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Can A Fashion Show Change the World?

Sica Schmitz

Posted on June 23 2017

Can A Fashion Show Change the World?

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 I think the annual Fair Trade Fashion Show is changing the world.

Fair Trade Fashion Show Fundraiser

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

Last year we raised over $31,000 (!!) to help fight human trafficking, used 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 show a new side of sustainable fashion, carefully curated from the best fair trade designers and styles I can find from around the world.

4) THE CONVERSATION

This isn't just a fashion show - it's a conversation. Before the show even starts, we offer speakers and panelists to help lead the sustainability discussion.

We talk about what fair trade is (and isn't). We talk about what's working and what's not when it comes to supply chains. And we 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.

5) THE SWAG BAGS

With the purchase of a VIP ticket, our guests received no 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. Our general admission guests were treated with a swag bag too!

Fair Trade Fashion Show Fundraiser
6) THE COMPLIMENTARY FOOD + DRINKS

Not only is all of our food plant-based, but all of our utensils are zero waste so they can be recycled, composted, or reused. 

We feature an open bar of signature fair trade cocktails by FAIR Spirits. Curious what's in the Dignity Drink? Trust me, it's delicious. Also 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 even decadent pizza bagel bites from Rachel's Cosmic Cuisine

7) SHOP THE RUNWAY (AND MORE!)

We introduce you to our favorite brands in our pop up shops for all things fair trade, from fashion to home to coffee to beauty. Some of our recent vendors included Maggie's Organics, Malia Designs, Heshima Kenya, Ten Thousand Villages, Kishe, Gaffer & Child, Lucy & Jo, and Bead & Reel (of course!). Guests 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

Each of our models 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. 

Many of our models are from LoveLight Models, a conscious modeling agencies for women who are as beautiful inside as they are outside

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.

Want to join us? Visit Fair Trade Fashion Show to find out more about the 2018 show.

 

Model: Nyadhour Deng
Photographer: Mark Maryanovich 
Hair & Make-Up: Gabriela Banda
Stylist: Sica Schmitz

 

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