Laura Fisher ’01

Revive All Clothing

By Amber Hradec ’22

Fisher eliminates waste and revives clothing through her slow fashion business

In a maze of deadstock fabrics that line the walls from floor to ceiling and cover four stories, Laura Fisher ’01 searches for the patterns and colors that she’ll turn into pieces for her sustainable clothing brand, Revivall. The overwhelming tangle of discarded product is the reason Fisher started Revivall in the first place, to reduce the amount of waste generated by one of the largest pollution producers on the planet, the fashion industry.

After Fisher graduated from Clemson with a degree in animal science and a minor in agricultural economics in 2001, she furthered her education at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she sharpened her already-present business savvy as well as her unique creative style by learning more about the design process.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, Fisher co-founded a nonprofit called Emergency Communities to help victims of the storm and created a clothing line called Sigh of Relief. She also worked in the fashion district and sold clothes at flea markets and through other small businesses. Through it all, one thing was constant. Waste.

“When I would throw the trash out, I saw tons and tons of fabric left in the dumpsters,” Fisher says. Unfortunately, fashion pollution isn’t limited to dumpsters and landfills. Images of piles of clothing lining the ocean, workers’ hands dyed indigo blue from jeans and toxic river water from chemicalized fabrics come to mind — all the byproducts of what’s known as “fast fashion.”

Fisher offers some tips on how to implement sustainability and slow fashion in your own life — and closet:

1

Shrink your closet down to pieces you can wear repeatedly

2

Go thrifting

3

Learn to sew so you can repair rather than toss

4

Launder your clothing properly so it last longer

Fast fashion, Fisher explains, is “all based on the principle of sell, sell, sell and has become a machine of reproduction that isn’t focused on quality, sustainability or the conditions of the workers. Slow fashion is coming from a more intentional focus so you are making exactly the amount that can be sold.”

Fisher runs Revivall out of Bozeman, Montana, and ships its small-batch, American-made women’s clothing nationwide and even to Australia and Canada. Sometimes, she will notice a Clemson-based address on an order.

“It makes me happy when I think that my aesthetic is appreciated by people in a place I lived,” Fisher says. “I envision my clothes walking around there, and it feels like a little part of me is there too.”

One of Fisher’s goals is to make Revivall zero waste, with as little impact on the environment as possible. “The name [Revivall] actually came to me on Easter weekend,” she says. “Something just kind of hit me, and it was a really powerful moment in my life where I thought about revival and reviving all fabrics to keep them out of the landfill.”

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