Many of you may recognise Jessie from the Wastebusters’ shop, having worked at Wastebusters for over a year and a half, a true advocate of slow fashion, Jessie not only buys secondhand clothes but also crafts stunning garments from repurposed materials. Her creations proved popular at last year’s Refashion show, featuring funky shirts, patterned pants, colourful robes, and effortlessly cool bucket hats, all fashioned from textiles discovered at op shops.

Returning to this year’s Wastebusters’ Refashion Show on the 21 of March at the Lake Wānaka Centre. Jessie has been balancing new life as a mother and has still managed to create an array of sustainable garments for the runway.

Jessie’s passion for sewing was cultivated early on by her mother, a talented quilter, who encouraged her and her siblings to sew buttons from a young age. However, it was during the covid lockdown that Jessie’s sewing journey truly took flight.

“I had lost all my arts industry work and was in lockdown when I was looking for a creative outlet. So I pulled out my sewing kit and got to making some fabric reusable masks”.

With her mum by her side, Jessie developed her own pattern and they got to sewing facemasks for anyone and everyone who needed one.

Jessie describes her garments as eccentric, colourful and mix and match. Jessie’s work reflects her own style: bright, cheerful colourways.

“I love how I can make things to suit what I want to wear, develop new style and to bring colour into our world”.

Her passion for creating her own clothing doesn’t stop at the design, Jessie proudly sources her fabric from Wastebusters, local op shops and even rescues discarded materials from fabric stores destined for landfill.

“Nothing makes me happier than seeing a fabric with great potential make its way into my stash when I know it was destined for landfill! Fast fashion produces clothing faster than the amount of times it can actually be worn. I want to show people that there is another way to develop and build your style”.

For aspiring sewists, Jessie recommends exploring yearly memberships at Fabricate on Gordon Road or attending sewing workshops and online classes. Additionally, Wastebusters Repair Events offer invaluable opportunities to learn new skills like darning, stitching or patching.

“It’s such a useful skill to have and the sewing community is a great place to develop and grow your skill set”.

You can follow Jessie’s journey on instagram @jk.essentials, and stay tuned for the launch of her website, where she plans to release new lines annually. In the meantime, catch her latest conscious creations at the Wastebusters’ Refashion Show on Thursday 21 March at the Lake Wānaka Centre, tickets now on sale.