A common question we’ve received over the years has been: “What does Redress do?”
Great question! Those of you who’ve been with us from the very beginning know that Redress has done lots of things since its very first Spring Fashion Show hosted in March of 2009. Based on our trials and experiences, we’ve taken this summer to hone in on the 5 major business activities that support our mission to connect and champion responsible designers and companies through event planning, marketing, and an active membership network.
Some of you may be wondering what we’re up to now, and what we have planned for the coming months. These are now our main focuses moving forward:
1) Expanding the Redress Movement
Over the next 18 months Redress will focus on bringing together a variety of stakeholders, including creators, manufacturers, and customers, who are invested in making the fashion and textiles industry more environmentally and socially responsible. Our goal is to support creative entrepreneurs (emerging and established) on their path to success with business and marketing opportunities. Much of our effort will be invested in connecting Creator and Champion Redress Members, thereby supporting one of our core goals: to provide access to innovative, wearable, and responsible fashion and textile goods.
Being a part of the Redress Movement through membership provides individuals and businesses with a community of collaborative and trustworthy change-makers who are willing to share tips and resources. It is vitally important to us that we actively cultivate the next generation of eco-conscious creatives as well as provide access to their quality products.
2) REFTC: The Leading Eco-Fashion and Textiles Conference in the Country
REFTC brings together leaders from throughout the country who are intent on making the USA once again a pioneer in innovation, manufacturing, and sustainability. In its first two installments REFTC highlighted sustainability initiatives taking place throughout the world, empowering people to implement these practices within their own business. The event also connects smaller businesses with larger companies and provides connections to local and national superstars in the fashion and textiles world.
Those who attended the conference said the following about their experience:
“I made several new connections that I am excited about contacting”
“Diverse range of information with direct and usable suggestions for designers”
“Presenters were very open about sharing their successes, challenges, and strategies”
“Despite the obstacles, people are doing it - running a successful clothing businesses with a conscience. I felt we walked away with contacts to ask questions of when we get stuck or need a referral”
One of our favorite moments from this past year’s REFTC was learning that Appalatch had begun establishing its current supply-chain at the inaugural REFTC and that a year later most of their supply chain was present at their REFTC 2014 talk. You can learn more about Appalatch and its supply-chain here. To us, REFTC is a time for industry leaders, designers, and customers to come together to share, explore, and put things into action as we continue to improve practices within the fashion and textiles industry.
3) Spring Fashion Show: Innovative. Accessible. Wearable.
The Spring Fashion Show is the signature event that sparked the Redress Movement. The intention of the fashion show is to provide established and emerging designers with a platform to showcase their work and brand’s personality. Featured designers have gone on to be well-received at additional events throughout the country such as Charleston Fashion Week and NY Now. Benefits of participating as a featured designer include: showcasing 8-12 looks on the runway in front of a large audience full of supporters and industry experts, working with audio and visual artists to create a professional and engaging show, receiving expert photography services whose images will be distributed digitally and through a printed LookBook, and extensive marketing leading up to, during, and after the event.
Redress makes every effort to make the fashion show experience a smooth and enjoyable one for the designer. By eliminating some stressors, designers are able to focus on their collection and any additional inventory they may want to have ready to sell after the show. Expect the 2015 Spring Fashion Show Application to be available online in mid to late October. New this year and moving forward, all featured designers are required to join as members to further support and encourage creative entrepreneurs, including themselves, on their path to success.
4) In-Person and Online Events
Currently Redress hosts a variety of in-person events including Seasonal Clothing Swaps, Meet + Greet Socials, Marketplaces, and Educational Sessions for both Creators and Champions. These in-person events give our members and the larger community a chance to connect and share ideas, resources, questions, and to celebrate successes. They also empower people with knowledge on how to make more responsible choices with their wardrobes as well as provide them access to talented designers. Our goal is to establish a connection between these groups - makers and buyers - and to continue fostering those relationships.
Over the next several months we’ll also be developing recurring Members Only online events focused on providing our members with exclusive access to business and marketing resources. These events may include how-to workshops, interviews with industry leaders, and chats with potential mentors. As we implement our first few online events we’ll be soliciting suggestions for additional online events for both members and non-members.
5. LookBook + Gift Guides
Over the last couple of years Redress has experimented with gift guides and LookBooks to further promote and connect designers with customers and found these to be popular and oft-viewed marketing materials. This coming year (2015) we’ve made a commitment to produce 5 gift guides: Winter Holidays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Graduation, and Father’s Day.
Additionally, we’ll produce a 2015 Spring Fashion LookBook in conjunction with professional photographers that will showcase looks from the featured Spring Fashion Show designers. The goal and purpose of the LookBook and gift guides is to provide individuals with easy access to innovative, wearable, and responsible fashion and textile goods for all occasions. The LookBook also can be purchased by potential buyers and boutique owners and is a great way for designers to showcase pieces of their portfolio in a printed format.
These five focuses will continue to propel this movement forward and we are excited about creating a future where ecologically and ethically conscious fashion is the norm rather than the exception. You are an essential part of this movement and we look forward to growing with you all and celebrating in your successes.