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Filtering by Tag: #elephantasia

What You're Really In For...September 20th!!

Kelly Zwicker

By Kelly Zwicker 

@kellyzphoto

Hello all, 

We are rapidly approaching fall season, and with fall comes the lovely month of September, the month of our Rainforest Gala and runway! We are so excited to welcome back talented artists, musicians, and performers to compliment our runway presentation. Are you ready to be apart of our celebration of conservation and sustainable fashion? We would love to have you.

Evening Program: 
6:30 PM: Three-course Dinner Gala, Live Performances, Auction and Presentations
8:00 PM: Fashion Runway Show - Six Rainforest-Inspired Collections

Official Lineup:

Rainforest Gala Anthar Kharana.png
Rainforest Gala Social Media Alfonso Sanchez.png
Rainforest Gala KellyDawn Riot.png
Rainforest Gala Luly Yang.png

Official Press Release:

Dress from last year's annual fundraiser for Hoja Nueva inspired by the organisation's sustainably grown cacao. Design by   JOSÉ ZAFRA   .

Dress from last year's annual fundraiser for Hoja Nueva inspired by the organisation's sustainably grown cacao. Design by JOSÉ ZAFRA.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 at Seattle's newest and most sophisticated private event venue (Block 41), Fashion for Conservation and Hoja Nueva will bring a limited number of guests on a walk through the rainforest in style; witness this exquisite one night only celebration with diverse flavors and cultures, captivating sounds of the wild, and vibrant designs inspired by rainforests. Help us create a space where diverse peoples can share and celebrate their unique stories and experiences living in harmony with wildlife and their habitats. This event funds rainforest conservation, wildlife rehabilitation, and sustainable agriculture with Seattle US 501(c)(3) and Peru based nonprofit Hoja Nueva (hojanueva.org).

In previous seasons, this Rainforest Runway has featured animal and rainforest-inspired collections from as many as 18 international designers and hosted between 500-800 guests each time while making a huge impact to conserve rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon...

Seattle's 4th Annual Rainforest Gala & Runway will host only 300 guests, so make a reservation for you or your table party, before its too late!

 

 Why Rainforests?

The urgency of conserving the earth's rainforests now goes beyond cultural and wildlife preservation. Fragmented forests resulting from increased agriculture store less carbon and adversely impact wildlife movement and gene flow, resulting in higher levels of atmospheric carbon and regional species declines. As a component of the recent Paris Accord, slowing climate change by method of conserving rainforest is an urgent matter that requires strong institutional support for projects that shift how we source our food, water and energy, and support for rainforest conservation and habitat protection.

Hoja Nueva confronts deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon by conserving rainforest and building capacity within remote and indigenous communities by developing micro-finance programs and empowering women; implementing rigorous scientific research in waste management, water and wildlife; and creating alternative income opportunities that protect indigenous culture andwildlife habitat.

"Thanks to last year's rainforest gala, our zero-carbon footprint eco-lodge has been built in the lowland Amazon rainforest along with 2000 trees to create a research center that provides conservation and agroforestry education in a world threatened by rampant deforestation and climate change," states co-founder of Fashion for Conservation and Hoja Nueva director Samantha Zwicker.

Block 41 is Seattle's newest and most sophisticated private event venue, located in the heart of the bustling Belltown neighborhood. Address: 115 Bell St, Seattle, WA 98121

Mark your calendars for this wild event and stay tuned for the full lineup! Tickets are extremely limited - get them before they're gone! 

“The urgency of conserving the earth’s rainforests now goes beyond cultural and wildlife preservation. It is now a basic human need.”

— Samantha Zwicker, Co-founder at Hoja Nueva and Fashion for Conservation

10 Reasons Why NOT TO MISS Seattle’s 4th Annual Rainforest Gala & Runway!

- WALK ON THE WILD SIDE. Take a walk through the jungle in high style! Learn about ecosystems, wildlife and culture of the Amazon through fashion, music, presentations and visual art! TWO lucky guests will also have the opportunity to WALK THE WILD RUNWAY.

- FOODIES PARADISE. Three course mouthwatering Peruvian style dinner with an exquisite sweet ending prepared by a top local dessert chef behind “Seattle’s Hottest New Restaurant,” 2120! *GF/Vegetarian available by request.

