During today’s sustainable living show (11/22/2021), we spoke to Leigh Anne Balzekas about sustainability in the world of fashion, especially clothing. She is co-owner and designer of The Disco Dolls Studio and co-founder and co-director of The Sewist Society.
Balzekas knew growing up that she wanted to be in the fashion industry and started saving money from a young age. While attending Florida State, she discovered the different types of fabric in clothing and wanted to learn more.
“I went to the state of Florida for fashion design and knew I wanted to do it from a young age,” Balzekas said. “I was inspired by the clothes… going to fashion school at FSU kind of requires you to be creative in your fabric choices. So my journey to sustainability came from ‘what have I got, what’s here locally’, that was 20 years ago, so we didn’t have the vast resources that we have today. “
Balzekas has been committed to sustainability since she started her fashion journey. Since the founding of Disco Dolls Studio in 2010, Balzekas has made sure to use scraps of fabric to reduce waste. It’s something she started doing even before Disco Dolls Studio.
She wants to put the environment first in every decision she makes at Disco Dolls Studio.
“Human rights and the environment really mean something to me… we all need to stand together for sustainability because that is the only way to continue living in this world and enjoying all the things we love , like nature.
When shopping for clothes, it is very likely that the textiles and fabrics used to create your clothes are coming from two different ways.
“Our fabric comes from two different streams,” Balzekas said. “One is the agricultural flow which is made up of natural fibers which are better in terms of washing and end of life, but there is a lot of industrialization of agriculture which is also a huge problem for the environment and cotton is one of those crops that consume a lot of water and pesticides … the other sector from which our textiles come is the synthetic industry which is petroleum. Petroleum is what polyester is. is nylon.
The Sewist Society was created as a solution to textile waste. By raising awareness of the overconsumption of fabrics and textiles, The Sewist Society wishes to highlight the need for a textile recycling program while providing innovative solutions for excess.
The Sewist Society has created a Patreon for those interested in sewing, mending, quilting, composting textiles, recycling fabrics, and more.
“We have a boss. You can access it through our website. And we’re going to set up our virtual community center there and if you’re on Patreon, you can actually get sessions with me if you need help on a specific project, ”Balzekas said.