Caylin Yvonne Willis and Jared Mitchel Armstrong started the Yvonne and Mitchel clothing brand that extends the life cycle of fashion in 2017 after they met in college and bonded over their love for vintage and “personal style”. Jared decided to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a designer on the side, while Caylin was studying journalism and looking to start her own business.
The couple had no background in fashion, yet they decided to merge their talents and launched an online vintage store through Instagram in 2017. A few years later when Jared taught himself how to sew, they started converting their thrift finds into one-of-a-kind upcycled designs.
The Yvonne and Mitchel (Y&M) are owned and operated by designer Jared and CEO Caylin out of Kansas City, Missouri and USA. The couple does everything by themselves like source, design, sew, model, photograph, etc. 100% of the fabrics that are used to make their upcycled clothing and 99% of their shipping materials are sourced from secondhand shops and recycling centers.
The company’s mission is to reduce global textile waste by building a high-fashion, zero-waste clothing brand that’s powered by sustainability and upcycled fabrics. Since the beginning, the brand has released its upcycled clothing in curated collections that have their own look and feel, called “waves”.
For the outfits and shoot location, Jared and Caylin take inspiration from their daily lives to create such fashion stories that Caylin refers to as “Physical Fabrication of the Soul.” Upcycled clothing is making a new wave in fashion as sustainability becomes the main purchase motivator among consumers. 73% of Gen Z and millennials say they’re willing to pay more for these types of products.
According to the UN, fashion is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. The number might seem small but when you take into consideration that clothing production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined.
All of the Y&M upcycled clothing and even the packaging it’s shipped by them with used fabrics and materials that are sourced from secondhand shops and recycling centers. Their inspiration mostly comes from nature and most importantly the desire to protect and preserve it. Their high-fashion pieces range from around $30 to $200. The pieces created at Y&M have a futuristic edge & doesn’t disappoint fashion heads with its strong dose of sexy & sleek.
The new wave of upcycled clothing is a collection of one-of-a-kind pieces that were handmade by Jared out of vintage quilts and crochet doilies that Jared and Caylin sourced from secondhand shops. The materials used to create each garment are reminiscent of their time spent at home in the scenic countryside of Missouri.
Yvonne and Mitchel are becoming an upcycled clothing brand that extends the life cycle of old clothing while redefining fashion into ultra bold expressions.