Rhetorical Factory

Hand Printed Vintage Tie $15, www.rhetoricalfactory.com. Asheville Designer and Entrepreneur Bethany Adams scores an instant of pop surprise, superimposing original, hand-screened images on classic clothing and accessories. “I have six primary designs which I screen print onto clothes and ties,” Adams says.”I make the prints from photographs I take myself.”

“Question our patterns,” advises Factory studio owner Bethany Adams. She means it literally, of course - like when she restructures and refreshes outdated, secondhand clothes. “I'm so inspired by vintage patterns. Adding one simple print to a tie or shirt,” she says, “is a way of breathing some life into a rejected but beautiful garment.“ 

She means it figuratively, too. Like when she’s reforming a niche segment of the North Carolina economy. Rhetorical Factory, Adams says, is “dedicated to making a change in the business world, turning the focus from monetary profit to true quality,” she says, “so more people can can get tuned into this important shift in consumer culture.”  Even the studio logo - a question mark - Adams says, “is all about inspiring people to question our patterns and make a shift toward true consciousness and integrity with every dollar spent.” This ideal - the “true quality” she advocates, is grounded in relationship. “Knowing the people in this community is important. Supportive store owners, conscious customers and fellow recycled fashion designers“ each contribute to Asheville’s premiere place in the recycled clothing movement. “Asheville is definitely a leader in upcycled fashion. One of the main reasons for that is simply the customer base here. Local shoppers and business owners consciously choose to support sustainability. With Asheville being an artsy town, people are willing to wear color, and to try different garments.” Another component? Creativity. Because of the community ties, “textile artists [in Asheville have] the freedom to put their ideas out into the market.” “A loyal customer base,” Adams believes, is “keeping the artistic competition healthy, constantly raising the bar. With so many great designers in the area, I am encouraged to come up with new designs regularly.” 

The final aspect of Adams’s new quality is sustainability. “From the very beginning, I decided to use only recycled and sustainable fabric, and to save every scrap. “This means a constant challenge, and zero waste.”

To see more Factory designs, check out the River Arts District Studio Stroll (Studio 218), on Saturday, November 12, 2011. The address is 191 Lyman Street, Asheville. Upcoming Rhetorical Factory events include the Asheville Trashion Show (November 19 2011), and Holiday Hoopla (December 3, 2011). Check the Factory website for details.  http://rhetoricalfactory.com/vance-elementary-holiday-craft-explosion/