Sustainability in Fashion: Challenges and Proposed Solutions

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Alfred Williams & Company

2960 Sidco Drive

Nashville, TN 37204

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As environmental impacts in the industry increase exponentially every year, sustainable strategies are not just a trend, but an imperative.

About this Event

According to the documentary True Cost, we consume 80 billion pieces of clothing a month worldwide which is a 400% increase from two decades ago. This is due to industrialization, globalization and increasing production which led to decreasing costs, fast fashion, and an insatiable demand for more. However, this is not without repercussions. Chemicals from material production go back into our environment and resources are getting quickly depleted. This includes raw materials as well as the enormous amount of water and energy needed to produce crops such as cotton.

As environmental impacts in the fashion industry increases exponentially every year, sustainable strategies are not just a trend and competitive edge, but a business imperative. If we do not preserve our resources now and enable more mindful consumerism, we may not have anything left to create with in the future. This not only encompasses fair labor, sustainable business practices and materials, but also fostering sustainable patterns of consumption and use. In short, it is not just about the product but the whole life cycle and system within fashion. So, the question is how can we change as an industry? And, if you’re a designer or company just now learning about sustainability where do you start?

Join us for this unique event hosted by Van Hoang, recipient of the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund 2019, and see as well as hear about challenges, processes, and solutions pertaining to sustainability from local designers. They have all been tasked with the challenge of designing a look/solution conceptualized around a sustainable issue the designer wants to tackle within the fashion industry and/or their business. This could range from using more sustainable materials, changing production methods, or creating more sustainable packaging. Every designer is at a different point in their business and face different challenges, so this is a great opportunity to share knowledge and become a catalyst for change. They will all have an installation that showcases their design/solution followed by a Pecha Kucha style presentation.

As part of the event, Black By Maria Silver, a womenswear brand established in 2011 that focuses on streetwear must-haves, is proud to partner with Couture Technologies, a software development company and creators of a unique online shopping experience intended to solve challenges in internet fashion shopping. BBMS is also delighted to be partnering with OnPoint Manufacturing, an innovative leader in on-demand personalized apparel manufacturing. BBMS and Couture, based in Nashville, TN, and OnPoint, based in Franklin, TN, share a common goal to increase sustainability practices in the fashion industry: they hope to eliminate waste and returns by giving consumers a means to be both sure and confident of their purchase before pushing the “complete purchase” button. At this presentation, they will exhibit new technology housed within the BBMS site that showcases how Couture's online innovation “reduces return rates for online apparel purchases using accurate fit visualizations.” Patrons will be able to try out the technology themselves in real time, in real life. To add another link in the chain of efficient sustainability, they will also showcase OnPoint’s on-demand apparel manufacturing. With no minimum order quantities, garments are sold before they are manufactured eliminating the waste of overstock ordering and excess inventory. From design, to purchase, to manufacturing, to delivery, sustainability practices are a must for the future of the fashion industry.

Van Hoang is a sustainable womenswear designer based in Nashville, TN. Her designs are modern yet timeless as well as versatile and functional. She strives to create pieces that can easily be incorporated into an existing wardrobe yet still maintain their unique characteristics. They range from one-of-a-kind to ready-to-wear and everything is handmade in her studio. She is also the most recent recipient of the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund 2018.

BBMS (Black By Maria Silver)

Dominican American designer, Maria Silver graduated from F.I.T (NYC) with a major in womens contemporary clothing and costume design. After working on Broadway and in LA as a design assistant while also touring the world drumming for cult rock band The Ettes, Silver founded her fashion line, Black By Maria Silver (BBMS) in 2011 dedicated to an aesthetic based on her heritage, love for contemporary art, and diversity. BBMS has been featured in Glamour, Nylon,

Bust, Elle, Refinery 29 and others. More recently, Silver designed for the critically acclaimed Nashville Ballet production Seven Deadly Sins and was also named the 2017 recipient of the Nashville Fashion Week Fashion Forward Fund, which Silver used to attend the Decoded Fashion Summit 2019 in London. Currently, inspired by the summit's focus on sustainability, she is furthering Black By Maria Silver's commitment to innovative sustainability concepts in both design and production.

Alfred Williams

Established in 1867 as a stationer and book seller, Alfred Williams & Company has evolved to become a leader in commercial furniture and interiors as the 3rd-largest Herman Miller Dealer in North America, with their only distributor in North Carolina, South Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee. At Alfred Williams & Company, we recognize that your space is a reflection of you—your culture, brand, talent, and future success. We provide insight to define your needs, knowledge-based design to achieve your purpose, and customer care to deliver unparalleled results.

