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Fast fashion out, sustainable clothing... IN!

A Minneapolis business is making it easier to keep clothing longer, even those items not designed to last.

MINNEAPOLIS — Tidying expert Marie Kondo doesn't need to come to your house because you already know: You own a lot of clothes.

Now say it out loud... and let the downsizing begin.

Separating everything into piles — like "keep," "thrift store," or "best friend because she's always borrowing it anyway," —  is a great place to start.

But what about clothing that's too tattered to even donate? What about the pants with rips in the wrong places — not the trendy kind?

Let's be honest. Most of us take it right to the garbage. But not Kristen McCoy. 

"For me, I'm like, ooh this is exciting," McCoy said. "I can make something fun out of this!"

In fact, she's made a career out of it by opening RETHINK Tailoring & Sewing Lounge

"My mission is to get as many garments that already exist back into rotation," McCoy said. 

She recently transformed a shredded comforter into a jacket and an overall sports bib into a form-fitting dress. One of McCoy's next projects involves a floral couch cover. The point is, you can drop off just about anything. However, it must be at least one year old.

There are plenty of tailors without such a rule. But this service is filling a specific void. Effective December 31, 2019, Hennepin County stopped accepting non-reusable textiles for recycling

"They were unable to find a vendor that could guarantee that these materials were actually being recycled," McCoy said.

RETHINK Tailoring & Sewing Lounge is currently located within McCoy's home and it's running out of space. But within the next couple of months, she plans to open an actual storefront on Bloomington Ave. and 34th St. across from May Day Cafe.

The bigger space is expected to provide more services than before.

"I want to be able to have sewing classes, alterations classes, teach people how to mend things," McCoy said.

Equipment will also be available to use at an hourly rate. Basically, you can be your own tailor.

It all comes at a time when the fashion industry appears to be shifting.

You'll remember last fall Forever 21, a major retailer known for its fast fashion, filed for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, competitor H&M has been pushing its sustainable clothing line. Some YouTubers are even making fewer videos featuring shopping hauls and are talking about their efforts to invest in quality clothing instead.

Of course, you don't have to spend time working a needle and thread to change your approach to clothes. Tailoring will still be offered at the new RETHINK space.

"Doesn't have to be coming to me," McCoy said. "There are other local tailors that you could make friends with and if you could start by shopping what you already have, then that is a great place to be."

And with sewing machine stations on wheels, McCoy also plans to move them out of the way to host regular events, including neighborhood clothing swaps and meet-and-greets with local artists who make eco-friendly art.