Since becoming a part of the international lexicon just a few years ago, sustainable fashion has moved beyond simply a buzzword into a lifestyle. Today, everything from luxury fashion houses to fast-fashion brands like H&M have been rolling out eco-friendly initiatives.
Of course, the sustainable clothing movement has been around long before it was coined "eco friendly," with budget-conscious shoppers digging their ways through thrift, vintage and resale stores. That DIY spirit was in the air during Sunday's third annual Eco Fashion Show produced by local eco-fashion organization Sol Inspirations, held this year at Minneapolis' Textile Center. The three-part runway show kicked off with a selection of student-made outerwear crafted from secondhand materials. The most creative fabric uses came from Catherine Huss of St. Catherine University, who incorporated tent fabric into her futuristic-looking (and rain-resistant) jacket, and Allise Prew of the University of Minnesota, who ingeniously worked in Minnesota-made scraps from Faribault Woolen Mills, remnants of their colorful wool blankets. Stacy Yokieo of MCTC had the most well-made look -- a wool coat with puff sleeves made from a vintage men's coat and upcycled Minneapolis police uniform. The winner of the student section, named by audience vote, would take home a $500 scholarship. The show also included a showcase of chic, wearable looks styled from Twin Cities vintage and resale stores including B. Resale, Rewind Vintage, Second Début and Corner Store Vintage.
For runway presence alone, the highlight was the segment featuring the Textile Center's stable of Twin Cities-based fiber artists. Nancy MacKenzie, who has been creating fiber art since 1994, showed a melange of colorful, sculptural, over-the-top pieces that wouldn't be out of place in Lady Gaga's wardrobe. Knitwear designer Kevin Kramp, a St. Paul native who is in town briefly in between stints working for luxury knitwear factories in Italy, showed three of his signature, blouson knit silhouettes in tones of grey, eggplant and royal blue -- topped with his scarves, tied hachimaki-style around his male models' heads.