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Fashion movement encourages St. Louis shoppers to buy local

St. Louis fashion is a $3.3 billion industry, and #314Fashion reminds consumers that shopping local is always in style

ST. LOUIS — Shopping local will never go out of style.

That’s the message of #314Fashion, a campaign launching Monday in St. Louis.

The movement aims to shine a light on boutiques, designers, and shopping in the Lou.

About 100 area boutiques and designers are leading the campaign, along with the St. Louis Fashion Fund.

“It’s a time to help one another,” said Susan Sherman, a co-founder of St. Louis Fashion Fund. “These businesses have employees. They are brands that have chosen to build their companies in St. Louis, and we need to support them.”

Fashion in St. Louis is a $3.3 billion industry, according to Alliance STL. A variety of trades and professions are directly impacted by a decrease in sales.

“You’re talking about designers. You’re talking about pattern makers, sewers, a sales team, marketing, PR. The photographer who does your lookbook. There are all these employees,” Sherman said.

The #314Fashion campaign comes as e-commerce spending across the country is up more than 30% since the beginning of March, when stay-at-home orders began rolling out. Many local shops are selling products online and on social media and have adjusted inventory to accommodate consumer needs. However, they're struggling.

“The fashion community here is gritty, we're tenacious. We're not going anywhere. We will get through this and come out on the other side, I promise you,” Sherman said. “But it's challenging. You have to think in creative ways, so we're all working together to make a go of it.”

Some shops, like Arch Apparel, have revamped their inventory to include face masks. Others, like Summersalt, are now promoting PJs and loungewear on social media. Local jeweler Joya sells earrings and necklaces which can add a little flair for a zoom meeting.

To celebrate the importance of local style, Lusso and 2Lu have produced a #314Fashion T-shirt by designer Courtney Winet. A portion of the proceeds benefits The Gateway Resilience Fund, which helps local small businesses in the fashion industry. The shirts can be purchased online.

However, showing support can be as simple as following your favorite boutique on social media or posting a picture of a product you purchased in the past using the hashtag #314Fashion.

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