Locavore Fashion: What’s For Dinner

Finally, the fashion industry is taking a hint from restaurant culture and serving up locavore styles a-plenty. What’s locavore fashion, exactly? It’s applying the same ideologies at work in countless restaurants across the country—sourcing local foods with an eye to sustainability—to fashion. “The idea [is] to link locally-made clothes with artisanal values to promote stitched-in-New York sales,” says the Wall Street Journal of brands like the Row, Jason Wu (pictured here), Prabal Gurung, and Waris Ahluwalia (the latter two are housed under the Garment District’s fashion incubator program). “This garment has been completely hand-assembled in New York, using fabrics of superior craftmanship,” reads the label sewn onto Wu’s high-priced garments.

Part of the initiative, at least in NYC, parallels a push to save an increasingly emaciated Garment District. But the message is also inextricably linked to monetary inclinations. Designers are banking on customers finding locally-produced fashions more appealing than those manufactured abroad. “[Tim] Gunn suggested launching a nationwide campaign to educate consumers on sourcing and how it is vital to local designers and economies, with manufacturing information more prominently featured on tags,” adds the WSJ. There’s no denying that such a shift in consumer education needs to happen. But, until a collective push from small and large brands alike occurs, until consumers are forced to consider the conditions most workers face in clothing factories outside of the United States, and until the sartorial counterpart to hits like Fast Food Nation and Food Inc. hit the mainstream, the fashion industry has a long way to go.

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