- FALL IN LOVE. You never know what may happen when you meet your significant other (or future wife!) on the wild side...take your date home with plans for an exotic 7-day jungle get-away that you won in the live auction!

- BE INSPIRED: “After last year’s gala....I was speechless with tears in my eyes! The dance performances, designs and diversity of the audience moved me so much, like it awakened something in me, I felt so at home, and so inspired!” - Cayetana San Segundo (now part of our team of passionate volunteers, dedicated to creating a once in a lifetime experience for YOU again this Rainforest Gala).

- MEET ANTHAR KHARANA FROM COLUMBIA. Anthar Kharana will be sharing the power of traditional songs used in different ceremonies of the Americas to comnect us with the spirit world..

- SUPPORT INDIGENOUS WOMEN. All gala guests will receive a special gift from one of artisan women we are working along side in Peru. The evening will help fund alternative income opportunities that support women of YINE and Ashaninka lineages in continuing to live in harmony with their land and community. Some of their beautiful hand woven and naturally dyed bags, jewelry and home decor will also be available for purchase in the marketplace prior to the runway show.

- HELP COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE AND PROTECT RAINFORESTS IN YOUR NAME. Each guest will have the opportunity to purchase and protect pristine Amazon rainforest and be part of the land management plan with Hoja Nueva 501(C)(3). This will provide as a buffer zone for indigenous communities, life-long habitat for endangered wildlife, and healthier lungs for our planet.

- WITNESS THE RAINFOREST RUNWAY. As seen in vogue and previewed at London Fashion Week: witness 6 stunning international runway shows, lively dance performances, eclectic sounds of the wild and other forms of visual art—all inspired by the richly diverse rainforests of the world!

- WEAR THAT DRESS/SUIT YOU HAVEN’T. We hear so many complaints about there not being enough events in Seattle to dress up for. Here is your opportunity, we can’t wait to see what wild and wonderful attire in which you adorn yourselves!

- KEEP WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE....WITH DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, AT LONDON FASHION WEEK & IN THE ACTUAL AMAZON. Check out the lineup of exclusive auction experiences with which lucky gala guests will continue on their journey into the wild...

Tickets are limited to 300 guests, so get them before it’s too late! *Ticket prices increase at the end of August. **All ticket levels are 100% tax deductible.

For more information and ticketing visitFashionforconservation.com/RainforestGala2018

Cocktails for Conservation: A Can't Miss Event for Seattleites

Kelly Zwicker

By Kelly Zwicker
@k_stateofmind


Why attend this event? Because the merging of fashion and conservation will be fun, educational, and inspiring. There will be stunning fashion, amazing guest speakers, and everything down to the cocktails will be rainforest themed.

Fashion and Conservation could have an amazing future in their niche combination, a whole new priority in the fashion industry. Continuing local events lead to larger projects, which sparks a MUCH larger movement. Are you ready to join?

I will be in attendance, taking behind the scenes photography and hosting interviews. I would love to meet anyone that would like to attend, and support the benefited cause, Hoja Nueva. Hoja Nueva is based out of Peru, where the founder and executive director, Samantha Zwicker, lives and does research on wildlife inhabiting Peru’s lowland Amazon rainforest. Their current projects cover the topics of wildlife conservation, ecology, global health and community development.

Pictured: Members of the community of Lucerna, Peru, with executive director Samantha Zwicker and Hoja Nueva team members

Pictured: Members of the community of Lucerna, Peru, with executive director Samantha Zwicker and Hoja Nueva team members

Pictured: Khan the Ocelot, who was to be re-entered into the wild by Hoja Nueva member Harry Turner. Khan was killed by a poacher trap, and his memory drives Hoja Nueva to succeed with conservation efforts, despite resistance. 

Pictured: Khan the Ocelot, who was to be re-entered into the wild by Hoja Nueva member Harry Turner. Khan was killed by a poacher trap, and his memory drives Hoja Nueva to succeed with conservation efforts, despite resistance. 

There is an important theme of the partnership of Hoja Nueva with FFC. Hoja Nueva’s efforts are put towards a future where humans and wildlife can coexist together. A world where wildlife is not at the expense of human activity. Sustainability should not just be a trend, it should be a lifestyle people adapt to. It should be prioritized.

As for making sustainability trendy? This event is up to the challenge. 

