I Am Local 6: LeEllen Smith, Upcycle your t-shirt at Outside In
One local group in Troy, Tennessee takes your old t-shirts and uses them to make a difference. The t-shirts can be any color, any size, and LeEllen Smith will turn the old into something new.
OutsideIN is an organization in Historical Troy, Tennessee where small-town hospitality is proudly on display. There are big things happening in the downtown storefront.
“Our primary aim is to make a difference, not necessarily to make a profit,” said Smith.
The old building is home to a sewing workshop and retail store where volunteers cut, sew and give new life to your comfy tees.
“Our seams are on the outside, and we’re not afraid to show our brokenness. We’re not afraid to show out vulnerability because we are in the process of healing,” said Smith.
Every t-shirt is donated. Every part of the t-shirt is used, from the sleeves to the hems.
“Sleeves from the shirt are used to make covers for water bottles. On the sleeves, there is an inspirational quote or scripture,” said Smith.
Hems make bracelets, and scraps make dog beds. The main part of the t-shirt is made into skirts and small dresses supporting the “Wear One, Share One” initiative. Every dress bought another one goes to an orphanage in Africa. One quote really drives Smith’s creative thinking.
“If you light yourself on fire, people will come to watch your burn,” said Smith.
The blaze brings light to old tees. The bystanders bring their business to small town Tennessee.
OutsideIN is located on the square in Troy, Tennessee. It is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 until 3. You may also visit their website: wearoneshareone.org
If you know of an organization thinking outside the box to make a difference, you may contact Tori Shaw at email@example.com.