Does a garment have to be just a garment or a platform for multiple garments? For Timosha Krivtsov, a junior in the department of Apparel and Textile Design, the answer is the latter. After discovering that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry, Krivtsov embarked on a journey to create a new recipe for clothing, one that would reduce fabric waste and harm the environment less. He found that a lot of the same silhouettes are used recurrently. “For instance, a hoodie and a crew-neck are essentially the same thing, but a crew-neck just doesn’t have a kangaroo pocket and a hood,” he said.
It’s been busy inside the bright teal building at 118 W. Grand River Ave. in downtown Williamston. The building now occupies The Bunkhouse, which opened on Feb. 16 and was founded by 141 Design Company owners Chantelle and Brian Deimling. “The Bunkhouse is where paint classes are held and it’s also a fun little store,” co-owner Chantelle Deimling said.
Michigan is home to the original car capital of the world and the classic Motown sound, but Michigan is slowly but surely developing an industry in the fashion world. Fashion Instructor at Lansing Community College Sarah Hegge said, “Michigan is in a tough spot, it definitely doesn’t get the recognition for fashion that it could, but the industry here is definitely growing.”
The establishment of places like the Runway in downtown Lansing and the Michigan Fashion Proto in Lansing help fashion designers build their brand in a state where establishing a fashion line may have its challenges. “The Fashion Proto puts the (fashion) industry in Lansing,” said Rebecca Clark, owner of Michigan Fashion Proto. “When I opened, this was the only resource for designers.”
The MFP, located on 735 E. Hazel St. in Lansing and founded in 2010, specializes in helping start-up fashion lines grow.
Michigan’s small businesses rely on recent changes in legislative measures and consumer trends to survive. The state government’s new focus on growing businesses from within is key to the success of local businesses in Michigan. Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) President and CEO Rob Fowler said that the state government administration’s move toward economic gardening or, growing businesses within Michigan instead of looking for business elsewhere, is key to job creation in Michigan. “People tend to think that job creation only happens when there’s a big company in town,” he said. After SBAM promoted economic gardening to Gov. Rick Snyder, it was included in his state of the state address in January as part of his plan to improve Michigan.