Don't throw those old clothes away, make something new during lockdown, says fashion grad Mariah

Sustainable fashion designer Mariah Esa has started posting DIY videos on YouTube showing people how to stitch together the latest trends at home, using clothes that might otherwise be thrown away.

Last week the Fashion Design graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) launched a video showing people how to make a face mask from recycled clothing labels.

Now Mariah, 23, who graduated from DMU last summer and is based in Leicester, has started a YouTube channel called Wardrobe Surgeon, that will show people how to make new clothes from old, using techniques ranging from basic stitching to skilled machine work and pattern cutting.


The first video shows viewers how to make a new top, promoting Mariah’s message ‘rethink before you throw away’.

Since graduating Mariah has started her own company, designing garments from sustainable or recycled fabrics.

She made her name by creating an award-winning catwalk collection from recycled clothing labels that took top spot in the People’s Choice Award, during the prestigious Graduate Fashion Week in London last summer.

Mariah said: “During lockdown the majority of the nation has probably had some sort of a clear out so I thought now was the best time to show what we can do with those hidden gems in our wardrobes.


“I wanted to create a top but I wanted to make it look different to the normal basic clothes we already have in our wardrobes.

“I took into consideration that we won’t have the same coloured items in our homes so I mixed and matched different clothing and colours that worked well with one another.

“I chose a sweatshirt as a starting point as it is one of the basic styles we all own.

“I hope people watching my YouTube channel can rethink what they are throwing away. Ask the question ‘why am I throwing it out? Where will it go? Can I revive it?’.”


Interested in volunteering during lockdown? Find out more here
How DMU is supporting the city right now
Coronavirus FAQs for students

The video shows how to make a pattern for the new top and uses a sewing machine.

But Mariah added: “I’ll be including other videos showing ways we can upcycle without a sewing machine using different techniques.”

Mariah also says now is the time to take on a challenge and push yourself with your crafting skills.

She said: “I have always wanted to create tutorials to spread the message ‘rethink before you throw away’. It’s something I always like to say.

“I passionately believe anything can be given a new purpose in life. For example, as a brand, we create designs from old garment labels. So if labels can be repurposed who says we can’t give our old clothes new life.

 “It is important to keep active and busy during lockdown and it is always good to have a break from the news for the sake of your own mental health.”

As well as winning the People’s Choice award in London, Mariah’s garments were also displayed during the world-renowned London Fashion Week.

Mariah’s collection was also featured in a major international marketing campaign by the Government which celebrates the enormous wealth of talent nurtured by UK higher education. The GREAT Britain Campaign film was shown in 140 countries.

Posted on: Wednesday 29 April 2020

Search news archive

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events at DMU

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.