Ghanaian fashion designer Larry Jay brings message of sustainability to New Jersey

Larry J’s fashion line repurposes clothes that would otherwise end up in landfills and waterways.

Naomi Yané

Jun 28, 2024, 12:58 AM

Updated 26 days ago

Share:

An international designer is in the Garden State this weekend showcasing his sustainable fashion line created with fabric that may have once been in your donation pile.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the clothes you donate or drop off at donation bins? While much of it does go to the charitable organizations collecting the clothes, a lot of it ends up being deemed unusable and likely ends up as trash abroad. Enter Ghanaian fashion designer Larry Jay.
"Growing up in a very slummy area we used to see all of these clothes in our landfills and also water bodies,” says Larry Jay.
Larry Jay has been in the fashion industry since 2012, starting first with accessories. In 2017, he made the shift to clothing, focusing on used clothes. He says it’s much more than clothing. His fashion line repurposes clothes that would otherwise end up in landfills and waterways in his native Ghana.
"Starting the brand is not just to make clothing, but to make a change by repurposing this waste we have in our immediate environment into something of value," he says.
GreenAmerica.org reports on average, 700,000 tons of used clothing get exported overseas. Countries like Ghana import 6,000 tons of secondhand clothing every month from big brands and manufacturers from the United States and Europe. Larry Jay says not much of it is useable.
"Most of the things they bring down there are like maybe 40% OK, and 60% is all trash,” he says.
In this full circle moment, designer Larry Jay is bringing his brand’s message of sustainable processes to New Jersey where he’ll be showcasing his designs on Friday night at the Beauty Bar by Camila Mello in Livingston.
"We just want people to be very conscious of their consumption. Instead of just donating, you need to be sure where your clothing is going, and that makes you sustainable as an individual,” he says.


More from News 12