Have you ever stopped to think about the environmental impact of the clothes that you buy? Have you taken a moment to consider the carbon footprint of the outfit you’re wearing today? Natasha Pearce is an environmentally conscious entrepreneur that thought about these questions and was inspired to start a business. Her business Vivacious Eco Vixon, designs and produces eco-friendly homeware items using waste produced by the local fashion and textile industry.
In the US alone, at least 34 billion pounds of used textiles are discarded each year, according to Boston University School of Public Health, while Earth.org reports that globally, 92 million tonnes worth of garments see the end of their life in landfills – making for a very significant environmental, health and socio-economic issue.
“I noticed at my old job that we had waste all around us, zips, buttons and metal pieces, and I couldn’t figure out what we were doing with it,” says Natasha. As a seasoned fashion expert who studied fashion design and technology and has worked in the industry for over two decades, she was concerned about the negative impact waste has on the planet.
After being retrenched she decided to start a business to implement a solution. “I’d been in the industry for over 10 years, and I realized that when I die, that zip I ordered will outlive me’ – so I decided to delve deeper into upcycling and recycling”.
Natasha launched Vivacious Eco Vixon in 2019 using her own funds fuelled by a passion and commitment to leave a legacy she could be proud of. She sources her waste from leading businesses in the city to make upcycled products. Some of the eco-friendly items she makes are cotton bowl covers (to replace environmentally troublesome clingwrap and foil) gift bags, accessories, reusable paper towels and facial rounds that replace single-use cotton pads, among other items.
“Everything is made from wastage; I aim for a 360-degree circular approach and consider the carbon footprint of each product. That’s why I use waste that is already available so I can help reduce waste and not add to the problem.” Natasha donates her own waste to local sewing projects that supports victims of gender-based violence and women from disadvantaged communities.
Natasha has faced funding issues, some of them are the lack of support for her vision and not being taken seriously as a woman of colour, but the vivacious mom of three is committed to bringing much-need gender and racial representation to the eco space.
Vivacious Eco Vixon’s products can be purchased via online markets, selected stores, and pop-up shops. “A lot of people think when you go the eco-conscious route, things get more expensive, but I want people to see and know that small lifestyle changes now contribute to a bigger environmental impact later and can, in the long run, save you money,” concludes Natasha.