For the past two years, Janette and Angela shared a dorm wall. But we also shared a vision for Eco Fashion Expo (EFE). EFE (pronounced: eff-ee)
is a community of students eager to learn and inspire others on how to rethink textile waste through repurposing and upcycling old materials.
On April 27th, 2018, we did something that only my 10-year-old selves could only dream of doing. Last April:
With the help of The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), we had the chance to put together our first eco-fashion show
. Over 150 attendees witnessed the creation of 11 student designers—many of whom have never touched a sewing machine before this project. Over the course of 6 months, these students majoring in Physics, Media, Economics etc. were able to create their own clothing line by upcycling old materials including second-hand clothing. Not only were they able to give a new life to these old clothing but they were able to redefine the meaning of what textile trash could become. Last September:
When the team reunited early in our fall semester, we began to reflect on everything that had happened. To most of us, the show was simply a blur and a fond memory. Yes, we were able to bring more awareness to the waste generated by the fashion industry—but we knew that we could do so much more. We knew that we could somehow
make a greater impact and get our audience members directly involved in the same upcycling process that these 11 student designers went through. But the question is… how? In the Fall of 2018 & Winter of 2019:
EFE collaborated with other like-minded individuals who share the same passion for fashion sustainability that we do. These creative events such as the Upcycle Social and the NYU Artist Market gathered our friends and community members together all under one roof. They were able to become actively involved in the upcycling process to transform an old article of clothing by choosing their own patches and adding a creative spin.
Over the course of running these events and getting the chance to talk to others about their opinions on mending clothing, we realized that many people are unable to mend their clothing because they lack the supplies, resources, and guidance to do so.
But this year EFE is evolving...
This April, we are holding EFE’s first ever Make-A-Thon. The EFE Make-A-Thon
is a 12-hour creative sprint where community members come together to repair and upcycle old tattered clothes. This is where Project Runway meets Hack-A-Thon. Our main mission is to catalyze collaboration between non-experienced and experienced upcyclers to get more people actively participating in the designing process.
In addition to providing all of the sewing and designing materials necessary for upcycling, EFE will also be inviting instructors to teach education workshops during the Make-A-Thon so that upcyclers could learn new skills like mending, embroidery, plant-based dyes, and zero waste pattern making. During the last couple hours of the event, every team will get the chance to strut down the runway with their creation while a panel of judges provides constructive criticism and commentary. From this EFE Make-A-Thon, we hope that our attendees will start upcycling on their own and take initiative to help their friends fix up their torn, ripped, or stained clothes. EFE hopes to inspire others to channel their creativity and learn how to extend the lives of our clothing.
For this event, EFE is excited to partner with FABSCRAP
, one of our lead sponsors of fabric scraps that have been diverted from the landfills. We are still actively looking for potential sponsors (scissors, thread, rulers, etc.) that we can simply borrow then return after the event to prevent the waste of supplies!
But we need your help!
In order to keep this event affordable for our attendees, we need your
help to cover some costs for the event which includes food, drinks, advertisements, promotions, equipment rental (table and chair rentals), and Make-A-Thon supplies. Any additional funding will go towards hosting future workshops and events! We are forever grateful for any donation amount—or even if you could pass on our message and mission to any companies or individuals who would be interested in collaborating. Simply shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until then, keep in mind: #whywastewhenyoucancreate?
From our EFE Team family to yours,
Angela and Janette
EFE Team at FABSCRAP Volunteering Day
Missing from picture: Sophia, Dena, Noemi, and Naya