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Fashion for Conservation 2018 Highlights!

Melissa Herana

From bringing a group of fashionistas into the heart of the Amazon rainforest for one wild annual FFC retreat with Hoja Nueva to raising one million pounds for grassroots conservation along side the Whitley Fund for Nature...here’s what bridging fashion with conservation looked like in 2018!


London Fashion Week x René Garza and Kalikas Armour

As the lights blacked out, Julia Roberts’ voice as “Mother Nature” echoed throughout the room from the shiny marble floors to the tall domed ceilings at the opening of Rainforest Runway...

On February 18th, FFC debuted their AW18 campaign to spotlight conservation efforts in the Amazon rainforest. Held at London’s Covent Garden, the event centered on the urgency of saving the world’s remaining rainforests, which have been in steep degradation as a result of climate change and the decline of wildlife species.

Opening the show was guest designer Jatin Patel of Kalikas Armour with the exclusive womenswear collection entitled “Majestic Mystics”, fantastically inspired by the Amazon rainforest. Also featured was “Impermanent Flora”, part of the Re:ne(w) label by René Garza in collaboration with Magpies & Peacocks. This rainforest inspired avant-garde line was an amazing zero-waste collection, made entirely from end of bolt textiles and up-cycled clothing.

Following the show was a Cocktails for Conservation afterparty, featuring keynote speeches and a live DJ set by the LALLAS.

FFC would like to thank the dear sponsors who made this wonderful campaign, runway show, and afterparty all possible: the Whitley Fund for Nature, the United Nations, Fashion Scout, Magpies & Peacocks, Hoja Nueva, Snow Leopard Vodka, Elephant Gin, Fair Drinks, and Bar 135.


1st Annual FFC Retreat to the deep Amazon Rainforest with Hoja Nueva

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FFC hosted their first annual retreat with Hoja Nueva, a non-profit eco-retreat working from deep within the beautiful and remote jungles of Peru.

Elle L, photographed in the cacao fields by @Stoyanovjones

Elle L, photographed in the cacao fields by @Stoyanovjones

The team’s journey and experiences in the stunning Peruvian landscapes were awe-inspiring and eye-opening. Musician and FFC ambassador, Elle L, who embarked on the retreat, spoke of her travels to Peru, recounting: “As soon as you see the tall trees and orange glaze of the Amazonian rivers and streams, you get the sense you are truly in a different world, another dimension.” Read Elle L’s full account of the experience here.

Led by amazing guides who lived and breathed the jungle, the eclectic group of 16 creatives, from models and photographers to artists and musicians, hiked up and down the stunning Peruvian landscapes, cooled down with swims in the stream, and learned to become one with nature’s raw beauty and energy.

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Throughout the retreat, focal points of Hoja Nueva’s work came to light and reminded us just how crucial and worthy the ongoing work of conservation is. The team visited/toured cacao farms in Madre De Dios, highlighting the need for sustainable and healthy revenue streams for indigenous populations as to not have them forced into engaging in harmful activities, such as deforestation and hunting for their livelihood. The team also met Max Bear, a baby Howler Monkey injured by illegal hunting in the Amazon, and stayed with a number of rescued animals. Despite such conservation lands being legally protected by the government, habitats are still destroyed and species are hurt and lost everyday. As such, Hoja Nueva gives their all into supporting both the environment and the populations residing in it.

Samantha Zwicker, Ava Holmes, Lara Fraser, Elle L, Renee Eddy

Samantha Zwicker, Ava Holmes, Lara Fraser, Elle L, Renee Eddy

2nd Annual Retreat to the Amazon Rainforest:
Are you interested in joining us Feb 2019? Contact us here: PR@FashionforConservation.com


Seattle Spring Cocktails for Conservation

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Cocktails for Conservation 2018 was held at the end of May at the Riveter in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The Amazon-themed cocktail party featured speeches by FFC’s very own Ava Holmes and Hoja Nueva’s founder, Samantha Zwicker. Highlighted during the night were works from FFC’s Elephantasia campaign as well as works by designers René Garza and Kalikas Armour.

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At the heart of the event was the concept of gathering individuals who share a deep sense of care and responsibility for conservation, sustainability, and are concerned with the ways in which fashion can be an industry through which invaluable change can be made. Proceeds from the event went to supporting Hoja Nueva’s conservation efforts in Peru.

Those that came out to the party included local businesses Vann Edge Salon and Indi Chocolates—Thank you for the free beauty treatments and chocolate tasting at the event! FFC would like to also give a special thanks to our VIP partners: DJ Gradeay, the LALLAS, Blue Danube Productions, NOVICA, ALLÉL, Plate - Restaurant, Bar, & Bake, Endangered Species Chocolate, KIND, Crooked Beverage Co., GTS Kombucha, Snow Leopard Vodka, Elephant Gin, and Fair Spirits.


Ibiza Summer Presentation at Atzaro

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The Ibiza Summer Presentation 2018 was held at Ibiza’s iconic summer resort, Atazaro Agrotourismo. The Atzaro Pop-Up featured photographer Rohit Chawla’s most famous work from his famous collections ‘FREE DA!’, ‘WANDERLUST’, and more. The art show also displayed pop ups from featured FFC brands and a fashion presentation by Alfonso Sanco.

