Can A Fashion Show Change the World?
by Sica Schmitz | Posted on June 23 2017
The other day I went to a media meet & greet where charitable organizations get a chance to pitch their projects to local new outlets. I was definitely the only person there representing a fashion show.
When you first say "fashion show" - you get a look. The "did you just say fashion show? why should I take this seriously?" look. And I understand it. Fashion is not often given credit for being the serious, hugely impacting industry that it is. Many people view it as frivolous, silly, or something that's just for fun. But it's not very fun or silly for millions of people and animals and ecosystems around the world affected by this 3 trillion dollar industry, and that's why the Fair Trade Fashion Show was created: to use the glitz and glamour of this pinnacle of fashion experiences to offer new ideas, solutions, and choices.
Once I explained this, the press started getting excited. And I'm already super excited. And I want you to get excited as well. So here are 10 reasons why we can't wait for our 3rd Annual Fair Trade Fashion Show.
1) THIS IS THE FASHION SHOW FOR ACTIVISTS
This is not the fashion show if you just want to critique next season's styles. This is the fashion show if you want to critique our current policies, social norms, and the ways that we view and treat others. This is the fashion show if you want to learn about how we can truly transform the world through what we wear - and then be a part of doing that.
2) THE FUNDRAISER
Our goal is to raise - or totally exceed? - $20,000 for our non-profit partner Free the Slaves. We are doing this through ticket sales, sponsorships, and individual donations - you can even track our progress directly here!
100% of the money raised goes directly to Free the Slaves to support the work they do to rescue modern day slaves, arrest traffickers, give vocational training to survivors, and end the policies and conditions that allow slavery to exist in the first place.
3) THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION YOU'LL WANT TO WEAR
Sustainable LBDs, stilettos, and sexy beachwear? Yep, we're showing a new side of sustainable fashion. I've spent months carefully curating the best fair trade designers and styles I can find around the world, and I can't wait to share the amazing things I've found.
4) THE CONVERSATION
This isn't just a fashion show - it's a conversation. Before the show even starts, we'll have a lively EcoSessions panel discussion with three sustainability leaders, moderated by Kestrel Jenkins of Conscious Chatter.
Let's talk about what fair trade is (and isn't). Let's talk about what's working and what's not when it comes to sustainable fashion. And let's talk about how each and every one of us can use our purchasing power to create the kind of dignified world that can and should exist.
Stay tuned for the big panel announcement!
5) THE SWAG BAGS
When you purchase a VIP ticket you get not only a front row seat, but also the most enviable swag bag full of gifts. It includes treats from Raven + Lily, Twinkle Apothecary, FAIR Drinks, Bare Snacks, My Sister, Lucy & Jo, The Tote Project, LA Relaxed, Hands Producing Hope, Bead & Reel (of course!), plus much much more. So if you're torn between a general ticket or a VIP ticket, I highly recommend the VIP ticket.
6) THE COMPLIMENTARY FOOD + DRINKS
We'll have an open bar of signature fair trade cocktails by FAIR Spirits. Curious what's in the Dignity Drink? Trust me, it's delicious. We'll also have organic, plant-based bites by Au Lac, vegan desserts by Baby Love Sweetery, a vegan sushi-making demo with Brenda's Plant Based Kitchen and David Carter the 300 Pound Vegan (and yes, you get to eat it!), and more food announcements I can share with you soon (including something about pizza bagels!). Basically, come hungry.
7) SHOP THE RUNWAY (AND MORE!)
We'll have 14 (!) pop up shops for all things fair trade from fashion to home to coffee to beauty. Some of our vendors include Maggie's Organics, Malia Designs, Heshima Kenya, Ten Thousand Villages, Kishe, Gaffer & Child, Lucy & Jo, and Bead & Reel (of course!). You can shop styles directly from the runway, along with even more pieces from some of our brand friends and partners.
8) THE PEOPLE
We've sold out every year, but it's not just the number of people who join us, it's the quality. I've heard so many stories of friendships and business partnerships that blossomed from attending the Fair Trade Fashion Show (including having plenty of my own!). Our guests, our vendors, our volunteers, our panelists, our models, and our media - everyone is there because they want to learn more and do more to create a better world.
9) (ROLE) MODELS
Strutting the runway will be 20 models from LoveLight Models, a conscious modeling agencies for women who are as beautiful inside as they are outside. Each model is dedicated to empowering women and promoting conscious living. These aren't "walking clothes hangers" - these are compassionate women who are using not only their looks but also their voices to create a kinder world.
10) THIS IS THE ONLY EVENT OF IS KIND
Slavery is a $150 billion industry affecting an estimated 21 million people worldwide. We are all connected to it - which means we all have the power to fix it. This unique fundraiser uses fashion as a platform for education and awareness around the realities of modern slavery as well as a space to celebrate the power of everyday purchases to support freedom.