends on the phase of your business.
So I can talk about like phase one of The Consistency Project. Which essentially I was just sourcing vintage from thrift stores and reselling it, right?
And so I know a ton of different shops to this day that have brick and mortars, but also online shops on Etsy. Really, the sourcing process is exactly what someone might think, and it’s so obvious, but it’s like going to a thrift store.
I think that is a main source. But for some reason, I think from the consumer side, you kind of doubt that that’s the source.
But really, it is a huge, huge source for many, especially starting out.
Because the next phase is really the phase or the source that you’re talking about, which is like warehouses or things that are a little bit more inaccessible, I guess, to just someone walking up the street and wanting to buy for themselves, for personal buy.
And the reason why warehouses are a little bit more B2B is because you’re dealing with minimums and you’re dealing with more of a process that essentially needs to be in scale or in bulk.
So when we think about our personal closets, I mean, we really shouldn’t be buying things in that scale or that bulk, to begin with.
So it really doesn’t make sense for someone that is interested in secondhand, or thrifting, to want to go to a warehouse-like that, because the requirements are just… it just wouldn’t make sense.
And from a business perspective, from the warehouses that do exist, I mean, a lot of them are rag houses. A lot of them are sifting through 1000s of pounds of clothing, and really, their time to have someone come in, help them walk through… like it needs to kind of weigh out.
And so that’s why it’s a volume-based thing where they’re like, okay, well, if we’re going to take the time to host you in our warehouse, which is most times chaotic. Most times it needs direction, like where is this at?
Like, you’re going through a lot of things; it can be a liability safety-wise. It’s not really built to just have someone that isn’t familiar kind of with the business kind of just diving in. A
So I think that’s where it just depends on the phase.
And so for us, we’ve obviously kind of gone through different phases. As we’ve really figured out what was our niche and what we really wanted to focus on, we realized that we needed to get things more in bulk.
If we’re reworking one thing, we want to kind of be able to provide multiple different options of that. And so warehouse made sense because we could buy in bulk for a particular type of pants, like our Stan Re-pant.
I think sourcing can be also built on relationships. I mean, I know a lot of people and shops have built relationships with different, they call them pickers, or people that kind of thrift and go to flea markets on regular basics that just enjoy that experience to then sell it to sellers that have shops.
And so all of that is not just like on the internet that you can just like Google, how do I find this person that’s interested?
I mean, maybe there needs to be a platform built to connect these people, which would be super cool and great for shops that are starting out.
But essentially, it’s all about the relationships. It’s all about having the conversations, and really getting to know different people who could potentially be sources.
And I think that’s what really makes a great shop sometimes is the owner, the curators, they have built great relationships, therefore, can have the best access to certain products.
And I think, anyone that is really interested in this business has the ability to really build the relationships.
I don’t think there’s any type of… there are challenges, obviously, but I think if you go with in the mindset of trying to be authentic, and really sharing and building a partnership, almost like a mutual partnership…
I think that’s where sourcing and that whole world can be something that you can really be successful in.
And when you go to these warehouses, what’s your criteria or checklist when deciding what you want to buy versus what’s kind of a no?
Because you’re reworking it, but I imagine there are some things that aren’t maybe as fixable as others?
So I mean, back in the day, it was really like an exploration where I kind of just went with my gut of like, oh, let me just try this out, right? Because I think it’s also a learning process.
And, almost having too much of our criteria, especially with rework can hold you back from the creative process, right? So there’s a lot of experimentation, I think that goes on in the very beginning.
And really, when I was just sourcing as a vintage shop, I was seeing different things that I saw as opportunities to rework, which then led to kind of what The Consistency Project is today.
So it was that openness of like, okay, trying something different, figuring out what really spoke to the community we’ve built. But also to what I knew was possible from a more fashion construction standpoint.
So like, having some background and understanding of garment construction definitely also helps you see something in a light that can be taken apart and then reconfigured just by looking at it.
