The term “eco-fashion” has been thrown around a lot lately. If you, like us, just nod and smile as if you know what’s going on in this corner of the fashion world, take note: it’s actually pretty amazing.
According to the nonprofit Sustainable Technology Education Project (STEP), eco-fashion clothing “take into account the environment, the health of consumers, and the working conditions of people in the fashion industry.” Think T-shirts made from cotton grown without pesticides and high-fashion runway shows where models are wearing dresses made entirely from empty Mountain Dew cans.
All that is intriguing and impressive, sure, but a little hard to wrap our heads around.
Luckily, we have the University of Minnesota’s Goldstein Museum of Design to help us out. There, students, faculty, and professionals are turning the somewhat abstract concept of eco-fashion into reality by recycling, upcycling, and repurposing clothing and putting it all together into a gallery exhibit. Everything from transformed hand-me-downs and vintage fabrics-turned-couture to explorations and explanations of how designers create clothing while being conscious of the environment will be seen via the 200 global submissions.
The exhibit will also be judged based on aesthetics, craftsmanship, and creativity.
In addition to the exhibit, Sandra Black, a sustainable-fashion expert and professor at the London College of Fashion, will give a free lecture and book signing on Thursday, February 21. Her book, The Sustainable Fashion Handbook, is a source for all things eco-fashion—the perfect accessory for just such a show.
Designs for Sustainability
Thursday, February 21
33 McNeal Hall
1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, 612-624-7801
Gallery open through May 26
Tuesday–Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday 1:30–4:30 p.m.
241 McNeal Hall