A Brooklyn designer has a solution to fashion’s sustainability problem
February 28, 2020 Paul Frangipane
Lindsay Clinton serves as a judge in the Make It in Brooklyn Female Founders pitch contest. The contest featured six female founders from five different startups pitching their businesses. Photo: Paul Frangipane/Brooklyn Eagle
In an eighth floor office in Downtown Brooklyn, Amanda Grogan explained one of the perils of the fashion industry to a room full of people and a panel of judges: Burberry burned millions of dollars of clothes last year. Millions of excess garments from overproduction are sitting in warehouses around the globe. And, in closets around the world, old clothes are being snubbed for their newer neighbors.
These garments are referred to as “deadstock,” and companies have the option to discount, trash, burn or recycle them.
Grogan’s proposal: to dye all those clothes black. The idea, the basis of her startup Make it Black, won her a female founders pitch contest on Thursday night organized by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
“I was wearing different colors so they were staining. I was buying clothes that I wore once and they were ending up in the back of my closet and I was trying to figure out what I could do with these,” Grogan said. “So how do we keep the garment at its highest value in a circular economy? We make it black.”