As an apparel designer, sustainable fashion has always been at the forefront of my design process. How can we reduce our consumption, buy fewer, better things? When I designed my Stacia line through the years, I saw the trend go from small, artisanal designers (like my Stacia New York design studio and shop 1998-2004) to the birth of fast fashion (in the mid-2000’s) to the start of eco-fashion (2007), and now we’re coming full circle to a more conscious consumer. Fashion doesn’t have to be “fast” and disposable. Less is more and has always been my philosophy as a designer.
The epitome of sustainable fashion is the re-birth of the resale shop. It used to be my favorite past time at Parson’s School of Design to scour the bins at the local Salvation Army on 4th Ave. and 12th St. and the high in scoring a vintage 1970’s Calvin Klein blazer. Decades later, the Goodwills and Salvation Armys are pretty much picked over or you have to wait in line at the crack of dawn behind the Japanese denim designers in their U-hauls at the Rose Bowl flea market to get your fix.
Today, there’s a whole new world of “second-hand” clothing and it’s not your mother’s Salvation Army or musty vintage shop either. I’m talking about pristine $20 Helmut Lang t-shirts on the rack with an $88 Marc Jacob’s jacket. No more dumpster diving, the goods are in mint condition and well-curated, and resale shops or “swap” boutiques are popping up everywhere.
Last night I visited one of these beautifully curated resale stores in Santa Monica, called The Closet Trading Co. for a #ShopDrop2016 event. Hosted by sustainable fashion and mommy blogger, Rachel Sarnoff, the Shop Drop movement challenges you to not shop for new clothing and accessories for 30 days and instead “refresh” your wardrobe with sustainable fashion — join a “swap” boutique or shop at your local resale shop. Brilliant!
The event was also sponsored by ThredUP, a cool subscription service that helps you “purge” your closet (they’ll even give you the bag to ship your clothes back to them and they pay you $$ for your gently used clothes or you can use your credit to shop on thredUP.com.) What a great incentive to start your Spring cleaning early!
Thanks to ThredUP and #ShopDrop2016 for the well-stocked Eco-swag bags! Stay tuned for next year’s event, but why not start today — reduce, reuse, and swap to support sustainable fashion for a greener planet.