Walking into Redoux Parlour,@@http://redouxparlour.com/@@ one might be struck by the large display case featuring jewelry and headbands of various sizes, shapes and colors, or the music, which transitions surprisingly easily from dubstep to something more zydeco-influenced. But heading deeper into the store, newcomers should begin to notice the racks upon racks of clothing, most being resold or made locally and many featuring tags reading “local” or “made using recycled materials.”
“My passion is really with community and with making and designing clothes, specifically with recycled materials,” said Laura Lee Laroux,@@http://redouxparlour.com/studio/classes@@ proprietor of Redoux Parlour. “I’m really passionate about reusing and not creating new waste and also just a community aspect of life.”
Opened by Laroux in 2008, Redoux Parlour is a clothing store that also offers studio space for local designers as well as sewing classes, workshops for community members and repairs and alterations on clothes. Local clothing lines and jewelry are featured throughout the store, and on certain days of the week Redoux will buy secondhand clothing for cash or store credit.
“The focus of the store, I would say, is mostly community-style, just giving people opportunities to support local artists and to become local artists that@@ack…’who’@@ can support themselves from their work and to create clothing that fits a lifestyle,” Laroux said.
After graduating from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology,@@http://www.fitnyc.edu/@@ she worked in New York City as an accessories designer before swearing off fashion.@@[email protected]@ She then moved to New Orleans in 2005 and started working to feed residents who had been displaced after Hurricane Katrina.
It wasn’t long before she became involved with fashion again in New Orleans, setting up a donated sewing machine in a tent, this time making pieces out of recycled clothing that had been donated.
After organizing a fashion show in New Orleans, she traveled to Eugene, and in 2008, bought Redoux Parlour, which had originally been Infinity Mercantile,@@http://www.infinitymercantile.com/@@ with the aim of opening the store up for studio space and classes.
The store today offers biweekly sewing classes for beginners as well as monthly workshops with subjects ranging from making your own underwear to learning how to make your own repairs and alterations on clothing.
“I would love for consumers to learn more about where their clothing is coming from and what processes go into play with the fabrics being made,” Laroux said. “I think people don’t think about it because they want something cheap — and I totally get that, but I just really want people to pay attention to how their purchases impact A) our environment and B) our economy.”
Working with the local artists who are featured in the store, she often provides fabric scraps and pieces that designers can work with to minimize waste and also to help create a more cohesive style throughout the store.
This style is inspired by the local designers as well as the four designers who work there. Each of these four occupy a part of the studio space and in turn work at the store five hours a week.
“I just wish that people wouldn’t be afraid to have an individual style. I think that people are always trying to look like this or look like that, but I think experimentation is the key for finding your own style, and I really encourage that,” Laroux said.
As part of finding individual style, she recommends taking a favorite piece of clothing and wearing it in an entirely new way — with different pieces of clothing than normal — and looking for local pieces to wear as well.
“I would really encourage people in any city that people live in to do some research and really find people in that local area that @@argh! ‘who’@@are making things, because that’s your true reflection of the style of the area and the environment that you’re living in,”@@[email protected]@ she said. “I think people would really be surprised at how many things they could get locally.”