Anush Bagdadian upcycles to reduce her carbon footprint

On any given day, senior Anush Bagdadian puts her outgoing personality on display through the clothes and accessories that she carefully chooses. Whether it be a denim-on-denim ensemble, a black tee shirt and burgundy plaid pants, or her dyed shoulder-length hair and piercings, Bagdadian immediately stands out as a creative student.

During her senior year, Bagdadian was given her first sewing machine from a friend, and she began to let her creativity and appreciation for her newfound art medium flourish.

“When I grew up I really liked art, but I never got the feeling of ‘this is what I need to do.’ I liked relief printing, a type of art where you print from raised images. However, all of a sudden I began sewing and I really got into it,” Bagdadian said.

In the beginning stages of her brand, Hoodwill, Bagdadian sold and advertised some of the clothes that she made on a site called Depop. Depop, a site similar to Etsy or Ebay, is an online shopping app where people can sell the merchandise that they create. Since then, her brand has grown rapidly.

In an effort to reduce her carbon footprint, every article of clothing Bagdadian purchases is from local thrift stores, which she then crops, sews, or designs into new pieces she can sell.

“The whole reason I started my brand is because fast fashion is one of the biggest contributors of pollution in the world and I felt weird buying something and knowing that impacted and left such a big CO2 trail. From there I decided I would make my own clothes and I turned to thrifting,” Bagdadian said.

Since Bagdadian uses recycled clothes, she is very limited with what she has and works with the material to create a look that she wants to present. Whether it is screen painting a design onto a shirt or embroidering an image, Bagdadian finds a way to create fashionable clothes from what she already has.

Along with clothing, Bagdadian also designs customs jewelry, which she sells on Depop for prices ranging from $3-$20. Her clothing ranges from $10-$50 depending on how much time she spends on the article of clothing.

“Personally, I enjoy making clothing since my jewelry does contribute to fast fashion as it isn’t recyclable. I also feel that with clothing it is easier to be more expressive. With jewelry you are merely assembling the pieces together,” Bagdadian said.

Next semester, Bagdadian is interested in attending Parsons School of Design in New York City and entering a fashion design career.

“I am completely open to whatever comes my way. Right now I am collaborating with an organization called Honey Moon Supply, where they host shows to raise money for care packages for the homeless,” Bagdadian said.

Bagdadian finds inspiration from witnessing others genuinely enjoy what they are creating, and she uses that energy and passion to create more items, in hopes of positively impacting the lives of others.

“You feel so self-accomplished when you make something and you see that someone else wants it. I’ve hosted a few shows for my clothes and I’ve met so many inspirational and creative people. The art world truly is a perfect spot to get direct contact with those types of people, and hopefully this does become a part of my future,” she said.

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