When Kaitlyn Oliva learned how fashion negatively impacts the environment, she saw an opportunity to make a change. Oliva is the founder of Pressed, a subscription-based service that provides high-quality, comfortable, and eco-friendly clothing.
Oliva is working on Pressed as a founder in the Lassonde Founders program at the University of Utah’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a residential program for active undergraduate entrepreneurs that want to launch or grow a company. Her experience in the program has been pivotal in starting her own business.
“I wasn’t really sure what the Founders program was at first, but I thought ‘why not?’” she said. “It has been really helpful in starting my business. It’s great being able to lean on the mentors and learn from their experiences. I know they’re always there if I have any questions, even random ones.”
Pressed started as a high school project where Oliva upcycled gently used jeans into pencil bags that she then donated to low-income elementary schools. That grew into presenting to elementary schools about sustainability, and Oliva knew she wanted to do more.
“I was mind blown by the effect fashion has on the environment,” she said. “I wanted to do something about it.”
By upcycling thrifted clothing and using biodegradable packaging, Pressed aims to be 100% sustainable. Oliva hopes to bring awareness to how clothing choices can contribute to fashion waste and pollution. She also wants to make sure we are improving and heading in the right direction for the well-being of future generations.
“Thrifting is such a big trend right now,” she said. “Pressed was a great opportunity for me to get into that space. It’s important for me to make thrifting less of a trend and more of a lifestyle.”
Though Pressed is still in the beginning stages and hasn’t yet launched, Oliva is hopeful for the future.
“Entrepreneurship is my passion,” Oliva said. “Whether it’s with this company or a different one, I will find a way to spread awareness on this issue.”