Overarching though, we’ve always been a brand that focuses on functionality, comfort, and just something that is still fun at the same time.
I think that has always been my filter of like, okay, I’m looking at it’s like can I wear this every day, but still feel, it’s something special.
It’s like kind of finding that middle ground where it really can toy between going out with friends and just working around the house, it’s like how can I have something that can work for both settings?
And I think that that mindset just comes from a very personal interest of mine, style-wise, I guess.
ELIZABETH: Yeah, that makes sense to have kind of a style or utilitarian aspect in mind of what works in certain situations.
So we touched on this a little bit before, but I’d love to talk more about deadstock.
On the consumer, individual side, outside of the industry, it can be a little confusing. So, can you explain what deadstock is and sort of how that system works in the fashion industry?
NATASHA: Yeah, it’s still sometimes confusing to me, to be honest.
Because we’re using kind of a blanket term to really cover a range of different categories within the fashion industry. So deadstock it basically means what it says it’s like deadstock, so it’s stock that essentially couldn’t be sellable, or a shop closed down.
So, therefore they have no platform to be selling it. So it’s stock that needs to go — I mean, it’s essentially dead to the business.
And then there’s deadstock, that’s also more so potentially, like one-off imperfection, production runs, right.
So maybe they ran out, did a design of pants, and there’s one detail that was actually wrong from the actual design that they want to do.
But now you have this batch of like, 50 pants that you had made, that’s not the one that you want to release to your customer. So what do we do with that as well.
And then you have just excess production from a more fabric standpoint.
So from the beginning of the fashion journey, we also have stock that is just produced in excess, to essentially cover potential designs that may not have gone through, or maybe that they had overshot in planning.
So you’re like, okay, I need 100 yards of this fabric. And then really, like when it went to production, you only use 50. So then you have these 50 yards, that you’re like, okay well, we’re not running the style anymore. We don’t want to produce more clothing that potentially won’t be sold. So, therefore it stays as fabric.
And so I think to someone that’s like, I don’t know what this is, I mean, just really see it as things that exist already but that is potentially still new to the consumer.
So it’s not new within the business production flow. Because from business to business, I’m getting deadstock fabric; it’s not really new to me.
So it’s technically secondhand from another business. But when I produce from it, it’s still new to the customer, because I’m producing something new.
And the same with a shop that closes and they have tons of stock of inventory. At that point, it’s it hasn’t really seen the customer.
But if I’m buying it from another business, it’s technically secondhand to me because I’m taking something that is no longer useful to another business and then somehow giving it a second life in another aspect.
So I think that’s the way to see it. And I think that deadstock can be really a term that could be I guess, used in other industries as well. It’s just traditionally has been within the fashion industry primarily.
ELIZABETH: Mhm yeah.
And I think part of the confusion is that it is the pre-consumer stage, so it is kind of hidden a little bit.
NATASHA: Yes, exactly, exactly.
And I think that there are just so many subcategories that can fit into this major category.
And so when you think about all the different types, you’re like, I don’t know what’s happening.
But I think it’s part of a business or brand’s job to gently communicate these things as they’re going through the process.
So really sharing things in the moment in that particular example or experience that the brands or businesses going through. This then gives the consumer the community much more confidence and understanding what’s happening and using real-life examples to connect the two.
And I think that’s sometimes the part that’s actually missing. Because we see a lot of businesses — the reason why I think there is confusion is because we see on a website, a brand that produces new clothing advertises their stuff and says, oh deadstock, sustainable materials, and then you’re just like, and then that’s it.
There’s like no talk about well, what does that even mean?
Like did you get this fabric from another designer? Or was this is… Like, there was no communication, no narrative.
And that’s really, I think, a huge issue that even if a brand is using deadstock, well, what kind of deadstock? Where are you actually doing that is sustainable?
I guess that’s a part that as a brand for us, we say, oh, we are more than just a shop is because we care about communicating these things, and we care about showing the inside.