FCC would like to recognize our wonderful pop ups that were featured at the event:

Pachacuti Hats: https://www.panamas.co.uk/

Eki Orleans: https://ekiorleans.com/

El Galeria Elefante: https://www.lagaleriaelefante.com/

Natasha Dahlberg Jewelry: https://www.natashadahlberg.com/


4th Annual Seattle Rainforest Gala

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This year, FFC hosted its 4th Annual Rainforest Gala and Runway at Block 41 in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. All the proceeds went towards protecting and conserving the rainforests. $12,000 was raised that will go toward expanding Hoja Nueva’s land by 150 acres to conserve rainforest habitat. Another $6,000 will go towards supporting the start of Project ReWild, which is a program that aims to rehabilitate and release threatened animals to the wild.

The show was kicked off by a beautiful children’s collection by Polleras de Agus. The collection was hand sewn and embroidered skirts by women in Cusco, Peru. The show also featured a nature inspired menswear collection designed by Kelly Dawn Riot. Kalikas Armour designed gorgeous show stopping pieces for the runway. Also featured on the runway was Rene Garza’s zero waste collection, which was accompanied by Beyond Thread’s jewelry made from recycled shirts and materials. Local headliner Luly Yang finished the show with beautiful designs.

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Throughout the evening, Deseo Carmin performed numerous live performances for the guests.

The gala also featured a silent art auction, the Hoja Nueva Store, Indi Chocolates Bean to Bar Tasting, Dom Gomez Live Fashion Illustrations, a tropical cocktail bar, and Kendra Scott Jewelry.

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FFC would like to thank our amazing sponsors who made the event successful: Block 41, Blue Danube Productions, Vann Edge, United nations, Baikalla Jewelry, Floral Image, NOVICA, Indi Chocolate, Eufora, GT’s Kombucha, Snow Leopard, FashionNXT, Kendra Scott, Frankie & Jo’s, Chocolate Krak, Simply Seattle, Lady Yum, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, the Snap Bar, TEDx Seattle, KIND, The Riveter, the Sock Monster, Global Spirits & Wine, Eat Seattle, Evergreens, Univision, Central Co-op, SANCA, SMG, Belltown Inn, Trader Joe’s, AVA, and Pike Place Fish Market.


London Natural History Museum, WFN Hope Gala

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As the finale of 2018, FFC joined forces with the Whitley Fund for Nature, helping WFN raise one million pounds for conservation! With our combined efforts, we put together a sustainable runway show at the 25th anniversary ‘Hope Gala’ at the iconic London Natural Museum.

The runway showcased beautiful and sustainably sourced collections by the wonderful designers, Mother of Pearl and Deborah Milner. Deborah Miner’s collection was inspired by the coral reefs in the Natural History Museum. Select pieces by both designers were curated for an auction. All proceeds went towards grassroots conservation alongside the Whitley Fund for Nature.

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We would like to give recognition to our amazing sponsors: AVEDA, the Cuckoo Club, The Library, Plate Restaurant & Bar, The Lost Explorer, Weleda, Embargo, Real Remedies, No 1 Botanicals, Dr Rita Rakus, Cohorted, Eco Glitter Fun, Emily Fruit Crisps, Compassion in World Farming, and British Fashion Council.

Will you join the movement to bridge fashion with conservation in the new year?

Here are three ways to join us in 2019:

- Spread the word: please continue to stay up to date on the latest at Fashion for Conservation, sharing is spreading each conservation message further! Find us/share our posts on IG, FB and Twitter @FashionforConservation  

- Volunteer at one of our campaigns or fundraising events: get in touch directly if your a guru in the areas of marketing, organization, design, production, Gung-ho conservationist with a willingness to learn to do whatever it takes to run successful conservation campaigns thrift fashion.

- Attend our second annual retreat to the deep Amazon Rainforest; witness the conservation supported by this year’s campaigning up close at Hoja Nueva’s eco center (Madre de Dios, Peru) contact us directly for more information. Please include in your subject line: “Annual Retreat”

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Melissa Herana

The holidays are here and we wanna urge you to shop sustainable and eco-conscious brands that are committed towards raising awareness for conservation and protecting the world we live in!

Check out some of the FFC team’s favorite brands/products below and consider giving the gift of making a real impact this season!


Conservation-Inspired Jewelry by Salvari ($20) 

Shop: https://salvari.co.uk/


Why we choose Salvari:
Fashion for Conservation co-founders Ava J Holmes and Samantha Zwicker, and London Ambassador Elle L haven’t taken their Salvari pieces off since getting them three months ago. Many of the Fashion for Conservation Family now wear Salvari nonstop.

“We love that Salvari is founded and run by a single incredible woman making a real difference with each purchase...in any business let alone a single woman powered start up that’s hard to do, and she does it beautifully and with exceptional quality.” - Ava J Holmes & Elle L 

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Sustainable Beauty Box: Be You Be Beautiful by Cohorted ($50)

Shop: https://www.cohorted.co.uk/pages/black-edition


Why we choose Cohorted:
No other beauty box commits to inner beauty as much as this one. Each product is made only with ingredients that are sourced ethically, sustainably, and organic when possible. Our team loves learning about new beauty brands that align with a greater vision for healthier people and a healthier planet. This starts with what we wear. 

