Nancy: Sustainability, the NYC Face Mask Initiative, and a Clothing Revolution

Nancy Rhodes, founder of alternew

Nancy Rhodes is a designer with a passion for making fashion more affordable, sustainable, and body positive. She is the founder of alternew, a service she conceived out of her own experiences of struggling to find clothes that fit properly and getting clothes altered. alternew’s tagline is: “Clothes are mass produced, bodies are not!”

alternew was created to encourage sustainability, limit waste, and help everyone find clothes that fit, that they feel good and confident in, and that they love. alternew makes alterations accessible and brings tailors to the public and extends the life of our garments, improves their fit, and make simple updates to keep our clothes on-trend as styles change. The average American throws away 80 pounds of clothes each year and alternew’s work reduces that waste. 

alternew was set to launch on March 13th,2020,  but like so many other businesses, they were forced to postpone because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Instead of sitting idly by, alternew  saw the needs for PPE throughout the community and realized they were in a unique position to engage with their tailors and provide opportunities to make a real impact. On March 26th, alternew sent out their first 450 yards of cotton fabric and 4500 yards of elastic to 45 sewers – thanks to generous donations and dedicated volunteers. Thousands of yards of materials later, hundreds of sewers, daily and weekly drives to pick up and drop off masks and materials, alternew hit their goal of making 35,000 masks for frontline providers, health organizations, immunocompromised, and marginalized communities.⁣ 

Nancy joins the 1 Girl Revolution podcast to share her life story, how she started her career in fashion and became a designer, she shares incredible opportunities that she’s had as a designer, how she came up with the idea for alternew and how she started the company, she talks about how Covid-19 affected their work, but how they switched gears and started the NYC Face Mask Initiative. Nancy talks about sustainability, clothing, waste, and how she and alternew are making alterations accessible and more about their clothing revolution. And so much more! Listen to Nancy’s inspiring episode below:

The 1 Girl Revolution podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and everywhere you find podcasts! 

To learn more about Nancy and alternew, please visit the alternew website

DISCOUNT FUN: Mention 1 Girl Revolution to alternew for a 15% discount for first time customers! Contact alternew here.  


If you are a talented sewer of any experience level, who would like to join the alternew team, click here.

1 Girl Revolution

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