This Thursday, November 23rd, Australia hosts the biggest eco fashion week in the region.
The inaugural Eco Fashion Week Australia is to be held in Perth until the 27th, and while the event name suggests an Aussie-focus, organiser Zuhal Kuvan-Mills has invited designers, artists, activists, media and businesses from around the world.
Our very own Senorita AweSUMO from just “down the road” in Dunedin, is showing an 11-piece collection made of items with an incredible story.
Designer Fiona Clements has upcycled and regenerated tent canvas and everyday waste items collected from the streets to create something that is a strong statement, not just in the sharp silhouette of the pieces, but about our throw away culture.
In an interview with Fiona about her collection and the show for the Otago Daily Times, she said how disheartening it was to see how much rubbish people dropped on the ground. With incredible insight and innovation she has paired throw away single-use street waste with fabric donated by the Otago Museum. The green tent substrate was from an exhibition about Otago Nurses in WWI (an exhibition developed in collaboration with Otago Polytechnic bachelor of design students).
She also used hemp and organic cotton fabric in the collection.
Runway shows like Senorita AweSUMO’s will present the best in organic, handmade, local, “re/up-cycled”, fair-trade, ethical fashion and textiles. Not only fashion, but the aim of the fashion week is to raise awareness of environmentally-conscious “slow fashion” in the region, highlighting innovation, avant-garde design and education.
I take my hat off to Fiona, as well as Zuhal, who has shown collections from her Green Embassy haute couture eco brand around the world at several eco shows. These two pioneers are part of a growing consciousness and global conversation about the origins and ethics of our clothes, about being innovative in designing waste-free or regenerating for design, and about simply being mindful about what we wear and what we waste.
And by the way, Zuhal, who I also had the privilege of talking to, has high praise for Fiona, and the work she is doing both in her Vogel Street sewing room, as well as on the Kiwi and global stage.
For my part, I am very proud of what we do in New Zealand, and I wish Fiona and the other New Zealand designer, Heke Designs from Waiheke Island, best of luck with their shows later this week. Kia Kaha.