How Panty Witch Started
The waste generated in clothing construction both disturbed and inspired Rita. She has a long history of recycling clothing and fabric into useful garments for her and her loved ones, but little did she know that a box of donated specialty dyed scraps would completely shift her future.
She pieced those small scraps into underwear, posted it on Instagram, and didn't think much more of it. But the posted pictures of the patchwork underwear generated immediate interest and requests. This coincided with the beginning of COVID 19, which compelled her to move to the rural Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Rita used her stimulus checks to expand her industrial equipment and follow through with designing and producing patchwork underwear. Panty Witch was born!
An independent spirit to her core, Rita loves working out of her home with her two furry “co-workers”. She finds fulfillment in collaborating with other artists, including block printers, graphic artists, and plant-based dye artists.
Rita's crafting started in her mother's
sewing room before she was old enough to start school. Inspired by design and color, she created with any supplies she could muster—fiber, fabric, clay, and more. Her family affectionately referred to her as the fine motor queen—drawing detailed, colorful pictures before she could even walk.
Her sewing started with quilts in grade school. By age 15 she sewed she funded the majority of her expenses for an international travel program by selling her sewn and crafted wares. She sewed her way to Europe!
Rita has been a professional sewist since age 18 when she started sewing for a Seattle-based clothing company. She found her ease with the industrial serger and hasn’t looked back.
In the spirit of low-waste, the majority of Panty Witch’s fabric inventory is reused or recycled. Rita adheres to the principle that there “is no such thing as throwing something away”. Resources require energy to grow and manufacture. She strives to get more life out of resources that would otherwise be thrown away and to bring about beauty in the process. Some of her scraps are donated by clothing businesses and other scraps are purchased from companies that have specialty-dyed the fabric. She aims to use predominantly natural fibers that are ethically sourced. Rita delights in the design challenge and uniqueness of each pair of panties.
Panty Witch makes panties to fit all body sizes and shapes. Any and all panty wearers deserve the experience of enjoying colorful, artsy panties.
Panty Witch believes in a living wage. Rita pays her collaborators the living wage she also pays herself. Additionally, she realizes that not all can afford her ware, so she provides a sliding scale based on the honor system.
Overall, Panty Witch is about creativity, resourcefulness, responsibility, and enjoying life. Often it is the little things, like panties, that bring delight.