Anna Tempestoso comes from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA. She is currently studying abroad at the London College of Fashion, on the Fashion Business Course. We joined her on a tour of some of London's best thrift shops to talk sustainable fashion and to hear about her experience at UAL so far.
I chose to study abroad at London College of Fashion, UAL for its values in sustainability and ethics in fashion, as well as the university’s drive for change in the industry for a better future for fashion.
Why did you choose to study Fashion Business?
I’m eager to join the fight for more sustainable and ethical fashion, and I feel that breaking into the business side of fashion is the right place for me to connect with like-minded individuals and work to create change.
How was the application process?
I applied to this program through IFSA-Butler, so the process may differ from person to person. But in my experience, it went smooth and I had an opportunity to share my drive for sustainable fashion through the academic work I completed last semester.
What are your first impressions of London and UAL / LCF?
London is an incredible city – saying “cheers” instead of “thank you” seriously never gets old for me. As for UAL, it is just teeming with opportunity. I attend a rural university in America – just about the opposite of student life here at UAL – so transitioning to now going to class in a big city like London has been quite a transformative experience and a great change of pace.
Tell us something about your project.
My goal in creating my brand Anna’s Green Threds is to encourage the revival of pre-loved, secondhand clothing to combat the harmful effects the fashion industry can have on our planet. On my website Anna’s Green Threds, I share my journey towards obtaining a more sustainable wardrobe with my audience through the process of learning how to sew and upcycle clothing as well as how to buy fashion responsibly and intentionally.
What are your thoughts on buying vintage or second-hand clothing and sustainable fashion?
I truly believe that second-hand fashion, and the resale industry, are the future of fashion. For me, thrifting clothing and wearing second-hand fashion is an opportunity for me to wear my values – which is an empowering and fulfilling thing! I want to encourage more people to experience this, and that is what I am motivated to do with my little platform: MY UPCYCLED SHOP – encourage fashion lovers to think second-hand first.
Would you mind sharing some tips on thrift hunting and crafting with us?
Besides starting your thrift hunt with an always-open mind of how pieces can be styled or used (glassware can make interesting plant pots!), it’s useful to have a list of pieces you are looking to add to your wardrobe, so you know what parts of the store to target first. Intentionally shifting your mindset to thinking of thrifting as an exciting hunt is fundamental in being a savvy thrifter.
And for my advice on sewing, I want to stress that it doesn’t have to be a seriously calculated and planned thing. I learned on my own through trial and many, many errors along with youtube tutorials. I’m nowhere near being a professional seamstress, but for me upcycling and sewing is fulfilling when I don’t take it too seriously. I have fun altering and creating clothes in the imperfect way that works for me. I transparently share all of this with my audience to challenge the prominent belief that sewing is incredibly hard and to ultimately encourage them to give it a try. It’s a tool that enables fashion-lovers to repair, alter, and create their own clothes, in a mindful way.
What do you most enjoy about your classes?
I most enjoy the experience of sitting in a room surrounded by individuals who all share an appreciation for fashion. Coming from a school with no fashion program, it’s incredibly energizing.
How do you find the situation with Covid? Does it change your art practice?
Being away from college and stuck at home during the pandemic is what gave me the opportunity to pick up a sewing machine and learn how to upcycle. Creating in an intentional way, and sharing my journey online throughout the whole process, is truly what kept me going during isolation.
How do you think studying with us will help you?
Studying at UAL will be an incredible opportunity for me to connect with others who are driven like me to make sustainable and ethical changes in the industry, and to demand more intentionality in how the industry exists in our world. Here I have the chance to explore and understand real ways that we can reshape fashion and how we view it for the better. I’m beyond grateful and eager to learn how I can best support this fight at my time here at UAL.
What's your plan for this semester?
My plan is to explore, to connect, be curious, and be present. I’m driven to soak up all that I can about all things fashion during my short time here at UAL, and to connect with others who share the same drive for sustainability in fashion.