This past week, I was able to chat via email with Redress Raleigh, an event planning, marketing and educational company that provides resources for fashion and textile designers. Over the last five years, Redress has provided fashion designers an opportunity to showcase their responsibly-made, eco-friendly collections as well as hosting smaller events such as clothing swaps, hands-on workshops, and marketplaces.
This Spring, Redress Raleigh hosted their first ever Eco-Fashion & Textiles Conference. The purpose and goal of the event was to bring industry leaders together to talk about where the fashion and textile industry is currently and where its headed in the coming years.
I asked Mor Aframian, Director of Branding and Community Relations, to give me an inside perspective on the conference, and what they discovered in terms of upcoming trends and sustainable practices.
FGS: Can you tell me a little bit about the eco fashion and textiles conference?
RR: The sessions offered at the conference included: hands-on workshops, panel discussions, keynote speakers and lectures. Our intention was to provide attendees with useful information and tools applicable to the sustainable fashion and textiles industry. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive and many great connections were made over the course of the weekend, which we hope will turn into lasting relationships.
FGS: What were some of the important points made about eco-fashion and textiles – were there new discoveries or ground breaking work shared?
RR: The most important point made several of our speakers was the need to embrace the ‘slow-fashion’ movement. the The overall consensus was that there is a need to get consumers out of the mindset of buying disposable fashion if we’re going to see a shift in this industry. Points were made about investing in authentic garments made with quality materials that will wear well for longer, or looking at the label of the clothing you purchase to make more conscious purchasing decisions. It’s important to us that consumers see options from designers who produce garments responsibility — both from an environmentally and socially conscious viewpoint.
FGS: Were there new brands shared that we should be aware of, or begin to follow? People to watch?
RR: Kim Kirchstein of Leopold Designs is a batik textile artist who recently started making resort-wear including kimonos, sarongs, and wrap skirts and dresses.
Pilar Ramirez an artist from Columbia, South America, is the jewelry designer of Pamor Designs and is constantly growing her collection to offer new organic material including orange peels, coconut fabric, natural resin and scrap leather.
Melissa Lowery of SSD Jewelry continues to impress us with her stunning accessories styling, storytelling and overall presentation on the runway. She’s been getting a lot of national exposure and has recently won 2nd Place for booth display at the Buyers Market for American Craft Show, which she designed with her husband.
FGS: Were there any new eco production methods shared for textiles or fabrics? Are there new materials we should be looking out for?
RR: We had 2 NCSU College of Textiles students in the show, they were the only non-established designers in the show, Ford Bowden and Kim Ring who used natural, plant-based dyes in their collection.
Zass design makes designer jewelry from aluminum cans, discarded plastic and other unexpected recyclables which you would never know unless you asked about it.
FGS: Lastly, were there specific designers or trends we should be watching?
RR: Oami Powers of Judah Ross designs timeless, limited-edition womenswear that are the kind of pieces you want to invest in, which are still a steal of the quality of construction and materials used.
Lumina Clothing is a brand-new menswear company that puts a modern twist on the traditional Southern gentleman. The brand offers button-down shirts, trousers, neckwear and accessories all of which are made in America and is continuing to expand its product line. Fun fact, Lumina Clothing dressed the Lumineers for the Grammy’s this year.
Follow Redress Raleigh’s upcoming work.
Photos via Redress Raleigh. Used with permission.