As a Founding Gold Sponsor for Nashville Design Week, Alfred Williams & Company is honored to host an impactful event to further the conversation around sustainability in fashion and how mindful consumerism in our everyday lives can create impactful change in the world.

Hosted by Van Hoang, Alfred Williams & Company, Couture Tech, Black By Maria Silver



ABLE is an ethical fashion brand that employs and empowers women as a solution to end poverty. We’re deeply devoted to quality – both in the products we make and the quality of life we aim to provide. We invest in, train, and educate women so they can earn a living, break the cycle of poverty, and thrive.

Ashleigh Caine

ASHE CAIN is a Nashville based brand inspired by and made from unexpected elements in nature. Only using natural fibers, ASHE CAIN pushes the envelope with what it means to wear sustainable clothing. Intriguing colors and silhouettes lead way to designs that are a little quirky, somewhat futuristic, and mildly confusing.

A Lady of the Lake

A Lady of the Lake is womenswear line designed and made to order in our Nashville studio. Feminine shapes and silhouettes are used to create clothing that brings an effortless magic to your wardrobe. We strive to design timeless pieces that are not only beautiful and feminine but are practical and wearable in our daily life.

Eric Adler

While Eric Adler Bornhop was living abroad, he was inspired by the stylish street culture of the Southern Spanish people to create his own line of clothing. After returning home, he worked as a tailor’s apprentice for Nashville’s Manuel Couture where he learned the art of tailoring and explored his tastes in fashion design. Eric Adler Clothing made its’ debut at Nashville Fashion Week 2014. Since then he has been designing and tailoring for world famous style icons and unique individuals living under the radar.

Glen & Effie

Founded in 2012 by designer and artist Brooke Griffith, Glen & Effie has become known for its timeless blend of antique and modern influences. The brand name stems from a desire to honor past generations who took craft to heart and prioritized design--ultimately named after Brooke’s grandparents Glen & Effie. Today, the line continues to modernize antique and vintage designs by telling stories and connecting generations through jewelry.

Lilyan James

LILYAN JAMES is a handbag line designed by Lindsey Stewart Sherrod who is a self-taught designer. She began LILYAN J&MES to observe the lifecycle of creating a durable accessory outside of expected practices. Studying generational saddle making, alongside her experience in the design industry, resulted in a collection of accessories highlighted in Forbes and WWD. Her aim is to create an ecosystem of pieces proudly worn for seasons, ethically produced, passed down, and reinterpreted by the wearer who appreciates individuality.

Ola Mai

Ola Mai, a Nashville-based and locally produced clothing line designed by Leslie Stephens, was created by the desire to help every woman express herself. Stephens, a Nashville native herself, works to support a positive body image for women with her quality garments, known for their unique elegance. The line takes its name from Stephens’ great-grandmother, Ola Mai.

Rank & Sugar

Rank & Sugar is a vintage, handcrafted Army apparel line that honors soldiers, empowers women, and spreads peace created by Suzanne Wade. Each garment is hand selected for its perfect patina, then reinvented one by one to become the hero piece in a woman’s closet. Rank & Sugar brings heirloom quality craftsmanship to sustainable fashion. In a world of fast fashion, we stand out as a label made from passion, craft and intention.

Pink Elephants Designs

Pink Elephants Designs is designed by Truly Alvarenga who is known primarily for her one-of-a-kind Couture Garments, wielding an aesthetic that is both florid and unique. Admirers of her style appreciate both the meticulous craftsmanship and the colorful stories that accompany the collections.


Food: Avo

Our goal at AVO, short for avocado, is to showcase a well-rounded dining experience for all by using a balanced approach to health. We source the finest plant-based ingredients in an effort to serve inventive, great tasting food and drinks in Nashville. Featuring complex, seasonal, and satisfying raw & cooked vegan dishes, we provide options for healthy habits and plant-based diets. Our bar creates seasonal cocktail menu and showcases beers that are local and gluten free, and wines that are organic, biodynamic, and kosher.


Catering: Kindred Catering


Alcohol: Absolut Juice

Planet Earth’s favorite vodka. We’re on a mission to expand how the world thinks about it’s people, our product, and the planet.

*** Valet and Parking available - ride sharing encouraged

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Date and Time


Alfred Williams & Company

2960 Sidco Drive

Nashville, TN 37204

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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