Why Indie Fashion and What are We Even Doing Here, Anyway?

When you do something for a long time, it makes sense every once in a while to take stock and ask yourself, why am I doing what I’m doing? What is the point? What is it all about?

When it comes to SF Indie Fashion, which has been chugging along in one way or another for nearly six years, I recently found myself meditating on indie fashion, what it means, and the underlying purpose for the site in one of my 3 a.m. lie-in-bed-awake-sessions, which I seem to be having far too many of these days. I thought I’d share some of those thoughts.

SF Indie Fashion started out as my place to publish all the information I happened to have on hand about local designers, local shopping and fashion events and Bay Area fashion news. When I started the site, local fashion news was very rarely covered by Bay Area media and blogs. There simply weren’t sources for this kind of information available in the way they are now.

Today, the Bay Area is positively exploding with web sites and blogs covering designers, fashion news and fashion events. It’s cool to see how much more attention is being given to the local fashion community in just a few short years. I expect this will continue…

The idea was always to cover the local, independent businesses that aren’t getting coverage in glossy magazines and by national media. Why? Because I admire small business owners and think small, independent labels are worthy of recognition, even if they are not selling wholesale to boutiques and stores across the country – or even the state – yet.

I also think shopping from independent businesses, especially those who are located right where I live, makes for a more meaningful consumer experience. I also think it strengthens the surrounding community in many ways. And I happen to like knowing where my apparel and accessories come from, buying recycled or secondhand whenever I can and generally trying to avoid fast fashion.

Over the last few years, I’ve come to think that many more people would shop local if it were easier. Local food is a near-obsession for many Bay Area-ites. I feel that way about fashion. It’s my hope that SF Indie Fashion will help those who enjoy fashion find local sources for the things they’re looking for.

So what is independent fashion? Local labels, thrift shops, high-end consignment boutiques, shops carrying local designers, independent shopping events, local fashion shows, San Francisco street fairs with apparel and accessories vendors, handcrafted wearables manufactured in San Francisco or nearby, vintage dealers, quirky people who make jewelry at their kitchen tables. All qualify.

Notice I didn’t say anything about trends or exclusivity or any of that b.s. I love a high-end handbag, lux labels, a velvet rope and a swag bag every now and again, but those aren’t the things I devote my time (much, much time) to writing about here. There are plenty of other people to do that.

Thanks for reading the site over the years. Hope you’ll continue. And I’ll keep trying to cover the local folks as best I can. And as always, any suggestions, get in touch.

Photo by Christophe Tomatis

  • Rebecca Zito

    Funny, was thinking about the importance of shopping locally on my way home after hearing NPR’s report about Amazon.  They are initiating a ballot measure in California asking tax payers to vote for or against taxing purchases made on their site.  There are ways to measure the return a community receives from the impact of a local business vs. a national chain or on-line retailer. sometimes paying taxes is not so bad when it’s equated to roads, parks and needed services. not to mention the variety of jobs a local business can create. 

    • lorrainesanders

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, it IS really interesting to see the potential local, close-to-home impact of something that it might be very easy to overlook while making online transactions. I am a big proponent of reading the ballot measure text in the voting booklets, researching them a bit and always voting, even if it seems like it can\’t or won\’t make a difference in any major way, at least you\’ve spoken.

  • I just want to say thank you for covering local designers. It really means a lot to have that kind of support, and a place to discover other local designers as well. You guys do a great job.

    • lorrainesanders

      Aw, that is very nice of you Sara. We are just happy that companies like yours are able to survive (and hopefully thrive) in SF.