“Every morning we have an opportunity to be an activist, to choose what we put on our faces and bodies. The most impactful leaders lead by example. Let’s stop with the plastics and waste on our bodies and face, let’s speak more meaningfully with what we wear via brands we support.”  - Ava J Holmes

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Beauty Chocolate Christmas Countdown Calendar by Esthochoc ($20)

Shop: https://www.esthechoc.com


Why we choose Esthochoc:
Who wouldn’t love chocolate that’s full of powerful antioxidants and enough energy to get through a mealtime while still only 36 calories? Each piece of vegan, gluten free, rich chocolate (72.6%) is enhanced with astaxanthin – one of the most powerful antioxidants known to science. 

“Esthechoch has been our team’s FUEL. During the heat of event planning season, we don’t sleep much, we forget to eat sometimes...thank goodness for this miracle chocolate. Our skin is especially healthier and happier with Esthechoc! But don’t take our word for it... 10 years of science has also gone into perfecting this chocolate as a beauty supplement.” - Ava J. Holmes

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“Khanservation” Sweatshirt by Hoja Nueva ($155)

Shop: http://hojanueva.org/product-category/clothing/


This beautiful limited edition sweatshirt features Khan, the first ocelot that the non-profit group, Hoja Nueva, worked with for a year to reintroduce into the wild. Unfortunately, the young orphaned ocelot was later killed by an illegal poaching trap on protected conservation lands. Hoja Nueva’s “Khanservation” line honors the dearly missed Khan and raises awareness for the illegal hunting of innocent species in the Amazon and beyond. All materials are made 100% sustainable.

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"RAINFOREST GALA" Q&A WITH AVA J HOLMES & SAMANTHA ZWICKER

ava holmes

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Questions: why this rainforests in particular?

Las Piedras is the last stretch of intact rainforest left in Peru. It is part of the largest biodiversity hotspot on the planet and also a part of the Andes Biodiversity Hotspot. But is completely unprotected land. This means that illegal loggers can log and not get caught--native communities are taken advantage of as illegal activity moves inward surrounding their lands.

Uncontacted tribes still occupy Alto Purus National Park in Las Piedras, but outside pressures are causing them to lose land and resources, especially their food source. Las Piedras and the greater Madre de Dios region as a whole - is the last hope for conserving the entire pristine Southern Peruvian Amazon. It connects three surrounding national parks, which are patrolled and regulated. If we can protect what’s in between, then all three parks are also more protected and wildlife can travel between them safety.

We work in Las Piedras because it is our home now too -- every community is our friend, our family...

Las Piedras is their last hope, and we as a nonprofit serve as its last hope. It is a large area and river - over 64 communities just on one side, but we feel confident that we can steer it in the right direction given the support. It is impossible to say that one entity can take on the world but a small piece of it, with the right team and resources, can do anything!!

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What are you most excited about sharing with guests, September 20th?

Ah! So much it’s hard to decided...the core of the event is of course the fashion show, we have 6 rainforest inspired collections by designers who are as passionate and inspired by the rainforests as our team is. Each are so unique—ranging from dramatic avant-garde couture by Kalikas Amour who was in our debut of #RainforestRunway during this past London Fashion Week show to gorgeous structural dresses resemblance of the Monarch Butterfly by local designer Luly Yang and then to the adorable colorful jungle-floral kids line by Poleras de Agus embroidered and made by women in Cusco, Peru.

Aside from the fashion...there’s just so much more. Food, music, dance, chocolate, cocktails, shopping, art, etc....

Of course what excites me MOST is the only thing that will actually be a surprise for our team too which is seeing how the audience dresses up and interacts with everything we’ve created for them over the past year and a half!

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What have previous years been like and how is this one different?

In previous seasons, we have shared animal and rainforest-inspired collections from as many as 18 international designers and hosted between 500-800 guests each time...this year is much more intimate with only 300 guests so we can give each a more intimate experience-each guest is a VIP this year. It’s also the first time ever that we’ve done a full sit down meal! It’s going to be epic, who doesn't love an open Ceviche bar!??

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What’s the relationship between Hoja Nueva and Fashion for Conservation?

For each Fashion for Conservation campaign, we partner with a grassroots on the ground non profit where we can physically go and visit to connect with their mission and work.

What’s unique about hoja however is that most of our team members are shared. Our co-founder Samantha Zwicker and myself are both co-founders and directors at Hoja Nueva. The jungle there is home for both of us. Sam is there sometimes up to 9/10 months, each year my time extends there too—I went for the first time only for a few weeks, now I don’t like going for any less than two/three months. It’s our heaven on earth.

That’s really why we continue to do an annual gala with hoja, we are now in our fourth year!

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Who is Hoja Nueva?

Hoja Nueva is a small grassroots organization and 501(c)(3) charity with a small predominantly volunteer driven team driving conservation impact much greater than seemingly possible in the lower Amazon region of Madre de Dios, Peru. A few projects I’ve personally got to be part of include RE-introducing orphaned wildlife to the rainforest whose mothers have been illegally trafficked or killed by loggers and were able to be rescued from a similar fate, supporting alternative income opportunities to local communities via micro financing and mobilizing volunteers for hands on labor (examples: sustainable cacao production, indigenous artisan program and Brazil nut harvesting), and of course physically protecting/buying/monitoring land.

Hoja Nueva navigates a whole lot more too, that’s just the start.

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How can we help? / Get involved?

