24 June 2012

Sistah Friends Project: Recap

Greetings, Mundo!

Today was such a lovely day. In the middle of the beautiful great lawn of Prospect Park gathered about 15 brilliant and inspiring women creative leaders in fields as diverse as video projection, eco-luxe, poetry, photography, social work, and the state department over picnic blankets and a potluck of root-based cocktail infusions and beautiful vegan/non vegan dishes from around the globe.

During and after my presentation and sharing of samples ranging from my own pieces to some hemp/bamboo swatches, a skirt from Soham Dave, and my new JC Vitas (the vegan Jeffrey Cambell Litas), many essential questions and comments were raised; ranging from but not limited to the paraphrased following:
  • Man made materials tend to have a bad rap, but perhaps they are not so bad? (i.e. the man-made fish tilapia).
  • When I lived in Boulder (Colorado), I really caught on to sustainable living- eating, dressing and living sustainably. But then I got to the city (NYC) and it was so hard to maintain! I even caught a shoe fetish and started wearing leather shoes again! How do you maintain this lifestyle?  
    • Suggestions: Build a community of like minded people, like this one, who can support you and be your cheerleaders in maintaining this lifestyle.
  • Ok, so I'm in a store debating between a cotton t-shirt (water intensive) and a polyester shirt (energy intensive). What's the most sustainable choice? Answer: Being conscious of that choice counts for something.
  • Eco-fashion is more than just the material you use; it is also the process by which those materials were made.
  • Getting an Organic or Fair Trade certificate does not necessarily mean anything. There are loads of third party certifiers, some of whom are and are not authentic.
  • The fashion industry, eco fashion certificates, seem so unregulated.
  • But then again so can the organic coffee and food industry be (so unregulated) in some contexts.
  • If I want to start an eco-luxe line, how do I begin to get certified? It's so expensive! I know whoever is certified did put out a pretty penny for it. 
  • What makes cheap plastic fake leather or pleather (or, by crafty companies that misuse the term, "vegan leather") any more eco-friendly than the real leather?
    • the environmental/animal degradation that comes with cattle production. But again, it's a catch 22 (bamboo or silk?)
  • So what are vegan Jeffrey Campbell Vitas made out of?
  • I'm going to go upcycle something when I get home (yay!).
 So many conversations took place, connections made and synergies exchanged. The Sistahs Friends Project is a wonderful organization that you, wherever you may be reading this and if you don't know them already, should truly get to know and love, as it is quite a vortex for globally stylish consciousness. It's been such an honor to share the afternoon with such powerful women.

Thank you to all those attended today, and I look forward to making a more beautiful, sustainable America- and planet- with you.

One*Love / Fashion*Is*Power,

p.s. I was so busy getting ready that I neglected to take any photos! If anyone is able to share some with me, I'll post them laterz. There is a quick shot of the food on instagram ("reciclagem"). One love.

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