Because I think as consumers make decisions of who they support, it’s important for them to know, and it’s important for them to know a standard that other brands should be doing as a bare minimum.
I think that’s where, what we’re doing is just the bare minimum. We’re trying to excel, but we think this is the bare minimum that all brands should be doing. And from there, I think that’s where we can really kind of collectively make more change together.
ELIZABETH: Yeah absolutely.
Just sharing more, being transparent. And that gives the consumer as you said, more confidence and clarity.
Because there are definitely some complexities with deadstock.
And one of the complexities that I wanted to talk about was the criticism that I’ve seen a few times that relying on deadstock is basically giving these brands who are overproducing almost an excuse to do it, because they’re like, oh, well, somebody will buy it, or they can still recover some of that money that was lost.
And so maybe they are being encouraged to continue overproducing.
So what are your thoughts on that?
NATASHA: Absolutely. Yeah.
I absolutely agree with that brands that utilize deadstock or our focus on rework or do anything related to reuse shouldn’t be the scapegoat for the bigger brands that are overproducing.
That’s like, I hands down, agree with that.
I think where it gets complex is really deadstock isn’t, I don’t think a solution to how the fashion industry operates. Because again, that solution requires overproduction.
But at the same time, we’re only thinking about deadstock as excess.
Excess in a way that is in huge, huge volumes, right?
So there is such thing as excess that is almost required anytime you’re producing anything.
So for example, if you know a brand is creating a new collection, they have to plan to have a little bit extra, because if they don’t and they run out of fabric during the production process, it can cause even more waste in them having to order a whole new batch to be made.
Because there are minimums when you make things or make fabrics or anything custom.
So there’s always going to be a little bit of excess, that we’ll always have to work with.
If we don’t want excess, we shouldn’t be making any new clothing at all, and we should just be buying secondhand and only using things that exist. That is how we can approach it.
But I don’t think new brands are gonna just go away, right?
Producing new things is gonna have to be a thing because, for vintage or secondhand to even exist, it needs to be bought; it needs to be bought new at some point.
So all the things that we buy new now, I mean, potentially could be like coveted vintage, 20 years later.
It is complex because there’s this idea that to have secondhand, you need new. And there’s that synergy and that balance.
And I think that’s something that we try to understand his balance and there is kind of the ebb and flow.
Without that balance, that’s when things kind of go off.
So we can’t expect everyone to only shop secondhand, as much as that’s what we really, I mean, honestly, we probably could get to a point where we could all be doing that, but it’s probably not going to be the best solution for everyone.
Everyone has a different lifestyle, I can expect that from everyone.
At the same time, I think deadstock particularly, I don’t think it actually has as much negative connotation once people understand that there are other types of deadstock that aren’t really related to the high high overproduction that we hear about in these like fashion horror stories.
Because most times those, like those garments or fabrics are actually proprietary and destroyed by these brands.
That is a huge problem.
Other brands don’t even get to reuse it, because they’re like, well, I don’t want this particular print being made by anyone else. Therefore, we’re going to destroy it in unsustainable ways, and no one will even know it ever exists. That is what’s happening with a lot of technical deadstock.
And so really, that’s the conversation we should be having of overproduction.
It’s like, well, what’s happening to the things that don’t get to be reused?
What’s behind closed doors, when it comes to overproduction? And a lot of the overproduction is the garment itself. And we hear about things getting destroyed, and thrown away, going to landfills.
And I think that’s something that we need to shed more light on that over brands trying to reuse things that already exist.
ELIZABETH: Yeah, I totally agree with you.
Let’s focus on the big problem, which is right, these brands who are maybe incinerating the material, just because they don’t want someone using their branded print or whatever.
NATASHA: Yeah and so this is why it’s very complex. I think everyone can have a perspective and an opinion.
