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Today, approximately 96 elephants were killed for their ivory tusks. This is one Elephant every 15 minutes and 35,000 elephants each year. To help stop this poaching crisis, protect babies suddenly orphaned as a result, and save the opportunity to share our love for elephants with future generations of elephant-lovers, we teamed up with some of leading forces behind the fashion industry and leaders in conservation across the globe to present to you Elephantasia!
What is Elephantasia?
Elephantasia is a global series of elephant-inspired fashion exhibitions bringing conservation into couture. Elephantasia 2016 premiered at Vancouver Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016 as covered by the The New York Times, The Huffington Post and UK Vogue, recently featured during US Eco Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 and will be presenting during London Fashion Week this fall, Spring/Summer 2018.
Elephantasia is one campaign here at Fashion for Conservation, a movement highlighting conservation through fashion and the arts.
What is Fashion for Conservation?
Fashion for Conservation (FFC) is just the combination the fashion industry needed. Combining a love for animal rights and conservation with the innovative eye of fashion is so unique, as is the FFC team. Everyone on the team have unique and complimentary career paths to this vision and together they dedicate time and skill into making the brand into the movement that it is today. The talent and motivations of all teams within FFC strive to play to their strengths and constantly support each other to reach new milestones.
Ava J. Holmes, a co-founder of FFC, believes in bridging the gap between the industries of conservation and fashion. “Fashion for Conservation to me is where self expression and creativity meet conservation,” she explains, “for me it is a way to re-visit my fashion career without sacrificing a deep connection with nature. I also get to be apart of this sort-of family we've created here of professionals from many diverse, even eclectic backgrounds who are really passionate about the cause and contributing to grow our mission further.”
The dynamic team is highlighted perfectly with the three co-founders: Nazy Alvarez, a Creative Director at Vogue and many other top brands, Samantha Zwicker, wildlife conservationist and executive director at Hoja Nueva, and finally Ava J. Holmes, connecting the two worlds as a former producer for fashion weeks worldwide and current reality TV show wilderness survivalist at Discovery Channel.
Until recently, Fashion for Conservation has hosted events in the United States, United Kingdom, and British Columbia only. The team now plans on obtaining a physical presence in 6 countries by the end of 2018. Another goal is to boost the social media presence of FFC in order to secure a higher position in the world of invigorating fashion. Ideally, conservation inspired fashion will soon be a staple in the future of fashion, and will become a well-known concept to the public eye.
Current ways to stay updated with FFC efforts and events are through the blog and social media, encouraging individuals to attend global events, visit highlighted conservation sites in person, shop the wildlife inspired online store, spread the word through media, and make direct donations--all in an effort to engage physical and monetary support for the highlighted conservation initiative.
Raising conservation awareness in itself is not an easy task, for this combination of industries is also educational for those less aware of environmental issues worldwide. FFC’s unique approach and lack of normality connects individuals in the world of fashion, film, and the arts to current real-world issues. In addition to producing creative couture pieces with the courtesy of sponsored designers, FFC educates consumers on animals and ecosystems and how to prioritize the purchasing of more sustainable clothing options.
Samantha Zwicker, co-founder of FFC and founder of one of the partnering conservation charities Hoja Nueva, is thankful for the fashion and conservation idea, given it is what she refers to as a “grassroots movement,” started by a group of passionate people wanting to make a positive impact on the world. “Our team means the world to me,” she exclaims, “we are a like a living, breathing organism that feeds off of each other's energy, using our individual skills and creativity to produce unique, impactful events for amazing causes.”
The actual fashion seen on the catwalk is not always as literal as one may think. Instead, pieces represent the concept of animals through colors, shapes and textures. Elephantasia, for instance, is a current campaign at FFC. Design interpretations range from huge oversized shoulders on a gray pleated one-piece from Indian designer Shriti Pratap to the delicate golden thread embroidery of a mother and daughter elephant on an ivory-colorEd sustainable silk dress by US brand KROGMAN.
The striking beauty and innocence of animals shows through the creativity of designers’ pieces, furthering the stance to preserve wildlife worldwide and distinguishing Fashion for Conservation as a unique brand. Vilté Rooney, marketing director and creative team member of FFC, is also very passionate about animal rights, and working with other individuals that strive to change the world. “I have been in the fashion industry for over a decade,” she says “and for the first time I feel like I am part of something that is actually making a difference through the fashion community.”
This year Fashion for Conservation will grow as a global movement through increased public engagement and people believing in the cause as strongly as the team itself. With a determined team working together to bring out inspiring content and increased awareness on conservation, FFC will become an essential piece to the fashion industry.
Behind the scenes of the team in action is documented daily on social media as well as on the weekly blog. As the movement's presence through global events, social media and online platforms develops, so will future collaborations and upcoming news. Follow our pages and stay inspired!
What's unique about our campaigns?
"Since launching this movement in 2012, we have worked with over a dozen non-profits in creating passionate, outrageous, and effective campaigns to raise funds, media awareness and hand-on support for critical conservation movements. I am so excited to invite the rest of the creative world to join us in bridging the gap between two fields that, until now, felt like they were complete opposite loves in my life, fashion and nature.
Through all of the events and media campaigns we produce, I want to share one message which is for more people like us to share our love for nature and show support for conservation, whether it be expressing ourselves through the clothing we buy, making a donation and/or doing hands-on work."
- Ava J. Holmes, Executive Producer
What's unique about our online shop?
Made without harming the earth. Plant-based dies, organic cottons, and recycled products (plastic bottles, rubber, fabrics) are a few of the earth-friendly materials from which our products are made.
Supporting Indipendant Brands
Bringing business to independent labels globally. Each collection features twelve distict designers and brands from twelve different countries, each with a unique interpretation of the campaign's theme.
Giving back to Wildlife
30% - 100% of each sale goes directly to wildlife conservation so that the beauty of mother earth's species and eco-systems that all life depends on exist for future generations of animals and animal-lovers.