Local designer Grace Chetta breathes new life into vintage fabrics with her eco-friendly clothing line

They say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. For local clothing designer Grace Chetta, that saying rings especially true.

The LSU apparel alumna creates sustainable garments using colorful, textured and classic vintage fabrics. Her fabric collection has materials from as early as the ’60s, but her clothing designs are timeless.

On Chetta’s online shop, Gretta Garments, you’ll find items like a bright ’60s-style, long-sleeve, floral dress; a short, emerald dress with long, puffy, checkered sleeves and bottom half to match; and a mid-length, striped-and-floral mixed-print dress with a belt.

“I get excited about making new items out of old ones,” Chetta says. “I want to eliminate fast fashion and bring back an appreciation of fashion as an art form and thoughtful expression.”

Chetta’s collection of textiles includes vintage fabrics she inherited from her late grandmother.

Chetta launched her sustainable clothing business in June 2019. She wanted to design clothes she loved without creating clothing waste. Chetta had inherited a large collection of vintage textiles after her grandma died in 2015. Her grandmother was a spunky, imaginative doctor whose hobbies included gardening, reading and sewing. She had a large, stylish wardrobe with clothes Chetta wears herself today. Her grandmother’s favorite color was green, so she acquired many different shades of beautiful, green fabrics.

Now, the materials can be spotted in stylish, custom-sized dresses and hair accessories.

People can order custom sizes for any of the dresses on Chetta’s Etsy shop, or buy one of her pieces at local pop-up events like Mid City Makers Market. On average, it takes her a week to create one of her original designs. She even makes custom garments like wedding and bridesmaid dresses, which could take at least two weeks to complete. People can donate vintage fabrics to Chetta by contacting her through Instagram or email.

Chetta is living her childhood dreams. Since she first received a Barbie design kit at 7 years old, she’s always wanted to be a clothing designer. Her dreams became a reality in 2016 when she started working with New Orleans custom-gown designer Suzanne Perron. Little did she know that just three years after graduating college, she’d combine her love for fashion, vintage and the environment to launch her own environmentally conscious clothing brand.

“I feel so proud,” Chetta says. “I’m honored to share this expression of myself.” etsy.com/shop/GrettaGarments 

This article was originally published in the June 2020 issue of 225 Magazine.