A Shirt Story: The Chicest, Upcycled Shirt

Now that fall is officially here, do you find yourself searching for your new daily uniform, whether that’s for a weekend stroll or zoom meeting? 

Luckily, we have the answer to your problem. We would like to introduce you to A Shirt Story, one of our favorite brands in the Figure Eight Space. A Shirt Story is the chicest, upcycled shirt that you ever dreamed of. Gender-free and extremely versatile, each custom shirt is repurposed and upcycled from old men’s shirts and restored with crystal buttons. Founded by Sasha Iglehart, A Shirt Story is committed to minimizing environmental and socioeconomic harm while contributing to positive development of a circular fashion ecosystem.

We sat down with brand founder Sasha Iglehart in an exclusive interview to learn more about her extensive career in and around fashion, the importance of circular fashion and how everyday people can do their part in the climate crisis. Check it out below!

 

You have an impressive career in the fashion industry, from serving as a Deputy Editor at Glamour magazine to founding The Works, an agency committed to luxury and the environment. Why did you decide to pivot and start your own business? How have your previous experiences within the fashion industry inspired you to go out on your own and found A Shirt Story?

While I was at Harper's Bazaar years ago, I was lucky enough to work with an incredibly talented team of brilliant editors when fashion magazines were practically coffee table books - amazing locations shot by the "of the moment" photographers and iconic stylists. With social media and fast fashion, the pace of news, the content of the magazines and the industry's production had to follow suit. Sadly, magazines were no longer the source of fashion and news as they once were. 

This, coupled with the awareness of outrageous waste generated by production in the fashion industry and its consequences and inhumane working conditions of garment workers have made activating change essential. That said, whatever was next in my career I knew would be focused on social or environmental issues. 

So when a pile of my dad's pre-loved Brooks Brothers shirts were by the front door in a brown paper bag labeled ‘donate,’ I had to figure out a way to keep them in their prime, giving them another chapter ahead! Upcycling seems like a no brainer but it's a lot of work. However, the good news is that there is so much opportunity to effect change. We just have to get started!

What have you learned about the slow fashion movement that you didn’t previously know? 

I am learning so much every day! Transparency is key. Being sustainable in the broadest of terms is not enough. Honest and responsible fashion takes work and time and we can't wait any longer. On the up side, what I find as I shop my second hand sources is a reflection of trends and culture. For example, there are millions of classic button down shirts out there. Is the work uniform evolving so more are donated or is it that blends are cheaper to produce and more disposable to the consumers? Probably both. Either way, I feel more committed to my Shirts than ever.

Beyond thrift and resale shopping, how can everyday people contribute to circular fashion? 

I believe consumers are coming to terms with how they shop and what they really need. Investing in quality over quantity. Slowing down the fashion production is a tall order however, assessing your wardrobe and taking time to find the core pieces that you love, care for and wear is one step towards minimizing apparel waste. Reworking and restoring them with visible mending or minor repairs is truly the definition of sustainability: That is what A Shirt Story is all about.

Your pieces are completely versatile - seasonless, gender neutral and oversized -  and can be styled and worn in many different ways...What is your favorite way to style A Shirt Story? 

I have 3 go to looks! With a higher waisted pant or skirt, I tuck in the shirts to make a blouson shape. More often, I do the half in / half out or tucked in the front and loose in the back look. That works better with looser and roomier jeans. Lastly, with a jacket, I let the long reworked cuffs come out of the jacket sleeves. I love the oversized look; it is the trend that keeps on giving! Any way you style it, the crystal buttons really pop, giving all looks the perfect high/low contrast.

Come explore the full collection at Figure Eight and have the chance to meet Sasha in-person on Thursday, October 14th during her brand trunk show. Hope to see you there!