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Lilly Bernard: The Eco-Clothier

Colin Michael Simmons

Colin Michael Simmons

City Pages' People Issue celebrates people making Minnesota a better place.

Vintage isn’t just a fashion statement to Lilly Bernard—it’s part of a bigger movement. For her, it’s all about subverting throwaway culture, protecting the Earth, and becoming more aware of labor practices.

“[These things] go hand in hand with vintage,” she says. “And there’s been a resurgence of women taking care of themselves and taking care of each other. It’s all tied in together.”

Bernard shares her love of vintage and all of its positive potential through Goodshop Badshop, a Minneapolis-based online business she started in 2017 to showcase and sell her unique finds. Being eco-friendly is a huge part of her mission, as she focuses on finding items made from sustainable and natural fabrics (think linen, cotton, and silk), and uses biodegradable packaging when shipping out pieces. “I really want to have as little of an impact as possible when reselling vintage,” she says.

In many ways, vintage and thrifting are the nemesis of fast fashion, a trend Bernard has never really connected with. (“I can’t even think of the last time I shopped at a ‘real’ store... I always felt strange in Forever 21 and seeing so much of the same shit.”) These days, she feels like more people are changing their spending habits thanks to increased awareness of the impact mass-produced clothing has on the environment. She predicts even more people will start shunning fast fashion as that awareness spreads.

Goodshop Badshop is part of another growing trend: online shopping. Most of the boutique’s sales are made via Instagram, where GSBS has more than 90,000 followers.

“I come from a film and photography background, so that’s what drew me into the Instagram platform,” Bernard says. “I think a lot of people enjoy shopping on Instagram because it feels like a game, like they’ve won something. And they really are winning something... because vintage is really about the hunt.”

In the end, she hopes vintage wares and eco-fashion inspire a new wave of self-confidence, self-awareness, and individuality in shoppers.

“I think people are becoming so much more okay with showing themselves and showing more personality and showing who they are,” she says. “It seems like a lot of the 2000s was about uniformity, especially here, since it’s so utilitarian in Minnesota. I think people are coming out of their shell, and are becoming more conscious of things in general.”

As for the future of Goodshop Badshop, Bernard plans to host a few pop-up events in her North Side studio, and she’s also working on expanding her website, goodshop-badshop.com, to include photography work and a blog.

Click here to read other profiles from this year's City Pages People Issue.