Come visit us at Hoja Nueva’s eco lodge and conservation center in Peru! We have a few awesome retreats coming up in Jan and Feb 2018. And of course come to our gala! We can’t wait to take you on a walk through the fashion jungle in high style...

Also feel free to check out more info via HojaNueva.org or on socials—@hojanueva @FashionforConservation

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CREDITS: 
LOCATION: HOJA NUEVA
PHOTOS: DAWN MARIE
MODEL: MARIE JOHANSEN
MAKEUP: FRANCESCA BELGRANO
DESIGNS: KALIKAS ARMOUR
DIRECTOR: AVA J HOLMES
 

In the Jungle with Fashion for Conservation and Hoja Nueva

Kelly Zwicker

By Elle L

The rainforest is lungs of the earth, and its energy resonates immediately. Everything intensifies here. You form bonds with people quickly, your life is in each other’s hands. There’s a sense of euphoria created by being somewhere so far away. You feel connected to nature. It’s exhilarating and beautiful. But all that glitters is not gold. The rainforest is being destroyed at a rapid rate... to destroy the Amazon is to destroy ourselves – it produces 20% of all oxygen and we need to protect it - for our own survival.

As a music artist, I find a lot of inspiration in nature. I also ambassador Fashion For Conservation - partner to Hoja Nueva a non-profit eco-retreat nestled deep in the Peruvian jungle. I wanted to visit this project to see for myself what the Amazon is really like. When I talk about sustainability and conservation or write a track, I want some experience to go by. Not just passion without intent. I had no idea what to expect, I just knew I was ready.

Elle L @hojanueva photographed by @stoyanovjones    Wearing: @wearthewalk | @marybensonworld | @calvinklein

Elle L @hojanueva photographed by @stoyanovjones

Wearing: @wearthewalk | @marybensonworld | @calvinklein

I traveled to Peru from London with DJ friend, Lara Fraser. We traveled for thirty hours straight. Over the course of eight days: two traveling, four nights in the heart of the jungle and two nights in Lima, Lara Fraser and I got to witness firsthand the raw beauty of the Peruvian landscape. We shot a music video for a track I’d only half written before leaving, a magazine editorial with a variety of emerging sustainable designers and got to see and feel a part of the great work Samantha Zwicker, founder of Hoja Nueva and her team do on a daily basis to protect the beautiful landscape and all that reside within it.

The internal flight from Lima, Cusco and final stop Puerto Maldonado was where I really got to see Peru come to life. From beach to mountains, to rainforest, the bio-diversity tickles the creative imagination with excitement. Butterflies. It’s a fiction like state. The visuals are so dynamic and immersive. As soon as you see the tall trees and orange glaze of the Amazonian rivers and streams you get the sense you are truly in a different world, another dimension. Time stands still and as you get off the plane, you’re in the fantasy. But the fantasy is so damn real. 

We traveled to Las Piedras River from the airport with guide Erik, a driver and two Shamans. Some of the creative group we were joining were getting themselves ready to do ‘Ayuhuasca’ and Shamans are spiritual guides who create this ancient vine tea. It’s one of the great Amazonian secrets – described as a medicine that produces profound and eye opening experiences for the person taking it. It’s Illegal everywhere else but here. We bounced along the off-roads in our jungle car all the way to the river, where we met Sam… She was headed into town for a night to re-stock on food supplies but we gave her a big hug before jumping on the boat for our twenty-minute hike to the eco-retreat. 

I lost all concept of fear as soon as we arrived. The Amazon is so big and I am so small. There’s greatness and vulnerability everywhere. Vibrancy interlaced with muddy waters. Worries and time melts away and you just are there, in the moment. A weird balance between adrenaline and calmness – I’d call it instinctive. It takes over. You know there are so many animals the media has taught us to view as predator. The truth is they are more scared of you. Except for the mosquito. The vampire and tiniest of the lot is by far most dangerous. A couple of our group fell sick from mosquito bites and two required hospital treatment. Both are fine now.

Elle L & Lara Fraser @hojanueva photographed by @Stoyanovjones

Elle L & Lara Fraser @hojanueva photographed by @Stoyanovjones

As soon as we arrived to Hoja Nueva we met our team and our guides, who we trusted immediately…  they live and breathe the jungle. Their senses operate on different levels of awareness and so you naturally follow their lead. There was an interesting creative collective of us – sixteen people including our models, photographer, writers, make-up artist, videographer, artist, yoga instructor, chef, myself a music artist, Lara, a DJ and Ava my good friend and founder of Fashion for Conservation. Rhonda, a journalist for The Hollywood Reporter I met a London Fashion Week was headed to the stream for a swim and invited me along. I impulsively said yes as I was hot and wanted to cool down. I kept imagining a Caiman or snake being under the muddy water as we climb down and in. They certainly could be… but there was something about Rhonda that was so calm and already in tune. I tapped into her frequency and relaxed. You pretty quickly realize we are part of nature. One. We are just pretty desensitized in the concrete jungle.

There’s no WIFI in the jungle and to be honest I barely thought about it. The entire lodge is made of reclaimed timbre and there were no windows… you really are in the great outdoors. Our room was on the first floor and beautiful, simple. Well thought out and I appreciated the attention to detail - a four posted bed with mosquito net overlooking dense jungle to inspire us and slightly scare us at night when we needed the toilet and were too chicken to go into the forest alone. Time went so quickly. There are natural triggers such as a cockerel who would wake everyone up at dawn, closely followed by Howler monkeys that sound like a Bowie-esq starship landing. It awakens your senses and then you get used to it.

