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reFIND and Soul Studio Partner for Sustainable Fashion and Tech SXSW Event

The fashion companies will promote eco-conscious practices for creatives at FotoHouse

Two Austin-based fashion brands are teaming up to advocate for sustainability in a free and open-to-the-public SXSW event.

Soul Studio co-founder Melissa Hargus Pierce, reFIND founder Loriza Ibarra and FotoHouse partner Chisum Pierce organized the gathering, which is dedicated to improving environmental and social issues in the fashion world.

Sustainable Fashion & Tech SXSW will take place from 2 to 9 p.m., March 16 at photography studio and creative hub FotoHouse. The day includes a unique museum-like pop up shopping experience, “silent disco” style educational panels with industry experts, networking sessions with like-minded creators and fashion enthusiasts and a happy hour. Other features include a photo booth, an interactive natural dye bar, live music, drinks and bites.

reFIND founder Loriza Ibarra. Photo by Christianna Bettis.

“Sustainability” is a word often thrown around that can seem like an indistinct wish or promise with no tangible outcome. The mission of this event is to change this by encouraging eco-friendly practices and illustrating measurable achievements.

“Our goal is really to inspire people to see that sustainability isn’t a huge difficult scary thing,” shares Hargus Pierce. “We want people to see it in a new creative way.”

With two motivating panels covering a breadth of topics, one panel will focus specifically on technological advancements that encourage ethical production processes, while the second will be an exploration of environmentally conscious consumption. Panelists will include Reza Cristian (Sustain the Mag), Kasi Martin (Peahen Studio), Daniel Salcedo (OhYeah!), Lottie Bertellos (LOTI) and Erin Murphy (Topl).

FotoHouse is a photography studio and creative hub in the heart of UT Austin’s campus. Photo by Colt Verett.

The hosts themselves are leaders in the practice of sustainable fashion, showcasing a commitment to long-term solutions. While fashion is one of the world’s biggest polluting industries, Soul Studio is committed to correcting this with a near zero-waste design and production process in making their ethereal clothing. Dedicated to local manufacturing, fair wages, use of natural plant-based dyes and flowers, as well as using every last scrap of fabric, the shop is a beacon of hope when it comes to environmentally-conscious manufacturing. Soul Studio demonstrates that local businesses can be virtuous and still make beautiful and creatively constructed garments.

A perfect complement to Soul Studio’s work, reFIND is an innovative marketplace disrupting the fast fashion industry and helping consumers discover talented, transparent and ethical designers. reFIND curates an array of fashion brands that are leaving a positive impact. They also build exposure for small businesses with integrity and a clear mission for positive change. Leading by example, Ibarra’s work shows that in the modern landscape there is still plenty of opportunity to foster a successful community for small ethically-run businesses.

Along with a near zero-waste design and production process, Soul Studio’s distinct styles are stunning. Photo by Parker Thornton.

“I’m most excited to highlight all of my brand partners,” shares Ibarra. “This is what reFIND is all about, allowing people to discover small brands who are making a huge impact in the industry and an opportunity to get in front of people. We have brands from LA, NYC, Portugal, Mexico City and so many other places that will have their pieces featured at the event.”

This gathering will foster the growing community of sustainable fashion professionals in Austin and beyond by allowing them to learn from one another and spark collaborations in a fun and inviting setting. Over 500 attendees are expected, presenting many exciting opportunities for developing ambitions and evolving the fashion world to have a smaller ecological footprint.

Photo by Caterin Vizcaya.

“I hope that this event puts people in the same room together that they have been searching for and everyone walks away excited either from a new connection they made, a new brand they discovered or just more knowledge about the future of fashion,” says Ibarra.

RSVP now on eventbrite to save your spot at this event. The first 50 attendees of the day will receive gift bags filled with sustainable surprises from sponsors, including Fotohouse, RevTech Ventures and OhYeah! Influencer Marketing.