The evening features themed cocktails, fashion design inspired by elephants and rainforests, holiday pop-up shops, keynotes with jungle-dwelling Fashion for Conservation co-founder and Hoja Nueva president Samantha Zwicker, chocolate tastings, and even chair massages! 

FFC recently presented the Elephantasia line in London Fashion Week, so expect to witness some of the beauty of this collection once again at the event...

Mark your calendars for this exclusive event with Fashion for Conservation (FFC) taking place on Giving Tuesday, November 28th @ Axis Pioneer Square Seattle. 

from 35.00
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CONSERVATION: Meet our incredible keynote speakers! Ray Victurine, Business Director at the Wildlife Conservation Society, President of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, Wei Ying Wong, PhD, Vice President of Education at the Woodland Park Zoo, and Samantha Zwicker, PhD, Executive Director at Hoja Nueva and Co-Founder at Fashion for Conservation

CHOCOLATE: We are very happy to announce Endangered Species Chocolate as one of our sponsors for our goodie bags for VIP guests at Cocktails for Conservation. 

Endangered Species Chocolate, the makers of the country’s top rated non-GMO and Fair Trade chocolate indulgences, does more than make delicious treats. Their 10% Give Back program has been able to provide nearly $1.4 million to their conservation partners over the past three years. Currently partnering with Wildlife Conservation Network and Rainforest Trust, ESC will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2018, and have begun work to broaden their reach and efforts to support each of these great organizations through crafting premium chocolate.

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Indi Chocolates Seattle is also making bean to bar chocolate using the FIRST EVER cacao beans sustainably grown at Hoja Nueva. Complimentary chocolate made fresh on-site with Hoja Nueva cacao will be for everyone's enjoyment. 

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FASHION: Remember Fashion for Conservation's last event in Seattle? Together with your support, Hoja Nueva accomplished the following:

- protected an extra 150 acres of land for conservation
- contributed to the construction of Hoja Nueva's eco-lodge and research center
- planted 2000 cacao trees to be sustainably grown
- launched program to bring animals from the black market back to the wild
- created waste and water management programs for impoverished communities

Cocktails for Conservation presents both the full Elephantasia show from London Fashion Week and a preview the Seattle Rainforest Gala 2018! Hoja Nueva executive director, Samantha Zwicker will also share the full circle impact of last year's event, and goals for 2018. 

ENTERTAINMENT: For the entertainment, in addition to rainforest and elephant themed fashion we are thrilled to have J-NASTY, (Janice Ibarra). Janice is an emerging DJ, stylist, yoga teacher, and co-founder of Women.Weed.WiFi, which is an art collective-movement. Janice feels a strong connection with nature that she harnesses for her activities and lifestyle. The rainforest has taught her awareness. There’s a necessity for growth and change that we are responsible for initiating, and Janice loves to participate in events that get her involved with this change.

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COCKTAILS AND DRINKS: The Seattle Herbalist will be crafting two specialty cocktails with 7 Par Vodka: one will be a floral infusion of rose, lavender, hawthorne, and citrus, and another with root-bitters and cacao. There will also be local organic hard cider by Finn River Farms. 

The Fashion for Conservation team hopes to see you on November 28th!!

XOXO, Kelly

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MEET FFC'S NEWEST BLOGGER
 @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.

Fashion For Conservation's Behind the Scenes: The London Edition

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker
@k_stateofmind

London was a whirlwind of fashion. The outfit changes, hair and makeup, the attention to detail. It was all build up to the Elephantasia line walking down the runway at the Fashion Scout venue. An ecofashion line within an industry that is primarily driven by money, Elephantasia represents a brighter future for the relationship between fashion and conservation. And the FFC team was in London for that representation.

In addition to the actual show day, the FFC team went to other venues, some with fresher jet lag than others. We witnessed the unique work of other designers with truly original vision.

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

The FFC team was still arriving in groups on various flights. The team that had arrived in London thus far made a cheers to the months of coordinating and planning and social media preparation prior to this trip.

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker   Pictured: Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Laura Choi (Campaign Director), Ronee Collins (Special Events Producer), Jason Pillay (Stylist), Kelly Zwicker (Lead Blogger), Samantha Zwicker (Sustainability Director)

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Pictured: Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Laura Choi (Campaign Director), Ronee Collins (Special Events Producer), Jason Pillay (Stylist), Kelly Zwicker (Lead Blogger), Samantha Zwicker (Sustainability Director)

We have such a diverse team of creative individuals, from different cities and backgrounds. We all have our individual creative strengths. Coming together in London was a special treat for us to celebrate what FFC has accomplished so far. 

