Splendor Revival and Forgotten Fabric make chic caftans at an affordable price point.

Slow fashion is flourishing in Columbus in the form of cool, comfortable caftans made from fabric sourced from local thrift stores.

“I’ve been collecting fabric for more than half my life, when my mother introduced me to the idea of thrift stores,” says Tony Elder, who calls himself the “mad scientist seamster” behind Forgotten Fabric.

“Women’s scarves felt silky and I loved the way they floated around. I had a giant duffle bag full of scarves and had no idea what I was going to do with them,” he adds.

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Caftans became the answer. Elder started making caftans five years ago when his sister-in-law saw a kimono top, and he made a similar one out of a scarf from his collection. When he gave it to her, she said, “You should sell these.”

Now, he does. Elder’s caftans cost approximately $25, and can be found at Glean: Stuff Reawakened in the Short North, or through his Instagram account, @Forgotten_Fabric.

Splendor Revival started when Katya Philmore was shopping around for caftans.

“I loved them and couldn’t find them in my price point. They were all $700,” she says. “I thought, ‘Why am I searching? I can make them.’ I’m a self-taught seamstress. I always have fabric around.”

Philmore’s pieces are original and long-lasting, unlike the low quality, fast fashion sold by some chains. “What we wear often ends up in landfills,” says Philmore.

She sells Splendor Revival caftans at many markets or pop-ups, and those interested can schedule a private shopping experience at her studio at 400 West Rich.

“Knowing someone made a garment with thought and creativity and [that it] is one-of-a-kind makes you want to buy something you can wear for the rest of your life or pass it on to a relative,” adds Elder. “Knowing where things come from makes you respect them more."