Sustainable Designers: Meet TL Brooke

Feb 5

Starting in September, my company Pildora has featured a sustainable designer each month. As part of the feature we produce a high fashion editorial and a video. The goal of the video interview is to allow designers to tell their stories and the stories of their unique garments. one of the biggest issues in the sustainable fashion industry is that people so often don’t understand why garments are so over-priced and that is because they don’t know the story of the garment, how it was made produced and so often carefully crafted by hand. Well we are here to tell that story!

I met Timothy L Brooke at his Brooklyn based apartment, which was itself so unique. I had an amazing experience learning about his garments, his experience and him as a designer. I am proud to announce Timothy and his brand, TL BROOKE as our January feature!

Here is some info about Timothy and TL BROOKE

About T.L. Brooke:

T.L. Brooke is a New York City-based sustainable fashion brand that creates red carpet style and gender neutral clothing solely from repurposed materials. The goal of T.L. Brooke is to offer clothing choices that are no longer mutually exclusive, allowing whoever wears the clothing to not feel confined to gender stereotypes.

It was founded by Timothy L. Westbrook while he attended Syracuse University and majored in Fiber Arts and Material Studies. In 2008, during his sophomore year of college, Westbrook realized that his dorm building had no recycling bins for fabric or papers. Inspired to make a change, Westbrook solely used repurposed or salvaged materials in his work moving forward.

How T.L. Brooke approaches sustainability:

Westbrook often finds his family members and friends passing along their old clothing to him, to utilize in his designs. T.L. Brooke has created collections incorporating salvaged materials from past wedding dresses, antique clothing, old umbrellas, audio cassette tapes, violin strings and more. My personal favorite was the cassette tape oversized jacket, LOVE!

He has created numerous pieces from rescuing abandoned materials. During his time at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, hotel workers passed along left behind branded hotel umbrellas to Westbrook which he turned into a collection of rain jackets. I love how Timothy says he is “rescuing these umbrellas.”

Westbrook believes that no clothing or materials should have expiration dates. When something reaches its “retirement age,” he salvages the materials to create something new.

One of Westbrook’s finest moments was when artist Brandon Minga wore one of his vest designs, repurposed from strips of plastic grocery bags, during his artwork unveiling at the Milwaukee Bucks Stadium.

T.L. Brooke aims to incorporate sustainable practices in all aspects of his life. In past shows, he has transported himself and his materials via bicycle car van.

Not only is Timothy an amazing designer, but he is an amazing person, as I have found many sustainable designers to be. This journey has brought me in contact with some of the sweetest and most passionate people in the world and I know together we are going to make a difference. My goal with posting these videos is to offer insights and to start to create a community for those who feel that they don’t fit into the traditional fashion world. We are here to help each other out rather than cut each other down. Sending love!

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