We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Torres and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most crucial factor of Camas Lilly Company is my approach to textile waste. I view discarded materials and cutting scraps as opportunities to make something beautiful. My slow fashion production uses Deadstock fabric. These are textiles that more prominent brands and fabric mills have abandoned. I avoid excess waste by manufacturing in small batches and using made-to-order models. Patterns are cleverly laid out to minimize cutting scraps, and whatever is left over is upcycled into additional products such as scrunchies, headbands, and filling for pet pillows.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since 2018 Camas Lilly Co. has rescued over 1,000 yards of fabric from heading to the landfills. Manufacturing in Los Angeles using slow fashion production models my goal is to eliminate textile waste and build a community.
My brand is for the Modern Bride and beyond. Handcrafting ‘Getting Ready’ robes for a bridal party to wear moments before they hit the aisle. These robes coordinate with a bride’s wedding palette, adding cohesiveness to their color story. This customization process allows me to build lasting relationships with each client.
Manufacturing in small batches provides an opportunity to eliminate excess waste. Each order is crafted from deadstock fabric. Because Deadstock fabric often comes in limited amounts, each cut ticket is unlike another. Fashion production generates a significant amount of waste. Partnering with my contractors, we’ve found solutions to up-cycle all cutting scraps. Creating products such as scrunchies, headbands, and stuffing for pet pillows.
I have designed a brand that is impactful, unique, and unlike any other. Offering bridal party robes that are made with purpose.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My absolute favorite spot in the city is the Fashion District. There are streets lined with fabric bolts, fibers in the air, and shop owners standing outside with yardsticks attempting to convince you to shop inside. To appreciate this area’s hustle, color, and textures, one doesn’t have to be a fashion designer. Each shop showcases different personalities. You’ll be blinded by sequins, picking up table cloths for your next party, or finding that ” so ugly it’s cute” vintage 90s floral fabric your mom used for your church dress. Be sure to pet the rainbow fur on your way out!
Now that you’re exhausted from walking around on hot pavement let’s go to Echo Park. I put an order in at Reggie’s for veggie wraps. One of my favorite sandwich shops in town. Reggie himself will greet you with a smile, share some laughs and send you away feeling uplifted.
And if it’s a Saturday, we’ll be on our way to the Los Feliz flea market. We visit our friends Mellow Space for unique vintage housewares and Total Healing by Sheri to restock on her Lavender CBD balm.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Growing up in Camas, WA I was surrounded by evergreens and entrepreneurship. My mother was a Floral Designer and avid seamstress. Between wedding dates, we would travel to textile warehouses that sold ‘ fabric by the pound’ for our latest sewing projects. Her love of nature and crafting taught me that by sharing your passion with the world, you can design your own life.
Alyssa Hunter, Arlene Winfrey, Jenny Collen, Emily Zur , Sarah Torres