Name: Colleen Coughlin
Location: Miami, Florida, U.S.
Industry: Apparel & Accessories
Reason for starting? Frustrated with the incredible waste I saw as a Victoria’s Secret designer, I quit my job and founded TheFullEdit, a professional closet editing service that helps people cut their own fashion waste, resells high-quality pieces and up-cycles fabrics. I bring over 13 years of NYC design experience to my endeavors. Working with fashion and lifestyle companies such as VSPINK, C2C, Tesla, StartUpFashion, The NBA, Elle, Nylon, and Glamour, I seek to educate and inspire sustainable design thinking and build more eco-conscious brands.
We organize, purge and style your closet so you look and feel your best! We then repurpose, recycle and inspire creative ways to reimagine your wardrobe. Our goal is to make the apparel industry more sustainable by lessening the need to “buy more” and, instead, investing in quality, conscious, classic pieces that last and keep excessive fabric out of the waste stream.
Related: Read about another sustainable fashion entrepreneur here.
How do you define success? Waking up and being able to do what we love. We appreciate how wearing clothes that look and fit right is empowering. Instead of having to ask “What do I wear?” having a clutter-free space that holds the material parts of how YOU present yourself can be an effortless task once the “one day I’ll fit into that again” pieces are eliminated. (Be honest, how many band t-shirts are taking up prime closet real estate?) You can walk out your door confident to take on the day feeling that you’re worth it!
Biggest success: I was asked to organize Miami’s 3rd Annual DFO Eco Fashion Show in addition to SEED Food and Wine Fest 1st Eco Fashion show. I negotiated brining both shows together; therefore expanding both organizations’ individual reach from 10,000 and 6,000 (mailing list), respectively, to 16,000 combined. I also worked on a donation project from SEED to DebrisFreeOeans to benefit the work I do with DFO on educating students on plastic and textile pollution and how we can design better while being mindful of our resources. Also co-organizing an almost sold-out viewing of Chasing Coral at RSMAS, which talks about climate change since the government won’t.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Having enough hours in the day to get all that I need to done. I was stubborn in the past, believing I needed to do it all myself. Thankfully, I learned to ask for help and outsource work. It has been a win for all those involved. Bringing on and training more closet editors to edit closets and teach about sustainability, while capitalizing on the 79lbs of textile waste the average American discards annually. This isn’t just tree-hugger talk. There is money to be made in this waste, and I know how to do it!
Related: TSE Quick Take: How ‘Necessity’ Fuels Female Founders
Who is your most important role model? There are SO many solid examples. However, Orsola de Castro, co-founder of FashionRevolution, for all of her leadership in sustainable design.
Edited by The Story Exchange