A Magazine recently had a chat with sophomore fashion merchandising major, Kara Woodward, about her thoughts on fashion, her recent social purpose design project, DYERAID and her goals for the future.
AM: What is the most interesting aspect of fashion to you?
KW: I think the most interesting aspect of fashion to me is that every single person on the planet is involved in it, yet in a different way. It is unique to each individual and I think sometimes we need to take advantage of that to express ourselves. I am also really interested in sustainability, philanthropy within fashion, and fair trade work within the industry.
AM: We hear you have an interesting project, tell us more about it and how you got inspired to start it.
KW: This all started when a friend of mine asked me, “What do you want to learn while you’re at Kent?” and I thought fabric dyeing would be a cool process. One of my favorite colors is indigo, and I found out that the process wasn’t that difficult.
I researched how to dye with indigo in its purest form and bought freshly stamped powder and began dyeing fabrics in my kitchen and backyard, sorry mom! I figured making things like pencil pouches, tote bags, pillow cases, table runners, and napkins would be pretty simple, and my friends and family would appreciate them. I wanted to do something that gave back too.
So I picked an organization to receive the earnings I made past the expense of each item and put the money towards helping the campus ministry I am involved with, called Young Life.
AM: What have you learned so far from this project and do you have any advice to someone who might want to do something similar?
KW: To keep it simple, I have learned that anyone is capable of executing an idea they have if they just go for it. I have also realized that I can sometimes be my biggest critic. And that indigo does not come off of kitchen counter tops very well, again, sorry mom.
Also, the people around you will support you when you take these chances, especially if you are helping those in need. As for advice, do not be afraid to take a small idea you have and run with it. We are all here to grow and learn, and if you want to learn about something, I say what better way than to just put yourself right in the middle of it and get your hands dirty.
AM: How do you see this project evolving in the future and what do you hope it becomes?
KW: For the future of DYERAID I am hoping to partner with my local farmer’s market to make 100 unique tote bags. They work with the organization SNAP to help people use their food stamps toward buying organic fruits, vegetables, and other items. These bags would help raise money for that organization, and I hope for this to be the end goal of the project.
AM: One more question, what are some future goals you have for yourself?
KW: I hope to pursue a few more projects similar to DYERAID and learn more about other areas I am interested in.
Some bigger goals would be finding a small fair trade or sustainability based business in NYC to intern with while I am studying away. And eventually, I would like run my own non-profit store that incorporates brands, designers, and artists who share the same vision to help the world through their passions.
Contact Kara Woodward @