The day of the show was, of course, ten million things happening at once. It was a rush. As FFC's blogger I captured the moments going up to the show, and the Fashion Scout venue was lovely. 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

We started the show with a musical performance by guest musician Anthar Kharana, setting a specific mood for the audience. 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker   Pictured: Anthar Kharana 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Pictured: Anthar Kharana 

As for the show's runway pictures, a full recap of the entire line can be found on the Fashion For Conservation blog, however, here are some of my snapshots captured at the venue. 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker  Pictured: Nazy Alvarez (Creative Director), Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Anthar Kharana (Guest Musician), Samantha Zwicker (Conservation Director)

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Pictured: Nazy Alvarez (Creative Director), Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Anthar Kharana (Guest Musician), Samantha Zwicker (Conservation Director)

London Fashion Week was a great experience for the FFC team, and it is the one of many events we will promote not just fashion, but conservation as well, and it's future in this amazing industry. 


FFC Headshot.jpg

MEET FFC'S NEWEST BLOGGER
 @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.

Stylist Feature: The Brand and Career of Lisa Vann

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker  

This week we recognize a dedicated and essential contributor to the Fashion for Conservation team, Lisa Vann. Lisa originally joined Seattle's Marketplace Salon in 1987, and she's been a staple in Seattle's hair and beauty community ever since. For almost 30 years, Lisa has been developing her brand and constantly collaborating with other talented artists. 

Vann Edge, located on 1st avenue in Downtown Seattle, is currently directed by Lisa, being one of Aveda's key educators. Aveda is an environmentally conscious hair and skincare brand that is based on the concept of holistic beauty. When asked about the quality and integrity of Aveda as a brand, Lisa touched on how the production and sourcing of ingredients set a high professional standard in the industry. "Aveda uses natural organic pure plant and flower ingredients in the product" she says, "maximizing performance and carrying an amazing aroma."

Lisa has built a strong client base, and has even travelled the world as an Aveda educator and international editorial stylist. Lisa is dedicated to supporting both domestic and International fashion weeks. She also attends "Style Night" with local Seattle lifestyle magazine Ville Magazine, gains recognition through Northwest hairstyling awards, and organizes and orchestrates tutorials for upcoming generations of hairstylists across the U.S and Canada. She continues to collaborate with hair industry and fashion magazines, industry trade shows, and additional local industry leads that come her way. 

Designer: Shriti Pratap  Stylist: Lisa Vann  Photographer: James Cheng

Designer: Shriti Pratap

Stylist: Lisa Vann

Photographer: James Cheng

Stylist: Lisa Vann  Photographer: James Cheng

Stylist: Lisa Vann

Photographer: James Cheng

Designer: Shriti Pratap  Stylist: Lisa Vann  Photographer: James Cheng

Designer: Shriti Pratap

Stylist: Lisa Vann

Photographer: James Cheng

Lisa is very proud of her role and direction with Vann Edge Salon, which she is known for in the downtown Seattle community. The salon's energy and quality customer service keeps her inspired. "We are extremely fashion focused in what we do with our guests" she says.  The salon's mantra is "Every Guest Every time." Vann Edge, being a small avante-garde salon, upholds a sense of fashion forwardness that the Vann Edge team is happy to have their guests experience. Vann Edge consistently hosts and collaborates with editorial shoots for Seattle Fashion Week.

When asked about her Spring and Summer projects, Lisa is elated to see the presence of textured hair down the runway. Lisa comments on how women walking down the runway will have their natural hair featured, and even exaggerated and heightened with products such as Aveda's Texture Tonic.

As far as her longterm partnership with Fashion for Conservation (FFC) and its Elephantasia campaign, it all started with a meeting between Lisa and FFC founder Ava Holmes, in a small coffee shop just to brainstorm ideas. The concept of merging fashion and conservation was initially appealing to Lisa. "Philanthropy through the arts has always been something I love to engage in" she says, "especially if it's to protect these majestic creatures. I am a cause and effect women, I love to see change." Lisa has been drawn to the creative energy of the FFC team ever since. 