Elle L in the Cacao Fields of Madre De Dios, Photographed by @Stoyanovjones

Elle L in the Cacao Fields of Madre De Dios, Photographed by @Stoyanovjones

Angel, a local photographed by @Stoyanovjones

Angel, a local photographed by @Stoyanovjones

Every day here was a new adventure. We visited the cacao fields, where we shot an editorial for Esthechoc, a chocolate brand I’m face of a new campaign for and we got to gift some chocolate to a local Peruvian girl, who had never tried chocolate, even though her family are cacao farmers. She loved it. I’d never tried the raw fruit. I loved it. You can learn so much from this simple exchange. Cacao farming is just one element of Hoja Nueva’s focus – to provide healthy revenue streams for indigenous people so they are neither tempted or forced into illegal activity such as the deforestation of their own environment and killing innocent and endangered animals. Sadly, illegal damage to the Amazon is still prevalent. We saw this all too closely. In our retreat was Max Bear; a baby Howler Monkey whose mother had been shot and Max still wore shrapnel in his shoulder. He was so innocent. We had a lot of animals staying with us at the retreat, mostly rescued dogs, puppies and a kitten that thought she was a puppy called Pepper. She was wonderful… tiny, fun and fearless. Though they all knew not to venture out further than the lodge walls and they were very protective of us... 

Orphaned Baby Ocelot, Khan as photographed by Harry Turner

Orphaned Baby Ocelot, Khan as photographed by Harry Turner

Harry Turner, one of Hoja Nueva’s directors and former British Army solider looks after Max. He is part of a new incentive to re-wild animals caught in poaching and black market conflicts. Harry and Sam recently tried to re introduce a beautiful Ocelot to the jungle but ten months into their mission, Khan still just an adolescent cub was shot. It happened on protected conservation land and was a devastating blow. Situations like this fuel the importance that more needs to be done to prevent further loss of innocent species. Right now, it happens daily. The only way to make a change is to speak up and actively support on the ground efforts that re-educate locals and offer sustainable solutions that both support their livelihoods so they are not temped or forced into illegal activity and so they protect their own habitat for their future generations and our own. Governments have a responsibility to help and we have the ability to put pressure on by being consistently vocal. Things need to be better for everyone’s sake. This is why Hoja Nueva and projects that dedicate their life and resources to ensuring a better future are really important to support.

Samantha Zwicker, Ava Holmes, Lara Fraser, Elle L, Renee Eddy

Samantha Zwicker, Ava Holmes, Lara Fraser, Elle L, Renee Eddy

There were many favourite moments from my time in the rainforest but climbing from our boat up a waterfall for some pictures with four of our team was one of them. We shot some drone footage for the music video here too. You don’t have time to be fearful, once you get to that moment where you are at the top; you feel a sense of being at one with the environment… and everything that’s in it. It was a lot of real beauty, we would have our makeup done in fifteen minutes and then hike through the jungle for twenty minutes and the humidity meant it was barely on before we would climb to a location for a few shots. It was fun to be completely natural in a world of CGI and overtaking… We were constantly adapting and using our creative intuition on how to create magic within the environment. Clayton, our drone videographer also managed to capture some never seen before Harpy Eagle footage one morning at sunrise – this Eagle is endangered and the footage is a beautiful but tragic reminder that we need to do more quickly.

Saying goodbye is never easy so instead I said see you soon. I know we will be back and I’ve taken a way a piece of the jungle with me in heart. We took a flight to Lima and stayed at Belmond Miraflores Park for two nights before heading back to London. The hotel was stunning and an oasis of chill with views of the Pacific Ocean. We enjoyed most delicious local food at Tragaluz. Ceviché and Pisco sours are specialties here and I recommend them both. We were back on the other side – the concrete jungle… still far from home but we were back in the technological bubble. 

Elle L and Lara Fraser and Belmond Miraflores Park. Photographed by @StoyanovandJones

Elle L and Lara Fraser and Belmond Miraflores Park. Photographed by @StoyanovandJones

The city is a different kind of beautiful if you chose to not be detached from the natural world. Miraflores is vibrant with art and Latino city culture. We had a deeper appreciation for everything… simple things became a luxury - a hot shower, laundry, ice cubes. I think the most important thing we can all do is to realize the greater picture and not to disconnect or forget that we have a power to effect things even from so far away. Out of sight should not be out of mind. We need to keep in tune to the environment and I want to encourage positive actions so we can make our impact a positive one. It’s important. The butterfly effect is real; it’s not too late to make things better if we are more conscious and supportive of grassroots action. I recommend everyone to get outside more to realize that we are all part of the same world. Best of both worlds is not an impossible notion if we are mindful and appreciative of how we live and where our fashion, food and lifestyle come from.

To find out more, visit and support Hoja Nueva: HojaNueva.org 

Stay tuned to Elle L’s socials for new music inspired by her trip to the Amazon:

@ellel__ | @hojanueva | @fashionforconservation

 

Cocktails for Conservation 2018 Recap

Kelly Zwicker

By Kelly Zwicker

@kellyzphoto

Hello all, 

Our Cocktails for Conservation event had fresh new faces out to support both the mission of Fashion for Conservation (FFC), and honoring the conservation efforts of 501 (c)(3) non-profit Hoja Nueva. 

