I taught myself how to sew at age 11 by making dresses for my dolls out of old socks, but it wasn’t until after college that I really became obsessed with costume design and dressmaking. I worked as a costume designer for local artists and in theater for five years, where I learned a lot about garment construction and really improved my fitting and repair skills.

I find myself thinking about sewing almost all of the time, and one of my favorite things is the design process – I love working out which type of fabric would be best for a pattern or searching for the right design to turn some unloved fabric into a cherished garment. Dresses and coats are my favorite things to make – dresses are just fun to sew, and coats need a lot of precision and tailoring, which I really enjoy.

We all know that fast fashion is causing harm to the planet, and I don’t want to be a contributing factor. This is why I don’t commission bolts of fabric and churn out huge runs of product. Instead, I create garments from rescued fabric that can be loved and worn, instead of thrown away and forgotten. With me, students learn how to sew something that they’ll love and want to wear for a long time. In return, we’re both doing our bit for the planet!

Tamika Heard, Owner

Sustainable Sewing

One-of-a-kind sewing that promotes a zero-waste world. Our sewists are those who enjoy the exclusivity of expressing themselves through unique pieces and have an appreciation for a sustainable life.

Textile waste is one of the fastest growing waste products in our landfills today. Every year, it is estimated that an alarming 3.8 billion pounds of textile waste is dumped into the country’s landfills alone. Additionally, many byproducts of the textile manufacturing and disposal processes contaminate the nation’s air and waterways.

The irony is that 95 percent of this textile waste is recyclable.

According to research, we waste more because we don’t know how to sew! The majority of textile waste is caused by clothing being discarded due to minor tears or missing buttons. If only the owner knew how to fix it, this is a simple repair. Sewing, hemming, and button repair were once commonplace skills. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

There is an urgent need for increased education so that future generations understand that every textile discarded harms the environment. Recycling textiles and learning to sew should become common practices not only in our homes but also in our workplaces and schools.

Meek Makings teaches students how to sew sustainably. We show students how to create sewn works of art, which can include clothing or other items made with sewn elements while keeping our carbon footprint to a minimum.

Become a Sustainable Sewist

There are many ways a sewist can create sustainably. Here are a few:

  • ART
    Create fiber art from scraps and recycled textile

    Make your own pillows, curtains, plant holders, upholster your favorite chair

    Sew your own long-lasting clothes; upcycle old clothes into a new outfit, repair/mend old items, create costumes/uniforms

    Replace disposables with reusables

  • UTILITY (Sewn items with practical use)
    Belts, bags, carriers, baby, pets, totes, etc.

    Quilts, stuffed animals


The easiest accessible form of sustainable material is recycled fabric. Use the material you already have before buying more. You can create unique one-of-a-kind textiles by transforming old material. And if you have to buy, try sourcing second hand first. There are tons of fabric landfills (thrift stores/donation centers) where you can find inspirational material.

Have questions?

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