Given that Elephantasia will feature in London Fashion Week, Lisa has her vision for fashion and conservation in the future. "My vision would be that this is a platform to continue to bring awareness to my industry"  Lisa claims, "So much of the fashion industry is based off labels and profit, whereas Elephantasia could be the face of sustainability within the industry."

Lisa feels a certain responsibility within the fashion community to promote not only her team and Aveda's products, but the cause for conservation as a greater picture. She wants to stand for conservation through her efforts within the industry, because sustainable fashion could have an amazing future. The more that hairstylists, designers, models, and any individuals in this industry get involved and promote this branch of fashion, the more opportunity it has to succeed. 

We look forward to upcoming projects with Lisa Vann and so many other individuals to make Fashion For Conservation prosper within the Fashion world, and continue spreading crucial awareness. 


Lisa Vann:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lisavanntexture/

Vann Edge Salon: http://www.vannedge.com/meet-the-team

 

 

 

Influencer Acknowledgements: Online Contributors to Fashion for Conservation

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker 

This week we are recognizing the creative influencers that have helped spread the word about Fashion for Conservation's efforts and events. 

Diana Horsfall, a social media content influencer, has been blogging about street style fashion on her personal blog, as well as being an administrator for IFBK Seoul (International Fashion Bloggers in Korea). She also takes on the roles of editor-in-chief and creative director. Diana now resides in Northern California, where she plans to work her way into the fashion industry and be both a designer and showroom owner.

Diana wrote a lovely post about our efforts to help elephants a on an international scale. She always wants to get involved in partnerships that inspire good, and believes that animals are often at the expense of humans, and there needs to be more education as to how we can support conservation. 

Pictured: Diana Horsfall

Pictured: Diana Horsfall

Kaila Yu runs Nylon Pink TV, a travel and lifestyle magazine. She writes about amazing destinations around the world and about the incredible cultures that she encounters. Nylon Pink TV also touches upon the topics of women empowerment and beauty. Kaila wrote a piece about Fashion for Conservation's aim to stop the selling of elephant ivory, with the help of more widespread and international coverage from partnerships with the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and Vogue. 

Kaila is passionate about spreading awareness of the current issue of elephants possibly becoming instinct. She encourages the new generation to be more aware of the ivory market and that it us our responsibility to protect them from this fate. 

Pictured: Kaila Yu

Pictured: Kaila Yu

Olivia Fleming, known for her elegant blog The Indie Girl, is very passionate about promoting female strength, ever since her traumatic brain injury in 2015. Both businesswoman and entrepreneur, Olivia has a timeless style and brings a modern contribution to social media with her eye for detail. Her mantra being "fashionably fearless," Olivia's bright spirit comes through her style posts and editorials. Olivia made an excellent point about fashion having the ability to "pollute or progress" our modern lifestyles, in her blog post featuring Fashion for Conservation's Elephantasia campaign. 

Olivia's blog piece on Elephantasia is insightful due to her insistence that the fashion industry, as vast and as influential as it is, be more ethical and environmentally conscious. She makes the claim that so many companies, actually the heavy majority, focus on the net worth, employment, and simply the money as first priority. With Olivia's outlook, imagine if the heavy majority of fashion companies eventually shifted to being environmentally conscious and sustainable. 

Pictured: Olivia Fleming 

Pictured: Olivia Fleming 

Special thanks to Sushmitha Gururaj, Samantha Hunter, Kreshma Nair, and Autumn Whewell for the features posted on their Instagram pages promoting the efforts of Fashion for Conservation.

Along with her background in biology, Sushmitha has her own fashion and lifestyle blog dedicated to her daily life, style, and travels. She is inspired by her early travel memories visiting the Pinnawala elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka. It deeply saddened her that the elephants had experienced such cruelty prior to the safety of the orphanage. That experience has made her that much more involved in participating in concepts such as sustainable fashion. 

Pictured: Sushmitha Gururaj

Pictured: Sushmitha Gururaj

Samantha is a fitness fashion guru promoting health and wellness. Based out of San Diego, Samantha promotes fitness fashion and incorporates a healthy living lifestyle in to her daily life. 