And I think, all are valid. I think everyone’s perspective is extremely valuable to how we kind of move forward. But it’s also important to understand, listen, and kind of digest all perspectives.
And so I feel like personally, it’s like something I’m continually being open to even learning. Even being within the business, it’s like, just things are changing a lot within the fashion industry.
And even within reuse, and upcycling, and secondhand and vintage, this industry is evolving so, so much.
Every year it’s evolving. And how it evolves affects the kind of operational standpoint of how businesses run. So I think it’s a conversation that will be lasting for a very long time.
ELIZABETH: Right, right.
And it’s important to always have these conversations.
So I think it’s about having that continual discussion, for sure. And then sort of slightly shifting gears to another aspect of your business, which is the reworking.
I would love to talk about that design process. So could you share with that is like?
I mean the basis of it is taking something that already exists and kind of reworking it into something a little bit different.
And so the design process is really materials driven, garment driven.
It is driven by the need for something to potentially be reworked due to damage, due to style and fit. Our bodies have evolved over time, and so with certain things, sometimes the traditional body type and sizing back 20 years ago is completely different from how it is today.
So how do we accommodate and change something to fit and be more size-inclusive today? And I think that’s also part of the process to think about.
I’ll use our Stan Ray pants as an example. Those were our deadstock that we use. And it’s not the deadstock where it’s excess stock.
It’s deadstock that is within that category mainly due to to imperfections, potential design changes, just like small [things].
And when I say imperfections, it’s extremely minor. Stitching could be quite off, or it could be that it was sitting in the warehouse for so long and over time it started to get water damage or age spots or there’s something that makes it unsellable as new.
And so we have taken that stock and found ways to one, sell it as is — especially if we feel like it meets a quality standard for what people really want and need.
And then two, doing things like over-dyeing it to cover up stains.
Then for other ones, really taking it to change it — we have done an elastic waist, so changing it for sizing or making it more comfortable.
And then the other part of rework is just a creative expression. Like it’s not purely focused on solving a problem. It’s purely focused on the joy of taking something and making it look like… or making it have this completely new life visually and creatively.
And so really what drives that process is just more so our creative drive to kind of create something new and fun that inspires people when they wear it.
ELIZABETH: Yeah, that’s a great word: inspire. I feel that way looking at your reworked pieces, and in general, looking at reworked fashion.
It’s inspirational to see how people create what would have been waste into something so beautiful and unique.
So the reworking process is obviously very unique by nature, and I imagine it’s not easy to scale.
What does that mean for you and the operations at The Consistency Project?
Do you think that reworking could ever become scalable, or would that sacrifice, the nature of it? The one-of-a-kind-ness and the sustainability of it. What do you think?
NATASHA: I mean, I think we have to get rid of the traditional sense of like, scaling a business.
Scaling a business typically means making more money, right or just like selling more stuff.
And with the process of rework and making things one of a kind, it is almost not impossible, but it is very difficult to sell more things when it’s being made one-off.
Especially when your process is paying everyone fairly along the way, and the costs might be really high because of that and so, therefore it’s not accessible to everyone, therefore you’re not maybe selling as many as of a pant as maybe a fast fashion brand that is at a more accessible price point.
And so I think for us… it’s I think taking it slow, and really trying to reframe what scalable, like how we scale and what scaling for us means and what growing for us means, I think is what we’re trying to do in the moment.
I tried to see other brands that are doing the same thing, as an example.
And so, there’s the one brand Bode or Emily Bode.
Essentially, she started with reworking one-of-a-kind garments but has now transitioned to replicating and using antique and textile inspiration to produce new textiles.
And so when you see that you’re like, oh, well, does that mean that’s the only way to scale?
Because that’s how she’s scaling the business, and that’s traditionally how maybe one would scale. They take vintage inspiration, and cuts and silhouettes and just replicate it in new fabric today.
I’ve even seen tons of vintage shops do that.
