Student shows that being green can be fashionable

Lindsey McCormick

Saving the environment one design at a time Gabriela Garcia created a series of sustainable and environmentally friendly accessories just in time for the Fashion Menagerie Showcase.

Garcia, a junior fashion merchandising major, recycled used inner tubes and tires to refurbish them into elements of fashion.

“My mom had once seen a bracelet made of inner tubes and told me about it and wanted me to try to make something out of inner tubes. I went to the GSU bike shop and asked them for some used inner tubes, which they had been saving,” Garcia said.

Coming from a green family, Garcia crafted her business around environmental sustainability. The environment has always been something that she has been passionate about due to her father’s job at the Environmental Protection Agency.

“I suggested that she set up an Etsy site to sell her products, and I think she has done this recently.  I also referred her to the boutique Civvies in Savannah, and I know that they were interested in selling her pieces,” Hope Wallace, fashion professor at GSU, said.

“I really could see her pieces being sold in a trendier section of a high-end boutique like Saks or Henri Bendel,” Wallace said.

Garcia took Wallace’s advice and started to sell her creations online at and has named her business “ReeTired.” She plans on adding more creations to her page this summer.

In middle school Garcia discovered creating and designing was her calling.

“I asked Santa for a sewing machine and was so excited to find it under my tree. I got to work making things right away.  I would love to look through magazines and European tabloids to get inspiration for my style,” Garcia said.

Through her project, she has created a fringe clutch, a small crossover bag, a headband, bracelets, a necklace and earrings. Garcia says that making jewelry is her favorite because sewing the durable rubber to make handbags can be very tedious.

Garcia said, “I don’t know what I want to do yet. As long as it involves traveling internationally or making a positive impact in the world, I’ll be happy.”