Designer Clothing

Why Former NYC Dressmaker Mimi Shim Shifted to Growing Sustainable Items in Denver

Mimi Shim is a one-woman design and stitching studio that gives more than a few products and services, together with alterations, customized stitching and product construction. After an extended profession as an organization clothier in New York Town, she created her personal studio in Denver the place she helps to keep sustainability at the leading edge of design.

From Corporate Dressmaker to Unbiased Writer

Mimi Shim

Picture courtesy of Mimi Shim

Shim is a Denver local who moved away to check style on the College of the Artwork Institute in Chicago. Rising up, she discovered stitching fundamentals from her mother and grandmother. Her abilities complex in highschool as she discovered style design, development drafting and stitching at native style teaching programs.

After faculty, Shim labored in L.A. after which New York Town within the style design trade. She labored for Saja for five years ahead of it downsized and rebranded right into a bridal corporate. She persisted to paintings for the corporate doing bridal alterations however discovered she had extra time to bask in non-public initiatives.

“Along side designing as a profession, I began stitching at house, posting issues on-line and doing markets there,” Shim mentioned. “That was once after I began the foundation of what I do now, however I didn’t know that but. I used to be simply seeking to live to tell the tale and kill my time.”

In the end, Shim transitioned to doing knitwear design for 2 sweater design firms in New York Town. It’s uncommon for designers to pass over into new spaces of design, however she was once in a position to pick out up on the fine details of knitwear design whilst at the activity.

Mimi Shim

Picture courtesy of Mimi Shim

Shim’s revel in as a clothier within the center of the American style trade opened her eyes to the results of mass manufacturing and overconsumption. She would paintings on pushing out a lot of seasonal collections all over the yr, together with spring, summer time, transition, fall, iciness and hotel. As soon as designs have been despatched off to factories, she famous that merchandise seldom got here again proper the primary time, which might result in much more manufacturing.

“I noticed the whole lot up shut as a result of I used to be in a small corporate the place you’re fascinated by lots of the procedure,” Shim mentioned. “After we couldn’t promote the overstock, we ended up throwing away such a lot paintings and fabrics.”

Shim has at all times been an environmentally-conscious person. During her lifestyles, she’s practiced composting, in addition to purchasing and using much less to attenuate her carbon footprint. Subsequently, it was once tricky to paintings in an trade the place moral and sustainable practices weren’t the norm.

“It’s more or less such as you simply settle for it as the best way it’s,” Shim mentioned. “I truthfully didn’t get started fascinated with it till beginning my very own style industry. I love to reside my lifestyles a undeniable means, so I assumed, why don’t I follow that to my industry too?”

Sustainability within the Studio

Mimi Shim

Picture through Amanda Lee Tromp

Shim harkened again to her Denver roots in 2015 after having her kid. Whilst running in manufacturing control for a kids’s equipment corporate in Denver, Shim persisted to make a reputation for herself as an adept sewer.

“My stitching abilities have at all times been a not unusual thread in my paintings. So after I knew I’d get started my very own industry I sought after it to be sewing-based,” Shim mentioned.

After posting on Instagram a few jacket she designed for herself, Shim’s social media blew up with requests for her design. In the end, she was once additionally requested to create customized clothes and do alterations for private stylists’ shoppers. Shim took this chance to put into effect sustainable practices into her paintings through most effective sourcing from firms whose ethics she felt ok with.

“I sought after to verify I sourced from manufacturers and upholstery traces that had the similar moral ideas as I did,” Shim mentioned. “I paid consideration to what they did to give a contribution much less waste and feature a smaller carbon footprint.”

Mimi Shim

Picture through Chiara Garland

Shim additionally tries to create patterns that use lots of the cloth so she’s now not losing the fabric. The material scraps she doesn’t want are grew to become over to an organization that makes use of them to create house insulation. 

Now, Shim basically works for native firms which might be like-minded of their solution to sustainability and advocacy for sluggish style. She works as an in-house clothier for The Oula Corporate, does small batch stitching manufacturing for Eli & Barry and works on design construction and manufacturing with Meçlâ. She’s steadily impressed through the firms she works with and embraces new demanding situations in her craft.

“I’m proud on every occasion I believe like a mission is a large problem to create. There is also tears in the course of it, however I see my growth,” Shim mentioned. “As soon as it’s on its technique to being finalized, it makes me really feel extra assured.”

Mimi Shim

Picture courtesy of Mimi Shim

In her spare time, Shim works on non-public stitching initiatives like changing her previous clothes to make it really feel emblem new. She additionally designs particular items for herself every so often.

“I’m impressed through now not having the ability to to find one thing to put on. If I will’t to find one thing in a particular cloth or form, then that’s a large motivation for me to create it myself,” Shim mentioned.

Reconstructing an Business

Mimi Shim

Picture courtesy of Mimi Shim

Because of her first-hand revel in with the pitfalls of same old style trade practices, Shim is raring to peer alternate sweep the fad scene. Her largest aspiration for the fad international is to in the future see moral requirements applied in all sides of clothes manufacturing. She’s additionally hopeful that businesses will begin to produce much less and pay extra consideration to high quality.

“I’m hoping that the fad trade requirements alternate from at all times in need of extra and in need of it as reasonable as conceivable,” Shim mentioned. “I feel it’s vital to design for longevity as a substitute of momentary.”

Despite the fact that Shim said it’s going to take a very long time to peer a whole trade alternate its techniques, she expressed hope for it transferring ahead.

“There’s a large number of gentle within the trade too,” Shim mentioned. “I believe like a large number of the adverse can overshadow the good stuff persons are doing.”

As Shim continues to convey her multifaceted abilities and sustainable ideals to the fad trade in Denver, you’ll be able to observe her adventure through testing her Instagram and web page.

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