Studio Visits: Makayla Wray
The sustainable designer discusses the importance of breathing life into used garments.
For Makayla Wray, sustainable design is the only route for fashion. Having graduated Fashion Design from The Art Institution of Pittsburgh, Wray’s studio is currently based in New York City where she surrounds herself with creatives who share her vision. As well as collaborating with major labels to promote her sustainable approach, the designer and seamstress has built her own brand that breathes new life into used items.
“I hope my little steps can trickle up to the bigger companies to show why this matters and how it can actually make an impact on the world.”
From crafting rider jackets using an old rug to piecing together a T-shirt from used socks, Wray possesses a talented eye for turning discovered fabrics into stand-out pieces. Explaining the unmatched feeling of connection to her products she explains, “You can get a lot more out of your clothing when you have an attachment to the history and where you got it from. You don’t look like anyone else when you have something that’s one of a kind.”
As a way of giving back to the community during the pandemic, Wray took her skillset to the street by providing a roadside upcycling service. A simple process, customers bring their used, and unwanted clothes to have them reenergized by the designer. “During the pandemic, I started @pedalmaw which is my way of helping the community save their clothes by either mending or completely rebuilding their unwanted garments,” she says.
With Saucony’s latest “RFG Pack” utilizing a plant-based alternative to leather, Piñatex, as well as a range of partly recycled fabrics, working with Wray on this campaign was a no-brainer. Speaking on the new sneaker’s features she states, “Everything they’re able to rebuild, reconstruct, save and put into one item is amazing.” Hoping this leads to a permanent change in the way the fashion industry operates, Wray continues, “I think it’s important for brands to be aware of what they’re putting out into the world.”
Check out Makayla Wray’s Studio Visits episode in the video above. For more information on Saucony’s latest “RFG Pack” visit the brand’s website.