Student organization brings awareness to sustainability in fashion

Junior Yara Mohamed lays out her garments prior to the model swap commences. Picture by Kaitlyn Fulmore

Wednesday Shiflett, Contributing Writer 

A selection of apparel with a mixture of hues, designs and distinctive textures was established out on the tables at the Eco Style Fashion Swap function on Monday.

Area 419, found in the VCU Pollak Developing, was packed, finish with a little cat welcoming persons as they walked in. Discussions and laughter rang through the home as attendees wandered about the home, choosing up and analyzing the outfits. 

“I found out about this event as a result of my pal, she despatched me the hyperlink on Instagram,” nursing scholar Genesis Amaya explained. “I experienced a ton of fun assembly persons and hunting at all the apparel people introduced.” 

When an attendee discovered a clothes product they favored, they would hold on to it or set it in a bag or box they experienced brought with them.  

The “style swap” was hosted by Eco Vogue, a student organization aimed at educating learners about how damaging the textile and fashion industry is to the environment, according to Eco Trend president Arianna Jackson.

“Everyone is familiar with that plastic is poor for the environment, but no 1 thinks about how there is plastic in dresses,” Jackson claimed. 

Eco Fashion’s intention is also to teach the pupils at VCU about sustainability in style and educate students ways to make their garments final for a longer period, Jackson mentioned.

“We want individuals to sense superior about supporting the atmosphere,” Jackson said. 

Jackson explained she joined the business about three a long time back. She explained connecting with folks by means of style and outfits is some thing she enjoys and that manner is a way to enhance her self assurance.

“I come to feel like my partnership with style is that it is an outlet for me and I use it as a way to make myself sense much better,” Jackson said. 

Jaeden Wells, the social media manager for Eco Trend, stated she grew up doing the job on different jobs with her grandmother. 

“I appreciate to make my very own clothes. I like possessing that sense of satisfaction as soon as you end a little something simply because you know just how long it took you and how a great deal energy went into it,” Wells mentioned. 

Wells claimed it is a workforce work to arrive up with distinct situations. Wells explained the organization retains conferences exactly where suggestions are pitched, and then hosts events that it would want to see on campus.

Kimberly Guthrie, a vogue design and merchandising professor at VCU is also the founding and school advisor for Eco Vogue. She claimed she is concerned about the sum of waste vogue generates.

“Right now my present-day job is figuring out how we can integrate textile recapture and squander management,” Guthrie claimed. 

About 2.5 million tons of textile squander was recycled in 2018, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Company. This squander includes all nondurable goods, this kind of as clothes, home furniture, carpets, tires and footwear.

Guthrie stated college students have transitioned from throwing scrap in trash bins outdoors of the school rooms to throwing them in recycling bins. The scraps are then taken by Goodwill Industries and are shredded. Guthrie explained behavior modification for pupils was very effortless and she assumed it was “very neat.” 

“It’s a little mini gold mine,” Guthrie stated.

She mentioned when Eco Style started out out, there ended up only about 10 folks included. Considering the fact that then, the corporation has developed to close to 400 associates, and the business will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year.

“I’m so very pleased of the leadership, and I want to applaud the organization for currently being so community dependent,” Guthrie claimed. 

Alyssia Farkouh, Eco Manner vice president and vogue merchandising scholar, stated she grew up about fashion and was drawn to it from a young age. She said she views style as her “armor and safety.”

Farkouh reported sustainability and style is not as talked about in Richmond as it is in other sites, and Eco Fashion wishes to deliver extra recognition to the challenge. 

“You never want to converse about it. You do not want to see it,” Farkouh mentioned.