Pictured: Samantha Hunter 

Pictured: Samantha Hunter 

Kreshma Nair is a stylist and consultant, and currently has a style blog on all things fashion. She wrote a heartfelt shoutout on her Instagram spreading awareness regarding the slaughter of elephants, and promoting education to fight for the survival of the elephant family. 

The fact that approximately 35,000 elephants are killed each year is very heard on Kreshma's heart. She is very inspired and supportive of Elephantasia bringing conservation to couture, and has encouraged her followers to spread awareness of the cause as well. 

Pictured: Kreshma Nair 

Pictured: Kreshma Nair 

Autumn Whewell is an MBA student as well as style blogger. She is an advocate for female empowerment through personal style. She writes product reviews, event coverage, and even discusses travel advice with her readers. She is a fan of the modern female fashion look, with an edge. Autumn posted a photo done by James Cheng for a peek into Elephantasia's upcoming appearance in London Fashion Week SS18. 

Autumn encourages the Elephantasia line being produced from plant-based dyes, organic cotton, and recycled materials. Autumn is a very passionate animal lover and notes that her family is making the switch to veganism. She is now much more conscious of not wearing animal products in her fashion and going for cruelty free options. Her collaboration with Fashion for Conservation could not have come at a more applicable time in her life. 

Pictured: Autumn Whewell 

Pictured: Autumn Whewell 

Contributor information/social media:

Diana Horsfall:

Website feature:   

http://www.queenhorsfall.com/2017/06/safe-elephants-elephantasia-exhibition.html

Instagram: @queenhorsfall

Kaila Yu:

Website feature: 

http://www.nylonpink.tv/elephantasia-can-save-african-elephants/

Instagram: @kailayu

Olivia Fleming:

Website feature: 

http://theindiegirl.com/indiegirlblog/fashion-for-conservation-elephantasia

Instagram: @theindiegirlblog

Sushmitha Gururaj

Instagram: @missminussized

Samantha Hunter

Instagram: @sam.hunter.sd

 Kreshma Nair

Instagram: @melangefundaes

 Autumn Whewell

Website feature: https://autumnwhewell.com/fashion-for-conservation-elephantasia-lfw-ss18/ 

Instagram: @autumnwhewell

 

 

 

Photographer Feature: Gowri Varanashi

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker 

Hi everyone, 

This week we are celebrating another international photographer with a passion for capturing the beautiful elephant family. Her name is Gowri Varanashi. Gowri is based out of Bangalore, India, and she is an avid adventurer and environmentalist. 

Gowri's love of photography began when she would borrow her father's Pentax film camera as a young girl. She would take it on school trips and practice her photography skills, and her father would mentor her on how to improve. Photography allows Gowri to share what she sees through her lens with other people, which she loves to do because she is able to increase public awareness of the wildlife she photographs. "In the conservation field, this is even more important" she says, "because those of us that work in the field, on the front lines of these issues, need to be able to show the world what is happening to these species and ecosystems and cultures." Gowri finds photography to be a powerful way of communicating, or in other words, meaningful visual storytelling. 

Pictured: Paul Rosolie , PC: Gowri Varanashi

Pictured: Paul Rosolie , PC: Gowri Varanashi

PC: Gowri Varanashi

PC: Gowri Varanashi

A major theme of Gowri's biography is her desire to adventure. Gowri feels a constant pull to adventure at all times, and claims it brings her out to nature and the outdoors more frequently. "It’s what awakens me from the monotony of everyday life, which enables me to have a happy, healthy state of mind," she says. Gowri has learned from her adventures, and through the lens, that there is always more to learn about the world and the beautiful creatures it holds. 

Speaking of those creatures, one of Gowri's fondest memories is of an amusing interaction she had with an elephant. She and her husband were with a forest ranger in one of India's national parks when the ranger spotted an elephant. The elephant was in fact right next to them on the dirt road, completely silent and stopped in its tracks. "We realized the elephant was in fact right next to us off the road," Gowri recalls, "mostly hidden by bushes but a large patch of its grey, wrinkled skin was visible in the center. I can never forget it." It was a waiting game of who was going to move first, but Gowri and her husband were loving just being in the elephant's presence. 

Gowri likes to consistently photograph Indian elephants. "As a photographer, an elephant is captivating because it’s like shooting a mountain range" she says, "a sentient landscape." A major reason Gowri feels closer to this particular species is because she was raised in India. She grew up witnessing their place in the wild, chewing vegetation and moving seeds through the ecosystem. They are such pillars to the growth of ecosystems, practically builders of the forests in Africa and India, keystone species that protect and enhance wildlife habitat. 

