While brands like Chanel have halted production and companies like J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic, smaller designers have used quarantine as an opportunity to produce and peddle their products online.
Cut & Sewn & Profit
One creator in particular, however, has been able to turn her passion project of thrift flipping into a paycheck during quarantine: Sarah Nocquette.
I met Nocquette the way most of us have been meeting strangers in this age of quarantine, through the internet.
It was a Sunday, March 29, and I was on Instagram, you know, aimlessly scrolling past the bread loaves and corona updates that seemed to dominate my feed these days. That is until I stumbled upon a video reposted by someone I follow of Nocquette turning a pair of red second-hand corduroy pants into a backpack!
I laughed. This was one of the coolest projects I’d seen all quarantine, like way better than the Dalgona coffee posts and new Netflix show promos I kept on seeing in my feed.
I immediately slid into her DMs.
Nocquette, a 21-year-old graduating senior at NYU, first began turning pants into bags when she made her first backpack for herself earlier this year.
It was a brown backpack, just big enough to fit her laptop and a few other items, made out of an old pair of corduroys that she had found on a sales rack at No Relation Vintage, a popular thrift store in Manhattan’s East Village.
Seeing her bag, Nocquette’s friends told her,
“If you made that I would buy it.”
Out of Necessity
However, it wasn’t until after the coronavirus was defined a pandemic and college’s switched to online for the rest of the spring semester that Nocquette ever seriously considered selling her bags to make a living.
“I think they announced on Saturday or Sunday that my job was canceled so I just started sewing…”