Dressed in Distress


Savannah King

 Each piece of fabric is stained differently from the bleach transforming it into something new. Every bleached pattern is different from the last. Each new rip is different and everything is one of a kind. This is Gameday Grunge. 

Taylor Treadwell, a senior Fashion and Merchandising major, is the mastermind behind Gameday Grunge. Treadwell has been customizing and bleaching T-shirts and jackets since April of 2019, but Treadwell didn’t think it would turn into a business.

“I started bleaching T-shirts because I was bored one day and saw it on Pinterest, so I thought It would be fun to recreate,” said Treadwell.

Treadwell has always wanted to open her own store or sell her own clothing, so she felt selling her customized shirts was something easy to start with. She began with bleaching and customizing Georgia Southern T-shirts so that she could sell them locally for football games and other events. She then branched off into customizing shirts for other schools and random tops she would find when she went thrift shopping. This is when she decided to start selling them on Etsy.

The metamorphosis of her creations normally takes place in her garage but begins in the thrift store.

“I love thrift shopping, so I will go to like Goodwill, but I prefer the Christian thrift store or the Humane Society because it’s cheaper,” she said.

Next comes deciding exactly how she wants to distress the top—whether she’ll bleach it, rip it or both.

Treadwell has always had the distressed style in mind since the beginning of her venture into making distressed T-shirts, but her technique throughout her process has evolved so that she is able to give her tops a variety of patterns and take them to the next level.

“When I first began, it was a trial and error kind of process, so now I know and have learned how to make different designs and how bleach reacts with certain colors, it’s just a learning process,” she said.

Even though Treadwell’s specialty in Gameday Grunge is distressing T-shirts, she also has distressed denim jackets. Like the T-shirts, she hand-distresses each jacket, but the denim jackets take time and patience. There are a lot of different techniques she uses to distress the jackets, but each includes extracting individual pieces of thread strand by strand.

As Treadwell prepares for graduation, she looks forward to new projects, “[Gameday Grunge] was kind of a fun thing that I have been working on for now, but I’m open to new projects,” Treadwell said. She still hopes to be able to incorporate her distressed T-shirts in the future.