Eco-fashion can come in many forms. Whether it is the burgeoning fashion district just waiting to be discovered, an urban renewal story in the making, taking vintage into the present by using 21st century techniques, or finding new ways to use renewable materials, sustainable style is finding innovative ways into our daily lives. Here are five local entrepreneurs who are leading the way in the Detroit metro area.
One name that keeps coming up over and over is Fotoula Lambros, an up-and-coming Detroit-based designer whose main focus is creating easy-to- wear eco-friendly designs. Fotoula’s philosophy is for the “on the go” girl, and her fashions will flatter any woman and every body. The clothes give the sense of a busy professional who likes easy-to-wear, easy-to-care ensembles, but likes to look good, too. The eco-friendly aspect comes into play not only in the material she uses, but also in the cut, which ensures minimal waste in the production process. She doesn’t have a storefront yet, however, she has many events where you can view her clothes locally and you can shop online for some of her more popular pieces.
Homeslice – American Organic Apparel
Emily Thornhill has designed a very cool, very modern ready-to-wear collection that embodies the urban renewal that is going on in Detroit. Thornhill’s vision emerges from a convergence in a suburban upbringing and “city girl at heart” outlook. Not only are the looks fashion-forward, they also promote responsible consumerism with the materials that are used: organic cottons, bamboos and soy. Contact Thornhill her directly for pricing and availability.
Owner Bethany Nixon started out selling vintage on Ebay to earn income while working on a degree. She was a buyer for a couple of local vintage shops in the area. With the encouragement of her husband, a few years later she decided to venture out on her own and create Reware Vintage, which combined her love of vintage and crafting. Nixon is also a member of Handmade Detroit and organizes Detroit’s Baar Bazaar. Her business is done totally online and focuses on sustainable style through the art of recycling. Be sure to read through the return policy and the thorough sizing guide, which steps you through the measuring process to ensure the best fit and the least hassle.
Related: Best Vintage Shops in Detroit
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thurs – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
If you still want the traditional brick and mortar shopping experience, Catching Fireflies will fill that need. The store carries accessories made from repurposed items to make handbags, scarves and other items that can be purchased as gifts or for yourself. It started out as a love of art and support for independent artists whenever possible, and the company has stayed true to that vision ever since. It is a quirky shop filled with all sorts of items beyond clothing and accessories.
Bamboo Styles was started in 2006 by Greg and Kate Napolitan after a vacation in Costa Rica. They had slept on bamboo sheets and had enjoyed the experience so much they thought this would be a wonderful idea to develop into a business. The couple started with shirts and yoga pants and now have expanded into clothing, sheets, towels, yoga wear, maternity wear and baby wear. The business is done only online and serviced locally. Eight times out of 10, if a customer calls or emails, it will be Greg responding.
Marci Savage has recently adopted Detroit as her new hometown. Besides writing for online news publications, she has been an executive director for a disability advocacy organization, a small business owner, a financial adviser, a licensed personal banker, an expert quilt teacher, a model and a published author. Her interests include fashion, politics, art, theater, storm chasing, Sci-Fi, and technology. Her expertise is on shopping and style. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.