Voting is Sexy. Kindness is Hot. Clean Water is a Human Right. These are all messages that Tulane senior, Nina Harris, wants you to see, wear, and share.
Nina has taken the idea that fashion is a form of expression to a new level by developing Stitch It to the Patriarchy, a business in which she creates “sustainable up-cycled fashion with powerful messages.” Nina’s brand is a trifecta of sustainability, activism, and fashion. Upcycled clothing is a used garment that is changed into something newer, fresher, and more fashionable. This practice fights the waste of the fast fashion industry, resulting in zero waste and no negative environmental impact.
Although Stitch It to the Patriarchy is a fashion brand, Nina does not have a fashion background. A political science major, she is passionate about both political engagement and the environment. Nina has found the perfect way to commit to these causes through sharing important messages.
The idea behind Stitch It to the Patriarchy first came to Nina when she wore a shirt that said “You are Sexy” in high school. She was initially surprised at the attention the shirt attracted, but it sparked the idea to bring awareness through clothing. If “You are Sexy” can get people’s attention, what other positive messages can be spread? Nina applied this experience a few years later when she decided to create her first shirts. She is especially zealous about voting and voter engagement, which is why you may see a lot of people rocking their “Voting is Sexy” shirts around campus.
Nina never thought that what started out as a “just-for-fun activity” would gain so much momentum. Since June, Stitch It to the Patriarchy has grown on a national level. People have been wearing Nina’s words and spreading powerful messages all over the country. To maintain the sustainable aspect of the brand, all items are shipped in used boxes that Nina collects from different sources, such as her roommate’s Amazon orders. Sustainability is an important part of the business and Nina emphasized that “the only thing that is new and not reused or upcycled is the thread.”
Stitch It to the Patriarchy also partners with another Tulane small business called “Plant the Peace” which plants trees around the world on a donation basis. For every item purchased from Stitch It, ten trees will be planted. On top of this partnership, Nina pays it forward by donating ten percent of sales toward a different charity each month, which is voted on by the Instagram account’s followers. Did I mention voting is important to Nina?
Stitch It To The Patriarchy has had tremendous growth since the creation of its first T-shirt in June 2019, and Nina has plans to continue this expansion. She aims to do more pop up shops and grow the customer networks of sustainable, fashionable, and overall passionate people.
Stitch It also just launched a new website, so now you can buy your favorite products online! And if you’re interested in getting involved, check out the brand ambassador program by messaging the Stitch It Instagram @Stitchittothepatriarchy.
Words are power. We wear clothes every day, so why not make your wardrobe wiser? Thanks to Stitch It to the Patriarchy, spreading awareness, providing inspiration, and motivating change are as easy as throwing on a hoodie.
Cover Photo: Nina modeling one of her designs, photo provided by Nina Harris