The event was held at the Capitol Hill location of the Riveter. The small aesthetic details of the venue mixed well with the amazonian theme of the night, even down to the herbal cocktails. 

Venue: The Riveter at Capitol Hill

Venue: The Riveter at Capitol Hill

Herbal cocktails by Root Kin Remedy

Herbal cocktails by Root Kin Remedy

Pictured: Root Kin Remedy Cocktails 

Pictured: Root Kin Remedy Cocktails 

What made it all special? A speech given by both FFC founder Ava Holmes as well as Hoja Nueva founder Samantha Zwicker. Samantha's speech was both educational and inspiring, as she went through her presentation of her proud moments with ocelot Khan, her mentorship with her interns and their unique projects at her eco-lodge, or sharing some of the amazing wildlife that populates in her backyard in Peru. 

Interested in learning more? Find Hoja Nueva's website here for more information. 

We appreciate our sponsors so much, that come out to our events and provide great experiences for our guests! We had free beauty treatments from Vann Edge and chocolate tasting from Indi Chocolates. We love collaborating with local businesses. If you are interested, we would love to hear from you! 

Speaking of chocolate, Hoja Nueva practices sustainable agroforestry and cacao production, and cacao is the most sustainable crop in Peru. The history of cacao cultivation is thousands of years old in that particular area! To learn more about cacao and Hoja Nueva's plans for future permaculture projects, visit here

Pictured: Indi Chocolate branding and products 

Pictured: Indi Chocolate branding and products 

Pictured: Vann Edge Beauty Bar 

Pictured: Vann Edge Beauty Bar 

Enjoy some more snapshots of the night below! Special thanks to Janice Cabrera for DJ services, KIND, Belanof, LOLA, GTS Kombucha, Vann Edge Salon, Microsoft, and Indi Chocolates for contributing to a wonderful night! 

What would a fashion event be without a mini photoshoot? We had three lovely models (Marie Johansen, Yuliana Kelley, and Andria Liann) supporting the cause, and weaving through the crowd throughout the party. 

Makeup for the night was done by Francesca Belgrano. The gold details of the face and body makeup created a stunning finish! 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker (kellyzphoto)

Pictured: Yuliana Kelley, Marie Johansen, and Andria Liann 

Pictured: Yuliana Kelley, Marie Johansen, and Andria Liann 

More snapshots: 

We truly believe in the bridging of fashion and conservation, and partnering with Hoja Nueva has been eye-opening for what we can do to contribute to conservation on a larger scale. We as individuals, consumers in the fashion industry, have the ability to make very important, sustainable decisions. 

By focusing on the Amazon Rainforest specifically, we can make big changes towards stopping deforestation, which threatens entire ecosystems. Sharing and spreading the word in even the community of Seattle is an amazing start! 

A big thank you to everyone that attended Wednesday's event, and we hope to see you all at the Fashion for Conservation gala in September! 

 

Stay in touch with our social media:

 

@fashionforconservation

@fashionforconservation

@hojanueva

@hojanueva

 

Contact: 

PR@FashionforConservation.com

 

FFC's Lead Blogger: Kelly Zwicker

@kellyzphoto & @k_stateofmind

Kelly is a lifestyle blogger based out of Seattle, Washington. She has her own website kstateofmind.com. She currently blogs her personal style, travel adventures, and health tips. Being a former collegiate tennis player and public health major, Kelly loves to get involved with a variety of collaborations, not excluding her lead blogger role with Fashion for Conservation. She utilizes her passions for photography and writing for her freelance work and creative drive.

Cocktails for Conservation: A Can't Miss Seattle Event

Kelly Zwicker

Hello all, 

Fashion for Conservation is excited to announce our Cocktails for Conservation event this Wednesday the 30th, at 7:30 pm. The venue is the Riveter in Capitol Hill, an exciting new collaboration for us in the Seattle area. 

Our cocktails event will be hosted by Fashion for Conservation, and will be benefitting 501 (c)(3) non-profit Hoja Nueva, with an included speech from its founder Samantha Zwicker.

Hoja Nueva founder Samantha Zwicker 

Hoja Nueva founder Samantha Zwicker 

FFC Magazine preview 

FFC Magazine preview 

Why should you be there? 

There will be chocolate and cacao tasting by Indi Chocolates, local and international artisans showcasing their work, and Amazonian inspired specialty cocktails by Root Kin Remedy. There will also be free beauty treatments provided by Vann Edge Salon. 

This event is one of many to introduce the goal of bridging concrete and Amazonian jungles with representatives from Amazon Inc., Vann Edge, Fashion for Conservation and Hoja Nueva.

Why Seattle? 

Both Fashion for Conservation and Hoja Nueva's domestic base is Seattle, and we are aiming to spread the word and expand our mission starting here in our home city. We want to educate the Seattle community on sustainability development, eco-fashion, and conservation as well as celebrate with the community as we reach our milestones. 

Is there a theme or dress code to the event? 

We aim for business casual, or in other words, authentically fabulous. As for our theme, the night will be inspired by the Amazon jungle, to showcase the conservation efforts at the Hoja Nueva eco-lodge in the Madre de Dios region in Peru. 

Will a new fashion line be premiered at the event? 

