Avatar photo
BY Abu Mubarik, 12:25pm February 23, 2024,

How Yvette Estime started award-winning brand turning deadstock materials into accessories after losing her job

Yvette Rashawn Estime. Photo credit: Courtesy of Dirty Celebrity/The Story Exchange

Yvette Rashawn Estime is the founder of Dirty Celebrity, a fashion brand she launched in 2019, a few months before the COVID pandemic hit the world, and travel restrictions were imposed due to the pandemic. She mulled over her new venture and began exploring the intersection between climate change and fashion.

Estime had to rethink Dirty Celebrity as an accessory line that puts the Earth first. Thus, for her zero-waste creations, she uses deadstock e-commerce materials that are no longer sellable and turns them into bags, jewelry, hats, and scarves.

Prior to launching her business, Estime worked in the corporate world. However, she got into entrepreneurship after she was laid off and also because entrepreneurship has been her passion. And her passion for entrepreneurship lies in fashion.

Estime said her sustainable brand is different from others because of its focus on kitschy designs rather than bohemian ones.

“Greenwashing—making misleading statements about a brand’s sustainability or eco-consciousness—is a big problem in the fashion industry,” the Jersey City, New Jersey, entrepreneur told The Story Exchange. “We combat this with transparency and by using sustainable materials. We are also the first sustainable accessory line that focuses on kitschy designs rather than bohemian ones, which is where most sustainable brands usually take their inspiration,” she stressed.

So far, Estime said her biggest success has been winning a grant from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (VFDA) for her sustainable fashion line.

However, the journey to success had not been easy for her. According to the entrepreneur, when she launched her company, her partner and sister caught COVID and were both hospitalized.

“My sister was already wheelchair-dependent; now, she relies on oxygen as well. That was really hard. And personally, I have autism, so sometimes I struggle with emotional understanding,” she said. Her brand also faced difficulty sourcing local materials so she got creative and started using resin pouring and 3D printing.

Despite the initial difficulties, she remained focused on her desire to change the world. She finds inspiration “by remembering that, I want to make a difference in the world and be an example to an industry that still thinks sustainability is a form of marketing.”

Since launching her brand with her sister, Eva, they have received the following accolades: “2021 Klarna Initiative winners of $40,000 for advertising; 2022 Luminary winners providing co-working space for women; 2023 Selfmade mentorship for women-owned brands; and 2023 Cornlus/PNC winners of a co-funding venture fund,” Jersey City Times reported.

In the months and years to come, they look to expand the business to include clothing.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 23, 2024


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates