GREENBasics Turns Your Trash Into A Whole New Treasure.
Elzie Hollins has been thrifting for years. He first got the bug as a sophomore in high school, when he started raided his grandfather's closet. Before long, he was hitting up the region's finest thrift shops, scoring large bags of clothes for discounted prices.
So to say that he has a lot of clothes in his closet, well, that might an understatement.
Here's where Hollins' story differs from that of your average thrifter, though: Instead of letting all these clothes collect dust, unworn, Hollins reconstructs these garments and turns them into beautiful, modern pieces by updating the trims or zippers on a jacket here and changing the sleeves on a shirt there.
“When you don't have enough bread to do cut and sew, you just do it with what you have,” Hollins says.
Inspired by the vintage clothing and its classic, timeless appeal, and realizing its marketable potential, Hollins has turned his hobby into a new startup called GREENbasics. More than an apparel brand, GREENbasics is an all-out reconstruction brand, upcycling furniture as well as clothes.
“It was a three-year development,” Hollins says of launching his new venture. “You can't rush these things.”
It's that kind of patience and the attention to detail that comes with it that really brings Hollins' brand together. This is a guy who knows the ins and outs of French seams and what sort of a difference it can make in the construction of a garment. And, after years of collecting, he's familiarized himself well with such deadstock as perfect, unworn denim.
What's remarkable is that, despite its broad swath, Hollins' brand is wonderfully cohesive, and all the way down to the packaging, even. GREENbasics' packaging uses butcher paper, black chalk paint, white chalk for the hand written tags, rope and more.
The feeling is heavy and organic — an incredibly inviting feel in today's ever-growing eco-friendly market.
And eco-friendly? If only accidentally, it's GREENbasic's model.
“You can reconstruct your stuff as many times as you want,” Hollins says. “It never gets old.”