Fashion for Conservation’s 4th Annual Rainforest Gala (that will be held in September 2018) will feature six international designers inspired by the Amazon. The event will be an announcement and pre-celebration of who these designers will be. How exciting! 

Join us for a night of collaboration, inspiration, and education on conservation efforts and future events with Fashion for Conservation. We hope to see you there! 

 


Ticket Information: 

GA $35

VIP $55

- Complimentary drink

- Swag bags

- Chair massage

- Passed hors d'oeuvres

- 10% off entire pop-up shop

VIP Party $250

- Five complimentary VIP ticket

 


Stay in touch with our social media:

 

@fashionforconservation

@fashionforconservation

@hojanueva

@hojanueva

 

Contact: 

PR@FashionforConservation.com

 


FFC Headshot Edit.jpg

FFC's Lead Blogger: Kelly Zwicker

@kellyzphoto & @k_stateofmind

Kelly is a lifestyle blogger based out of Seattle, Washington. She has her own website kstateofmind.com. She currently blogs her personal style, travel adventures, and health tips. Being a former collegiate tennis player and public health major, Kelly loves to get involved with a variety of collaborations, not excluding her lead blogger role with Fashion for Conservation. She utilizes her passions for photography and writing for her freelance work and creative drive.


UK Animals Rights Activist Feature: Carla Fraser

Kelly Zwicker

By Kelly Zwicker

@kellyzphoto

This week, Fashion for Conservation (FFC) is featuring U.K actress and animal rights activist Carla Fraser, for her unique contribution to conservation efforts especially through film creation. She is passionate specifically about rhino and elephant conservation, and strives to keep creating new and fresh content that engages new people for the cause. 

Carla wrote a short film “Grey Future,” which discusses a future where rhinos and elephants don’t exist. Carla aimed to instill an urgency in the audience about the importance of saving these species. “I wanted to create a film to push people to act,” she says, and she did. She made this film on Go Fund Me donations, up to 2,000 pounds in total. 

Carla, as a young girl, grew up having toy elephants and rhinos. She grew up drawing pictures of her favorite animals, just like millions of children around the world. The film addresses the point that children growing up in the Western world see these species in books and toys, as opposed to children in Africa that can see them in their backyard. 

Stuffed animals represent something larger here; children in the future may not see another elephant or rhino in a zoo, or on the discovery channel. A stuffed animal elephant or rhino could soon represent an extinct species. How do we explain to children how we watched this happen? “They’ll be our next dinosaurs,” Carla claims. 

Carla also believes that grouping rhinos and elephants together in campaigns will aid in their conservation efforts, given people often forget that rhinos are estimated at only seven more years on this earth, and elephants are estimated at twenty. The fact of the matter is that the general population may not be aware of the urgency of the issue; that the extinction of these species’ will really be that quick. This is the mindset we need to adjust, and push for quicker action. 

A film that inspired Carla’s ongoing involvement in conservation is called “Killing for Profit,” an exposé about the brutal poaching and trafficking of rhinos. A brave journalist, Julian Rademeyer, went undercover and risked his life to show the world that wildlife trading needs to be stopped. For another example, in Vietnam, ivory is used for a variety of purposes, one of the most common being a cancer drug or a hangover cure. It has become a “trend,” like something trends in the beauty or fashion industry, and it has increased demand for ivory dramatically.  

Below are pictures from the 'Action for Elephants' protest outside parliament, London in 2017 on the day of CITES. 

Pictured: Carla Fraser with two other volunteers outside Parliament. 

Pictured: Carla Fraser with two other volunteers outside Parliament. 

A supporting argument is that ivory is not traditional to Vietnamese culture, so there is no “need” to make it such a staple in the market. And the consequences for elephants and rhinos are severe. Carla’s “Grey Future” additionally aims to stop the idea that ivory is a “sexy” or “elite” purchase, because it has evolved to be just that. These species suffer and die for the selling of ivory, simply for a trend. 

Despite how much progress needs to be done with global biodiversity, Carla remains positive for the future. “I do believe we’ll see change in our lifetime. For example, China has shut down their ivory trade. Of course there are other issues, but in terms of ivory trade, I think we’ll get there.” 

Pictured: Art for inspiration behind Fraser's Grey Future 

Pictured: Art for inspiration behind Fraser's Grey Future 

The key here is to not lose hope or assume the situation is out of our hands. We must play to our strengths and use our roles in society and in the entertainment industry to evoke change, to inspire people to participate. 

We need more individuals like Carla Fraser to use their voices in society to make a positive difference for the species on this earth. 

“One day we’ll be in our rocking chairs and be happy to know we saved these species. And it will all pay off.” 

Fraser speaking at the Royal Geographic Society 

Fraser speaking at the Royal Geographic Society 

Carla took an instant liking to Fashion for Conservation’s (FFC) initiatives and mission, and is happy to be a part of our future campaigning. FFC is constantly reaching out to individuals and organizations to help spread the message, thanks to our modern technology and resources. “That is the beauty of social media,” Carla claims, “People being passionate about the same thing, we can link up.” 

Carla received the invitation to come to London Fashion Week this past September with FFC’s show. She was immediately drawn to the idea, because of how fresh and unique the combination of fashion and conservation is, and what that combination can accomplish in the future. “People can get a bit lost in the colors and pattern of fashion,” she says, “paving new ways towards sustainable fashion is essential. Fashion for Conservation is up with the big players.” 

