ALUMNA’S PASSION FOR SUSTAINABLE FASHION COMES TO DOWNTOWN KENT; Kent State Today; February 1, 2023
Kent State University academic programs help students explore their own values and encourage students to live them.
Justine Gallo, a 2022 Kent State fashion design graduate, has taken her personal philosophy and combined it with her degree to launch a new store in downtown Kent. Sun in Leo is a new circularity marketplace located in Acorn Alley that reuses — and responsibly sources — clothing, trinkets and accessories.
The name Sun in Leo is associated with astrology and has a personal connection for Gallo, whose zodiac sign is Leo, also known as the sun sign. The store takes a lot of inspiration from astrology in terms of aesthetic and products sold, Gallo said
“Sustainability is just a vague term that a lot of brands use,” Gallo said. “Circularity, that I use here, proves that I'm actually responsible for where everything goes and how I source it as well.”
The new store is focused on reusing instead of wasting, which is an important part of Gallo’s values that are evident in the shop. Everything in the store is either secondhand sourced or upcycled by Gallo.
“I want shopping here to be a personal experience rather than just mindlessly shopping online,” Gallo said. “I want people to love the clothes they’re in and feel like the best versions of themselves, and astrology has really guided me with that.”
Gallo graduated from Kent State’s fashion school with a degree in fashion design. Sustainability is a fundamental part of Kent State’s fashion program, which sparked Gallo’s inspiration to open her own store.
“During my time at Kent State, I was super drawn towards sustainability,” Gallo said. “The more I learned about it, the more I realized that there's so much more that we all could be doing, but I wanted to be that person to do it.”