Kenzi Laird has just completed a fashion and design course at Heriot-Watt University, in Galashiels, and has used her spare time to create stylish masks.
During the 22-year-old’s final year at university her graduate collection was focused around upcycling, recycling and innovative ways in how people can incorporate new materials into fashion, so the fashion industry can become more sustainable. Now Kenzi – who is unemployed but wants to start her own brand in fashion – is using fabric and remaking them into masks.
The former St Joseph’s College pupil said: “The idea came about when I’d finished university for about three weeks and had no luck getting a job anywhere so I thought it was the perfect time to start something on my own. I started making masks out of scrap fabric I had lying about the house that were available to me and put a photo on Instagram just to see if anyone would want one.”
She added: “I love the idea of using fabric that is ripped/broken that can’t be used for its sole purpose anymore so I then upcycled some old work uniforms with holes/old branding. I really didn’t want them to just go to waste so I remade them into masks.”
When Kenzi posted her masks on social media, she received 25 orders in the first day and they have continued to be popular. It means she is sewing for around 12 hours a day and has also started to make kids masks and masks with a scrunchie so people can wear a matching set. Kenzi’s products have received a large number of praise from the local community. She said: “The reaction has been fantastic. I’m currently trying to get my website up and running which will have all my designs up and how much stock of each I have, as it’s easier for me to keep on top of especially when I’m making masks out of scrap fabric so I don’t have many of the same fabric. I’m trying to work on getting all the stock organised. I’m doing everything myself but I’m used to being kept busy so I really don’t mind.
“I get so many messages about the masks that I’ve actually had to tell people to just wait until the website is live, ‘cause if not I would have no stock to upload. I love the way the fashion industry is heading right now in terms of sustainable transparency and love how I can contribute to that.”
For more information search kenzilaird on Instagram.