New Alterations and Upcycling Business Crowdfunds

With funds raised via Zaar, local startup Perla u Suzy will address the growing demand for professional clothing alterations.

People across Malta (and beyond) can help launch a new alterations and upcycling business on the island, via a crowdfunding campaign on Zaar.

Sarah Grech

Perla u Suzy is the brainchild of local young entrepreneur Sarah Grech, a business startup built on the foundation of her childhood spent nurturing a passion for fabrics and costumes, 10 years of experience working in costume in the theatre industry, as well as her BA(Hons) in Theatre Studies from the University of Malta and MA in Performance Design from the University of Leeds.

The new business aims to regenerate the art of sewing, addressing the island’s increasing lack of seamstresses available to take on alterations, while tackling the harmful impact of fast fashion on the environment.

“I wanted to start something that I felt was needed in the market: an alterations and upcycling business, ready to make old clothes fit again, to make them look as new or change them up into new items,” explains Perla u Suzy founder Sarah. “I have always been a Disney fan – it’s amazing how such a massive company started from a simple mouse. I saw Disney characters creating dresses for princesses and started to develop the idea for a new alterations business named after the three female mice who help Cinderella create her dress for the ball: Perla, Suzy and Mary. I chose the first two as the business name, and I knew that Mary – the name of one of my late grandmothers – would still hold a special place in my heart. And if mice can make such a beautiful garment, imagine what I can do with the skills I have learnt over the years!”

The Zaar campaign’s €2,200 goal will serve as the initial funds for the business, covering the purchase of hardwearing sewing equipment and materials, a larger and improved workspace, and learning new skills such as how to fix knitwear and using embroidery in alterations, garnered through online courses.

“With the support of the community who back the campaign on Zaar, my aim is to have a good amount of funds to push the business forward and make my dream of a vocational business come true,” says Sarah. “In an ideal world, the business will grow and flourish, with its own location to welcome clients and to work in, embellished with a decent amount of working material, and even a potential vacancy for others like me who enjoy the art of sewing and want a career in tailoring.”

Those who donate to the Perla u Suzy campaign can also expect to receive one of a series of rewards based on the amount pledged, including a thank-you email, a 20% discount on the first alteration or upcycling order with Perla u Suzy, an upcycled denim pouch, or a basic sewing skills workshop.

As the Perla u Suzy campaign is part of the Erasmus+ project INCrowd (Inclusion through Crowdfunding), Sarah Grech will also share why clothing restoration is the only way forward in fashion at Join the Crowd, an event on March 23 in which the community can meet the project owners currently making a difference through crowdfunding.

Find out more and pledge to the Perla u Suzy – The Startup of a New Alterations and Upcycling Business campaign at Register online to attend the Join the Crowd event on 23 March from 6pm at Business Labs, Triq Dun Karm, Birkirkara, at