So there are a lot of vintage shops that have transitioned into more of their own line. What they do is they take vintage or kind of secondhand silhouettes, patterns, designs, and they replicate it in new fabric.
So it’s kind of almost like, it looks vintage, but it’s not.
And that’s traditionally what I’ve seen happen in the past couple of years for those shops that are trying to scale and to sell more. It seems like the only pathway
But I don’t think that’s really, solving the bigger issue.
If you are focused on producing more, we’re just producing more stuff when a lot of stuff already exists.
And so, I really don’t have the answer or know what it looks like to scale a business within our industry of rework and reuse.
However, I do think it’s important to note that sometimes there’s only so much space within an industry, sometimes right?
So you as a brand take up so much space. The more you scale and grow, the more space you take up in that industry. You start to kind of monopolize what it is.
The more niche you are, the more it allows other brands to come and become and be part of the industry as a whole. And to provide their own niche, their own perspective, their own special touch to what reuse and rework are.
And I love that concept of this collective range of shops that focus on very particular types of designs, very particular like something that they’re really passionate about, and kind of continue to focus on there.
Because in the end, it will just be more of a slow scaling process.
And no one’s really kind of taking over anyone. It allows more people to do what they love.
I think, we can’t let greed get into the mix of things, because I think that’s when you are taking out other businesses, for just pure again greed and selfishness.
When truly I think, us as a business even at the size that we are now we can survive. And we find it nice that we’re slowly.. I guess we like to take our time with each customer experience, I guess you would say, right, I think it is very special.
And the quicker we move, the more harder is to do that.
And we had tried different ways to scale, working with a production company to produce more things.
And we’ve learned that the current fashion production structure is not built for brands like us right now. And it’s going to take time to continually work with them to change that.
So, again, that’s just also something that we want to continually work on to potentially scale in the sense that we want to make an impact for the better within the industry.
Yeah, I kind of see the sustainable fashion space, ideally as being a bunch of small brands. Because we’ve seen the impact of the large broader fashion industry, all these conglomerates kind of taking over…
That’s how we get billionaires at the top and garment makers barely, or largely not earning enough to live well.
But it’s difficult, as you said, there are things that come easier when you’re a larger brand. You have more money for investments…
NATASHA: And access, yeah. Totally I know.
Obviously, we want to grow as a brand, but because there’s no set pathway into doing that and the pathways that we have seen to be successful aren’t the pathway that we want to take. It’s almost like, you’re just building your road, block by block.
And so yeah, we see, okay, we have a range of different businesses, and it can be difficult, but maybe if we realize there’s an issue when it comes to resourcing, how do you do more crowdsourced resourcing?
So if someone had the deadstock fabric shop or warehouse has a minimum, how do I work with another brand to meet that minimum, so that we can work towards that and still have access to the same resources?
I think there are so many different ways to be doing that. And, I wish that I could be like, yeah, I’m gonna just like spearhead all these different things. But there’s just two of us that really work on the consistency project full time.
And I’m also a full-time mom. It’s so much to take on!
At the same time, you just hope that through your presence within the industry, speaking out, connecting with other brands that slowly things will evolve to where it needs to be, where we’re supporting each other to move everything forward again, right?
ELIZABETH: Yeah, that’s the thing with a lot of small businesses, you have to work together and I’ve heard about, like farmers doing sort of cooperative type things to purchase equipment or something like that.
And yeah, so that’s definitely the way that small businesses are going to make it in this current system, the current economy is by working cooperatively.
So yeah, what advice do you have for other people all businesses may be focused on upcycling or secondhand fashion?
NATASHA: Following up on what we were just talking about, I think it’s important to understand that when you have your niche, you can kind of be within this flow and community.
So I think, if right now you’re starting out, it’s all about exploration, is all about trying different things.
You’re like going to make mistakes. You’re going to buy a batch of things that you’re like, oh, I can rework this… and then you do it and it does not work.
This is just important to know that is just part of the journey. There’s always something to learn from that.
