One local designer is a trailblazer when it comes to an emerging shift in the East Coast fashion industry.
Two years ago, Tabitha, also known as Tab, set out on a journey to create beautiful but sustainable products aligned more with people’s values. She created Tabitha + Co, a company that specializes in custom made quality handbags and accessories.
Growing up, Tab always had a passion for making things as she came from a family of makers. However, her work experiences shaped her ideas of how she wanted to create her path on the East Coast.
“I studied fashion arts, and I worked in manufacturing following my education, where you learn the importance of minimizing your waste and doing things in a lean manner,” she says. “Experiencing efficiency in a manufacturing setting has helped me implement similar processes for my company.”
Overall, her philosophy for creating beautiful, authentic pieces provides a unique but versatile product that will last a long time.
“I believe in making something timeless that you can have, invest in it, so you have it for a long time,” she says. “You remember your grandparents and parents; they had a beautiful suit or dress or a few pieces of clothing or accessories that were very special and well-made that they wore on special occasions. For my business, it’s been about going back to those basics as a craft person, artist, and creating a beautiful piece like a family heirloom.”
What sets Tab apart from others and makes her a visionary is her mindful approach to making informed choices about where her materials come from to make her creations. With more people questioning, she says that there is a shift starting to gain traction—the importance of transparency between the consumer and designer.
“More and more people are looking for products that they can align their values with, or they’re starting to ask questions before making a purchase,” she says. “Where’s that bag made, who made it, what goes into making it, is that person being paid fairly, are they being treated with kindness, and are the materials coming from an ethical place?”
Kindness and sustainability go hand in hand. In these current times, sustainability on the East Coast means supporting each other instead of competing against each other. Everyone has a connection with the goal of helping each other.
“As a community of makers, it’s essential that we support each other,” Tab says. “We are a community locally, provincially, and in the country, but we are also a community globally. Each community is like an eco-system. We have to continue to help and support one another through this new time of change. These mindful small actions will help us ensure a sustainable future for people and the planet.”
Ultimately, Tab hopes her path will inspire others to be more mindful and foster a community of sustainability through the choices they make in life.
“It is a great opportunity to shift in how we do things, and that includes best practices, how we engage with others mindful of the environment, and appreciative of what we have,” she says. “Everything we do is important because it affects the planet and how we live, so my business and values are about doing the best I can to be kind to others and our planet. If we all do a little bit of what we are comfortable with, I feel we can make a difference together.”