PC: Gowri Varanashi

PC: Gowri Varanashi

The initiative to combine fashion and conservation is exciting for Gowri, given her past feelings of how fashion has taken advantage of wildlife in a negative way. "Black caiman (an important Amazonian apex-predator) almost became extinct because of the demand for their hides in the 50’s and 60’s" she recalls, "Then of course there is the ongoing battle with fur products and black markets." There has definitely been animal abuse in the fashion industry in the past, and sustainable practices are essential to not repeat history. 

"To bring conservation and fashion together is really unique because it’s a very unexpected partnership" Gowri says, "and it continues the super-sheik tradition that Peter Beard started a few decades ago." 

Gowri recognizes the global need to keep elephants walking this earth, as well as their sentience. Elephants are indeed incredibly intelligent and emotionally driven. "They are also the largest terrestrial species on our planet" she adds, "I can't imagine a world without elephants."

When Gowri was asked what she wants to see most in the animal conservation movement, she wants people to stop creating such a bold separation between humans and nature. People do not often accept that animals are highly intelligent. Gowri recited a quote from Einstein: "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree….” This quote is a powerful message to humans. We need to understand that we do not have a right over other animal species. They walk this earth with as much purpose as we do, just in a completely different way. 

PC: Gowri Varanashi

PC: Gowri Varanashi

And we shouldn't have to. With more individuals like Gowri to spread awareness and outwardly promote the importance and beauty of the elephant family, we have strength in numbers to not let these creatures be led to extinction. We must not have a limited mindset; we must create empathy and protect other species because each one is inherently valuable.

For more updates on future features and the efforts of Fashion for Conservation, please follow along with our blog here, as well as on our social media accounts and Facebook page! Merchandise purchases to support the cause and our current campaign Elephantasia are available on our website as well. 

Thanks for reading! xx

Gowri's pages and information:
Instagram: @gowrivaranashi and @gowri_varanashi
Staff bio for Tamandua Expeditions: https://tamanduajungle.com/gowri-varanashi/

Cheers,
The Fashion for Conservation Team

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Fashion for Conservation: Checking in from Ibiza

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker 

Hello everyone, 

Fashion for Conservation (FFC) is currently abroad in Ibiza, where the talent and designs are hitting the runway in an exotic and special location! This is the official start of Elephantasia´s European tour and FFC's initiative to grow internationally in further supporting conservation.

The FFC team has checked into Atzaro Agrotourismo, just a few days before the runway will be live with excitement. We are happy to share this beautiful location and a sneak peak of the designs that will featured here in less than 24 hours.

The European tour will be 7 locations, Ibiza being the first destination. A global tour is FFC's way of claiming a spot in the world of fashion, catering to sustainable fashion and the continuous education of animal conservation. 

The Atzaro proves to be a premium spot for runway preparation, during the 2017 Atzaro Fashion Festival. Atzaro is a luxurious meeting place for creatives, artists, designers, and friends to gather and appreciate the unique mixing of the island´s classic bohemian style with cutting edge high-fashion being showcased by designers like the legenday Pam Hog and those in Elephantasia showcase. Check out a full lineup on the Atzaro website's events section here.

Ibiza is a beautiful destination. Here are sneak peaks of the venue and excitement, shared from @Fashionforconservation Instagram.

Atzaro Restaurante where guests will enjoy a specialty Island dinner before taking their seats.

Atzaro Restaurante where guests will enjoy a specialty Island dinner before taking their seats.

Atzaro Spa which is being transformed into a open air market place and catwalk area.

Atzaro Spa which is being transformed into a open air market place and catwalk area.

The FFC team, including co-founder Ava Holmes and Elephantasia designers Gabriela Rose, Gypsetgirl and others, is preparing for the runway with fittings and final touches. Behind the scenes captures some of our beautiful elephant inspired pieces:

Shriti Pratap (India)

Shriti Pratap (India)

Phrophetik (US) 

Phrophetik (US) 

Stay tuned for the results of Elephantasia's first appearance in the Ibiza Fashion Festival, and more upcoming sneak peaks and behind the scenes of the rest of the European tour! 

