by students of Rollins College
The Rethinking Fashion Event took place on March 28th, 2017 in the Galloway Room. Students modeled clothing lines by Eileen Fisher, Deux Mains, and Ten Thousand Villages. Dr. Warnecke’s Global Development class gave their thoughts about this unique event. With Earth Day just around the corner now is a great time to revisit what students gained from this experience.
The Rethinking Fashion Event was a great success! Students enjoyed an informative poster session followed by an extravagant fashion show where they had the opportunity to enjoy some yummy food like samosas and coconut crusted chicken! During the poster sessions, they learned about ethical fashion, fair trade companies, and the practices of these companies. The runaway show offered the opportunity to see the products in action. As consumers, we must be aware of the products that we are buying and the statement we are making with our money. The event helped educate students about this. There are so many ways for each and every one of us to be a changemaker–spending wisely is just one way that this can be achieved. The producers are changemakers as well!
For example, one student learned about a backpack that was being made by indigenous people in Guatemala–they learned the process and how long it took to make. For many students, the poster session helped increase knowledge on the unique style of fashion that is sustainable and ethical fashion. There’s a lot of work that goes into fashion that consumers don’t know about and thus contributes to higher prices. Artists work hard to get their line out for purchase, sometimes being paid 50% of the price beforehand so that they can afford to buy supplies without taking on loans. Modeling is tough work, too! Our models had to make sure they looked their best before the show and took the time to get their hair and makeup done by our community organizers! The end result was absolutely amazing.
Through attendance of the Fashion Event, students will be more mindful when shopping at these companies and become ethical consumers. Students also had a great opportunity to network with Ten Thousand Villages, Deux Mains (Rebuild Globally) and Eileen Fisher. Learning more about these companies is a great way to further your pursuit of change making fashion. Ten Thousand Villages has a store right off Park Ave–it’s worth checking out! The convenient location was a nice surprise for those just learning about these companies. Some students that already knew about these companies were surprised to find out some of the business policies that these ethical businesses utilize. During the event attendees got the chance to buy merchandise from Rebuild Globally. Every dollar spent was put to use for a good cause. Now, you may be wondering why there weren’t as many men modeling during the fashion show, well the answer is that there is currently no sustainable or ethical fashion line available for men in the immediate area that the Innovation Hub could partner with. Perhaps in the future, this will be something that can be achieved.
The models were successful in showing off the products–one dress even sold for over $200! The Global Links students that were visiting from Kolkata, India added an additional cultural layer to the event that was widely appreciated. Their colorful dresses left the attendees stunned. The event was a highlight for them and they certainly enjoyed their time there.
The Global Development students had to prepare for their own poster session showcasing global problems that they wanted to solve. Going to the fashion show was an eye-opener to learn about what makes a poster stand out and how to conduct a good presentation. Overall, the Re-thinking Fashion event was a fun learning experience for everyone and showed how you can look fashionable while being a changemaker at the same time! Thank you so much to the Innovation Hub for setting up this event and helping us become smarter consumers!