Events, such as London Fashion Week, can so often host a very specific type of demographic. However, in September, with more people actually engaging in the meaning behind the clothes, we can progress towards expanding the demographic we host at these International must-attend shows. The wider the demographic, the larger the reach. And we need all the reach we can get. 

Carla believes in pushing boundaries to extend our voice in sustainable fashion, and additionally educating as many people as we can on the many alternatives to fashion we can take that are environmentally friendly. When asked about the massive consumerism within the fashion industry, Carla admitted how much she has learned since reading about FFC’s sustainable design materials. “FFC has been the very thing that has educated me on fashion and open-mindedness for sustainable possibilities.” 

Pictured: Fraser posing in rhino merchandise to support rhino conservation

Pictured: Fraser posing in rhino merchandise to support rhino conservation

What if other fashion lines follow suit? What if designers start working solely with sustainable fabrics? What if sustainable fashion can really launch an international trend? This future is possible if we use our voices, as larger groups. These massive industries are capable of change. 

We are already seeing change on many platforms, especially on social media. For instance, the vegan movement has taken off. As opposed to considering being vegan a trend, it has become a dedicated lifestyle for millions of people. People are promoting the benefits of and making it ‘attractive’. Models, actors, artists, and bloggers are proudly stating their vegan diets, as doing their part to support the environment and reducing the amount of animals slaughtered for meat in the agricultural industry. “The openness will really help us, Carla says, “that’s what makes me proud of this generation.” 

There is a beauty and power in the act of unison. We can come together and evoke change.

Carla believes in the effect of a group formed first by dedicated individuals. “People power does matter. Every voice does matter. They have to listen. Change is absolutely possible.” 

 

It was an absolute pleasure speaking with Carla about her contributions to elephant and rhino  conservation, and she plans to continue using her voice to educate new people to understand the impending extinction of these species with continued inaction. As a rhino ambassador for IAPWA and film maker, Carla wishes to continue finding creatives ways to get people to listen and find compassion in this matter. 

Stay tuned for more features of incredible individuals in future posts, both domestic and international! 

 

INTRODUCING ELLE L X FASHION FOR CONSERVATION

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           Elle L and lead designer Rene Garza front row, Elephantasia at London Fashion Week SS18

           Elle L and lead designer Rene Garza front row, Elephantasia at London Fashion Week SS18

I'm incredibly excited to join forces with Fashion For Conservation. The creativity, people involved and purpose behind the organisation inspires me. I'm looking forward to raising awareness and supporting important issues in conservation. 

I had the pleasure of getting to know the team after being sat next to lead designer, René Garza Front Row at Elephantasia for London Fashion Week. It was a breathtakingly beautiful runway show and the stars must have aligned because it's lead me to this moment where I'll now be actively collaborating to create content over the next few weeks and months. 

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Upcoming, 'Artists For Conservation' is a concept inspired by my passion for conscious art, nature and all that Fashion For Conservation are doing. We need to draw attention to important issues and I hope to be an advocate for how fashion and other artistic industries can put ethics at the backbone of their work to create in a way that protects future generations of ecosystems and wildlife.  

Artists have such power to initiate change by opening up a conversation. If we bring our voices together, we can create a message and impact on what matters.

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Nature inspires me on so many levels. My debut EP, COCOON uses natural metaphor to express themes of change within a person and themes of breaking out of fear to become your most authentic self. The process can be painful but ultimately healing as it allows you to evolve and evolution is a constant cycle. I found using the concept of the butterfly and metamorphosis more potent than to indulge in speaking about myself directly in these tracks. I have more music coming this year, including a re-imagiantion of Bowie's Man Who Sold The World, which I recently performed on BBC introducing, I look forward to sharing many more tracks with you soon.

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Elle L joins the FFC team for a special collaboration. Each month she will be curating a new monthly 'artist' feature. Seeking inspirational conscious artists in the world of Fashion,  Music, Beauty, Food & more, Elle L will be discussing how sustainability and nature can be a driving force of creativity and how we can make art without affecting animals and the ecosystems of our world to create a sustainable environment. 

                                                          Image credit: StoyanovandJones

                                                          Image credit: StoyanovandJones

ABOUT ELLE L.

Described as 'One to watch Now and Beyond' by the likes of CLASH magazine - 360 music artist, model, director & writer, Elle L has had works published on CNN international as a writer as well as been part of her own show on the network. She has also worked on Emmy nominated documentary for the IFC and BBC, directed for Copenhagen Fashion Week and as a model has walked for London Fashion Week. Most recently her focus has rooted itself in music, the medium she resonates to the most. Elle L has received worldwide press on her first single, been featured on BBC introducing and her second single, CIRCLES is the new sound of Lacoste Pour Femme.

Elle L represents a new-wave of millennial artists that allow expression to be manifested in a variety of channels, her alignment brings out this energy to find the world's most conscious creators so we can get everyone talking about topics that matter. 

This weekend, Elle L will be interviewing FFC lead designer, René Garza in the lead up to Fashion for Conservation's debut of a campaign to save the Amazon rainforest at London Fashion Week in Covent Garden's Freemasons' Hall venue, February 18th 2018. Stay tuned! 

Connect with Elle L:

Instagram: @ellel__
Twitter
SoundcloudSpotify