But really, your goal should just be really finding something that you just really connect with, because the more you and your team, and the design process, like you’re connecting with the products you’re making or reselling, the more the customer and the community really sees that.
And so authenticity and kind of integrity and the quality of your work. That is something you should just be trying to instill from the very, very beginning.
It’s so easy nowadays with social media and all this stuff coming at us to compare yourself to other brands.
And I’m sure even other rework brands are probably trying to compare themselves to what we do. And it’s like, that can just be very toxic.
And personally, when I started as a vintage shop, I felt like looking back on how I curated, I could tell there are certain phases, where I was letting other shops that maybe we’re a little more successful or doing cool things, influence how I curated my own shop.
And that just got me off track, to be honest.
Again, it’s part of the process, and going through that is still super valuable.
But just remembering that it’s exploration. And once you find your niche, focus on that, that’s the next phase.
So that’s where we’re really at, it’s just really focusing on knowing what we love, knowing what we do best, and really like leaning into it and not being afraid to experiment within that niche that you have found for yourself.
We’ve primarily focused on pants. And so sometimes so easily be like, oh my gosh, that’s such a cute dress, maybe we should make something like that!
And it’s like, okay, slow down. Developing a new pattern for a dress, when that’s really not our specialty at the moment is going to take time.
If we rush it, it’s not going to be done right. So take your time within each thing that you’re working on.
Because it truly makes a difference I think, and trying to do too many things and rushing things. Never rush your process. Anything that’s rushed, I think you’re compromising a lot.
I think there’s that saying where it can either be cheap, good, or fast. And you can only have two of those things at once.
There’s always one that you have to sacrifice. So it can be cheap and good, but it’s not going to be fast. Or it can be cheap and fast, but it’s not going to be good.
So, really understanding that dynamic and balance when you’re making decisions.
And for us, we try to make things as accessible as possible at the same time, we can’t do it as fast. Maybe we can’t get there as quickly. So it’s kind of like a balance.
ELIZABETH Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense.
There’s a lot of additional considerations when you’re trying to grow a sustainable and ethically minded business as well.
It’s okay to grow slow, and take your time and find your own lane. I think that was such great advice.
Thank you for sharing everything that you did in this conversation.
There are so many great insights and takeaways, and I learned a lot.
So I have one last question for you, and that is what does a better future for fashion look like to you?
NATASHA: I think it will encompass several things.
It will encompass more reuse, that’s a given. More integration of how we use our products, but also the ownership of the excess waste that we do create, and really the transparency that we need to have there.
And so it’s like a combination of reusing things, but also sharing that process.
Even when you reuse things, there’s still going to be excess.
So what are you doing to own your excess? What are you doing to like properly recycle it, what are you doing to find other ways to use it, I think that is super important.
And the other part is the accessibility and the inclusivity of fashion and rework and quality garments.
There needs to be a reframing of how much things cost and how much stuff we need.
We don’t need as much stuff. And with that, we can put more value into buying better, fewer things.
I think there’s always the side that you want to have a little bit more fun and to obviously shop and have a wider array of closets and thrifting.
I think thrifting and just overall access to secondhand clothing in an accessible way, should be a huge part of fashion industry.
Fashion and secondhand should be basically one and the same, because I think their thing provides the accessible price point for people and still allows for the creativity to style and have fun with fashion. It should still be fun!
ELIZABETH: And that’s a wrap for this episode.
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About Natasha and The Consistency Project
The Consistency Project is breaking the stigma of secondhand and driving conversations around its unique value and impact within the fashion industry.
They curate secondhand and design reworked clothing based on comfort and versatility, providing a unique perspective on “secondhand style.” They exist to show the possibilities of choosing secondhand first and seek to bridge the gaps between the fashion industry and sustainability.
Founded by Natasha Halesworth, she has creatively led The Consistency Project to be more than just a shop. They are based in New York and Hawaii.