On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast, we’re talking about sustainable fashion with my guest Katrina Rodabaugh.
Katrina Rodabaugh is an artist, author, and slow fashion advocate. Her work examines social and environmental issues through craft techniques like hand-stitching. Since 2013, she’s focused on sustainable fashion by using mending, natural dyes, and redesign in her fiber arts studio. She teaches classes, designs and makes goods for her online shop, and writes books including her newest, Make Thrift Mend. Katrina currently lives in the Hudson Valley of NY with her husband, two sons, nine chickens, hive of honeybees, and many dye plants.
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We begin this interview with Katrina talking about her childhood and her years in college studying environmental studies, then working for arts organizations for a decade after college. Katrina shares some of the lessons she learned through her work with arts organizations that carry forward into her current work. Katrina then went to graduate school where a professor pointed out to her that she had an interest in fiber arts and textiles. She studied poetry and book arts for her masters degree, and then went on to write her first craft book, The Paper Playhouse: Awesome Art Projects for Kids Using Paper, Boxes and Books, in 2015.
Katrina and her family moved from California to New York. She began a project called “Make, Thrift, Mend” where she didn’t buy clothes for a year. The project was so interesting and fulfilling that she continued to challenge herself with it in the years that follow. Katrina credits that project with changing the course of her career. She credits the work of Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, along with a blog post advocating “slow design,” written by Natalie Chanin, and the Rana Plaza textile factory collapse, with coalescing her commitment to sustainable fashion.
Since then, Katrina has been teaching workshops about mending (in person and, more recently, online). She also sells kits related to mending, and she has written two books on this topic, Mending Matters and now, Make, Thrift, Mend. Katrina shares her journey on Instagram where she’s built a large following. I ask her to share some of her Instagram strategy so tune in for some great tips!
In this conversation, we reference:
And, of course, I ask Katrina to recommend some things she’s loving right now. Katrina recommends:
- Sonya Philip’s new book, The Act of Sewing (listen to our podcast episode with Sonya here)
- Intersectional Environmentalist (a website that’s a great resource for sustainability)