About Kate McGuire
Kate McGuire is a British entrepreneur, ‘refashion designer’ and sustainable fashion activist. Through Converted Closet, the platform she founded in 2016, Kate showcases her design-led upcycled couture, inspiring and empowering her followers to give a second life to their own unworn clothes while reducing the need to buy new.
Kate has been converting since she was a teenager. In her early teens, her weight began yo-yoing from a size 8 to16 and she used the invaluable tools of converting and styling clothes to fit, flatter and express herself, exactly as she was. Nothing was off-limits, from her school uniform to her dad’s shirts. Converting clothes sparked a love for fashion that helped her on her inner journey to self-acceptance.
Kate’s route to a career in sustainable fashion has taken an unconventional path. From an Investor Relations role in Corporate Finance at JPMorgan Cazenove, Kate rose to become a leading head-hunter in London. She used commercial acumen, instinct and communication skills to recruit Heads of Investor Relations for FTSE corporates, all the while gracing her clients and colleagues with her version of a Corporate Converted Closet.
Kate took a family career break in 2012 and it was during this time that she became more aware of the environmental and ethical issues surrounding the fashion industry.
“It shocked me to the core. I began to realise that my lifelong obsession for breathing stylish new life into neglected clothes was a huge part of the sustainable solution and I needed to communicate this urgent message far and wide. That was it for me – my life’s mission.”
Converted Closet was initially set up as a window into Kate’s own closet to showcase her own conversions and to demonstrate how any style of garment can be converted. The followers came fast with phenomenal engagement. People wanted to know how they could also convert clothes from their own closets and soon Kate had created a buzz around converting clothes, and through her videos she was empowering people to find a way to become their own refashion designer.
“Converted Closet is my way of communicating the joy and importance of converting clothes. I want to show just how easy and fun it is to take control of clothes and make them into our own dream wardrobes, with a bit of inspiration and a local dressmaker, for anyone who can’t sew.”
Kate gained a qualification in Business Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge, and after moving to the US in 2019, studied Sustainable Fashion at Harvard. Kate now regularly speaks in the press, and has also made numerous ‘how-to’ films, as well as reporting from key sustainable fashion industry events on behalf of global organizations such as Fashion Revolution and the Sustainable Angle.
“The experience of wearing a unique converted garment is intensely rewarding and meaningful – it’s incomparable to buying new, off-the-peg. Clothes have their own stories—they can be deeply mystical and have the power to radically affect mood. Fashion makes me feel alive and present. It’s about confidence. Using clothes to present my best self to the world has, I believe, significantly helped me to achieve in my career.
With a loyal following on social media and consumers’ increasing appetite for ethical and environmentally ‘guilt-free’ high fashion, it would seem the rest of the world is catching up to Kate’s way of thinking.”