Eco Fashion Expo
Here’s a little backstory (I know, you didn’t ask but I’m gonna tell you anyway):
I think it all began in elementary school when I received a gift of a pack of stencils that could be used to trace different clothing items. With these stencils, I had endless possibilities on whatever outfit I could create and the style of the outfit would be personalized with the help of color pencils and glittery pens. Little did I know, these designs projected onto my how I choose to style myself.
To me, fashion was a way to express myself in ways that words could never do. When I was younger, I had always played the shy girl role in every class—afraid to speak up and voice my input, reluctant to say something unless I was told to speak, and I could promise you that you would not catch me shooting my right hand up in the air for any reason unless that reason was dire aka a bathroom emergency. I was afraid of saying the right or wrong answer and was always in a constant state of anxiousness waiting for my teachers’ famous words “Let’s hear from someone that we haven’t heard from in a while”. However, in fashion, there is no right or wrong answer. It’s not only black or white. Fashion is stripes, polka dots, neon, pastel and everything in between. It was and still is a way for me to voice my input without actually using my voice.
Nonetheless, from elementary to middle school, I merely pieced together anything that I looked good in my mind. (I thought that wearing a tank top outside of a t-shirt was a good idea). But it was during high school when I realized that the hand-me-downs from my mum and aunt just wasn’t sufficient anymore. I knew that I needed something else. So I decided to take my money (all $20.84 from the savings jar) and marched straight to Salvation Army and Goodwill. My first trip to the thrift shops wasn’t successful but with each unsuccessful trip, I became more and more determined to create rather than to purchase from expensive retail stores.
I would say that my first “success” story was when I had my mind set on DIYing (Do It Yourself) a kimono from a scarf. I somehow managed to learn how to use a sewing machine with the help of youtube videos and at the end of that journey, I stepped back and realized that the best compliment to receive was when I was asked “Where did you buy that kimono?” from eager teens like myself who hopped onto the kimono bandwagon.
Now, fast-forward to present day: Mid College
Crisis Career. A friend of mine (shout out to Angela) asked me to help her kickstart the idea of an “Eco-Fashion Show”. Eco-Fashion is a way for us to recycle, repurpose and recreate using 2nd hand clothing or textile wastes. On one hand, I was all about the hype that comes with thrift shopping—it was inexpensive, exciting, and the experience of sifting through crowded racks of hidden gems was in itself worthwhile. Yet on the hand, I was also a major culprit of contributing to fast fashion brands: Zara, Forever21, just to name a few. My perspective of thrift shopping has shifted from shopping for the experience to shopping for the sake of the countries that these brands outsource their productions to.
Don’t get me wrong though. My closet will always have a percentage of clothing from these fast fashion brands but the purpose of promoting this event and eco-fashion is to overall make the public more conscious of the impact that our roles as consumers can make on how these chain retail brands run their production.