2015: The Game-Changing Year for Eco-Fashion

While we are all still in recovery from the bottle popping, momentous countdown of New Year’s Eve– regardless of the freezing Minnesota wind chill, our hearts are warm and eager for possibilities of 2015. Twenty-Fourteen proved to be a big jump start year for eco-fashion– as we continue the momentum, where does the road lead down for this next year?

Inspired by the Eco-Fashion Predictions made by top industry game changers, we wanted to highlight a few of our own hopes and thoughts for Twin Cities folks and fashionistas.

MN1-March-Street-Fashion-Report-4 Photo by MN Buffalo Exchange

STYLE that tells your STORY

If you have ever walked the streets of Uptown, North East, Seward …even scoped the aisles of the Wedge Co-Op, you know that the Twin Cities are bursting with style diversity. Each person tells their own story with their layering fabrics and curious hats and hairstyles. Although it’s more difficult to see in the winter months–people are craving the uniqueness factor and authenticity in their clothing.

For many this means pushing through thrift store racks, rocking vintage pieces, or simply shopping within their own closets. Ladies and gents are opting to sell, trade and swap clothing with stores such as Buffalo Exchange and b. among many within the buyback community. Not only do these closet trades keep textiles out the landfills–they provide the opportunity to build a wardrobe with pieces that tell the wearers story.

Fast-fashion ideals are deeply ingrained within our generation, the feeling that our clothing needs are as ever changing as the wind. However, the desire to use style as a storyteller lends the wearer more options to dress and play to who they are– ultimately topping over trendy fashion throwaways. This 2015, create a wardrobe all you with reinvention, thrifting and swapping on your side.

FASHION as a SOCIAL MOVEMENT

We’ve seen the change making capabilities within Minnesotans this year, with the raising of minimum wage and the Black Lives Matter convergence at the Mall of America in December. It’s no surprise that as we continually discover our power as consumers. That social change in fashion world is here. Not only are we asking for garments that look good but ones that feel good. The social impact of our purchases is now a vital aspect of where we put our dollars as buyers.

TOMS: One for One concept, has made us fall hard for companies that give back, raising questions about where our money is really going. And why shouldn’t our purchases mean something? Even the Pope has something to say about the realities of human trafficking and raising awareness on modern day slavery. In his message to the public given January 1st, he urges shoppers to step out of their own daily concerns and consider our impact as money holders!

In our commitment to fair purchasing this year check out a few MN based companies doing more with every purchase, from empowering women with education, to breaking the cycle of human sex trafficking around the world: Trades of Hope, KinShop and Paisley and Sparrow.

timeless640Classic fit by Carrie Parry

YOU ARE WHAT YOU OWN

Yearning for the past days of our grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’, who survived with a few solid dresses, heels and slacks (no doubt looking classy along the way), today’s leading fashionistas are aspiring to own less. In our overwhelming world of technology and media, it is no wonder we are looking to our classic fashion icons for advice–with the modest answer perpetually advocating, quality over quantity.

Building your wardrobe with timeless staples, while layering in those personality pieces, creates for less need to buy each season. Brands such as Everlane and Carrie Parry are taking a stand for social responsibility with total transparency, local sourcing and consumption. With these brands leading the way for the future in apparel design, student designers here at U of M, St. Kate’s and MCTC, are encouraged to take on the challenge within their programs by renowned faculty and researchers within Eco-Fashion world.

64Photo by Hackwith Design House

SLOW AND STEADY

Fashion is seeing a growth in appreciation for quality, handmade garments over the cheap, tired items of our past. Gone are the days of department stores being our only shopping options. While MN has always had a heart for heritage quality designs, organizations such as the Maker’s Coalition and The Textile Center have put the Cities on the map as a place for exceptional skills and craftsmanship.

We are seeing the appeal of handmade garments, with their smaller quantities, designers can take their time to produce more unique garments. More local designers are making a name for themselves, as they join in the Slow Fashion movement. Twenty Fifteen holds potential for local makers, watch for Hackwith Design, Velvet Moon  House of Gina Marie and FOAT.

ECO COMMUNITY

After a strong first year, fashion is ready for it’s revolution. By continually asking “Who Made My Clothes?” consumers are less fearful of asking more questions and demanding transparency and traceability through the fashion supply chain. As individuals we can change the way we look at fashion by empowerment through Fashion Revolution Day. Cities will continue to join the movement in it’s second year. And, as a center for fashion, the Twin Cities will certainly represent.

Perhaps, more important than any other progress in eco-fashion from brands and retailers, to designers and consumers is the growing eco-community. Vital sites such as AWEAR, Style with Heart and shopETHICA continue to connect consumers to their values and create more product accessibility. As connections continue to build around the globe, we here at Sol pledge to bring it all home to the Twin Cities. With two eco-fashion shows under our belt, our next show, Innovations 2015, will make more than a dynamic statement in the MN fashion world. Passion and energy are flowing from the Sol Inspirations team as we are gearing up for a new year of education programs for young designers, hands on workshops, fashion meet-ups, our Twin Cities Eco-Shopping Guide and of course, our Innovations scholarship fashion show. We want to provide you with the tools and awareness to build your own eco-fashion philosophy.

These small steps to change began to cultivate in twenty-fourteen, for us and the Eco-Fashion World. It’s up to us to keep up the momentum and make 2015 the year we revolutionize the way we see fashion. Are you with us? We’d love to hear your thoughts…