Sustainable Style: Christina Yother

From the time she was a young child, watching her grandmother sew her dolls outfits to match her own, Christina Yother knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. And when she was given her grandmother’s machine, she taught herself how to sew.

She has always been a creator, interested in architecture, interior design, and painting, “but fashion is the one that has stuck with me my whole life,” she adds.

She started designing about three years ago, working on her first line, and has been building her brand ever since. She began by wearing her clothing and bags to school, and even sold her designs online through the hand-made small business platform Etsy.

After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta where she trained in creating designs and patterns, she began her career in the industry working for Carter’s children’s wear, but always had the dream of starting her own business as well.

Christina’s fashions were discovered on another social media platform which led her to show an extended version of her first collection at Vancouver Fashion Week in 2018. “They found me on Instagram. Someone from the show reached out to me to ask me if I’d be interested.”

“The reactions I got from that made me realize that people are interested, and this is something I can do,” she says, “so I really started pursuing that dream after I got that reaction at the fashion show.”

Christina’s biggest focus when designing and choosing fabrics is sustainability. “There is so much waste in the fashion industry,” she says. According to an article by Business Insider (Oct. 2019), fashion production makes up 10 percent of humanity’s carbon emissions and pollutes water sources, and 85 percent of textiles end up going to the dump.

“Overproduction is such a huge contributor to waste in the fashion industry,” she notes. “I launched through Kickstarter with preorders to avoid that wasteful overproduction.” (To achieve this, she sells exclusively online for now but would eventually like to sell wholesale and be in stores.)

“When I was choosing fabrics, sustainability was definitely a requirement for any that I was going to use,” Christina explains. MicroModal, for instance, is made from a fiber from the wood pulp of beechwood trees and is turned into an incredibly soft fabric. Other fabrics she uses are recycled jersey, and silks which are dyed using global organic textile standard approved dyes and meet strict requirements for sustainability and safety. Yet another is Cupro, which uses excess materials from the cotton production process.

She sources all her materials from across the United States, including her silks, made and dyed in California, and trim, made in New York. And the clothing is manufactured in a small factory in New Orleans, making her collection truly American made.

Recently married, Christina, a Starrs Mill graduate, has grown up in the area, and her family lives in Peachtree City. She enjoys yoga, hiking, and anything that gets her outside, in addition to sewing for fun when she’s not working on her own designs.

Yoga was actually the inspiration for her collection, she says. “I read a quote once that said, ‘Yoga is a dance between control and surrender.’ So I decided to use gatherings and drawstrings because they control the fabric and create the surrender in the drape.”

“All of the fabrics are so soft. I chose all of them because they have a lot of movement and they look amazing when you’re walking, but they’re also really comfortable so they’re things that you’d want to wear all day.”

“Because my designs are so flowy and full of movement,” she adds, “my pattern pieces are really interesting shapes, so I recycle my excess fabric into accessories like scarves and masks, and profits from those are donated to women’s shelters.”

Her next project, in the works, will be a fall collection, and she’s working on the designs before she begins to source the fabrics for the next line.

“As an independent designer, I move a bit slower so I have time to make my pieces timeless and unique—things that people will want to wear longer. My goal would be to do two collections per year. It’s a little slower of a pace, but really good quality pieces are important.”

Right now, Christina is taking preorders, and based on the amount she gets, she’ll place a production order. You can view and shop her line at christinayotherdesigns.com.

 

November 15, 2020