Special thanks to The Indi Girl, Nylon Pink TV and Diana Horsfall for the mentions of the Elephantasia campain and initiative, the respective links are below:

TheIndiegirl.com/indiegirlblog/fashion-for-conservation-elephantasia

Nylonpink.tv/elephantasia-can-save-african-elephants

Queenhorsfall.com/2017/06/safe-elephants-elephantasia-exhibition.html?m=1

Designers in the Ibiza fashion show: 

C.Nicol, Ivory Ella, Vismaya Collection, Prophetik, Gabriela Rose, Meredith Allen, The Autonomous Collection, Rachel Allan, Shriti Pratap, Ruke, Zefryas, Gypset, and Ashanti Renee.

We always love to have more influencers and supporters on board to raise elephant awareness and be a part of the magic behind sustainable fashion. Get in touch!

Cheers, 

The FFC team 

 

Behind the Scenes: Vann Edge Salon

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker 

Hello all,

Behind the scenes moments give the best glimpses of raw talent and passion behind the work of Fashion for Conservation (FFC)'s members and contributors. A recent BTS editorial shoot was at Vann Edge in downtown Seattle, to showcase pieces of the upcoming Elephantasia collection in London Fashion week.

Model: Hanna 

Model: Hanna 

The featured jewelry is from Ashanti Reneé Boutique, made out of complete sustainable and eco-friendly materials. The pieces are full of vibrant color and great potential for movement in photos. Accents of nature are clearly shown in the various necklaces and bright bangles. Ashanti Renee Boutique was founded 10 years ago, originally displaying products for local events and pop-up shops, but is now live online for global purchases. Merchandise and jewelry from the boutique feature African inspirations, making the line special in its cultural aesthetic. 

While I was taking behind the scenes photos of the wonderful chaos, talented photographer James Cheng was the on set photographer, Lisa Vann from Vann Edge for hair styling, and Bek Harvey for makeup. 

Lots of time and energy goes into getting the ideal shots to showcase collections, and lighting is crucial. The indoor space next to Vann Edge salon made for great lighting and natural shadows, which I played with for some headshots of Fashion For Conservation's founder Ava Holmes, wearing a beautiful piece from Ashanti Reneé Boutique. 

The outfits I was present for are below, each demonstrating lovely textures and accents of the elephant species, all designed by Free.Mind. 

It was inspiring to see the team in action, pictured below are Ava Holmes, hair stylist Lisa Vann, and photographer James Cheng. 

Pictured: FFC founder Ava Holmes, hair stylist Lisa Vann, and photographer James Cheng. 

Pictured: FFC founder Ava Holmes, hair stylist Lisa Vann, and photographer James Cheng. 

Stay tuned for another BTS experience with FFC and the talented individuals that make this all happen. Follow our blog here on the FFC website for more updates, as well as our social media for Fashion For Conservation and Elephantasia. 

Featured individuals' sites and profiles: 

Photographer: James Cheng @jameschengphoto 

Producer: Ava Holmes @ava.j.holmes 

Creative Director: Nazy Alvarez (not present)

Model: Hanna @_myfriendhanna

Hair: Lisa Vann @lisavanntexture

Makeup: Bek Harvey @bek.harvey

Jewelry: Ashanti Renee Boutique @ashanti_renee_boutique 

Design: Elephantasia by Free.Mind

And our Instagram accounts are @fashionforconservation and @elephantasia2017


Thank you for reading! 

-Kelly 

 

NO VOICE: A Campaign for Elephant Rights

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker 

As part of the Elephantasia initiative, Fashion for Conservation (FFC) has partnered with talented designers Oscar Abbots and Riccardo Ceretti to produce the NO VOICE campaign. The campaign and related merchandise is to inspire the idea of giving elephants a voice. 

Why Elephants? 

For statistics, every 15 minutes an elephant is killed for its ivory. This is approximately 35,000 elephants each year. There is now a global poaching crisis that can be improved with awareness, education, and passion from the unity of elephant-lovers. Teaming up with leading forces in the fashion industry, not to mention continuously creating ways to get involved and promote the love for elephants, will better their future chances of survival. So, why elephants? Because they need us. They need us  to give them a voice.   

In the world of fashion, elephants even represent a global community. They are symbols of Africa, India, and Asia due to their origins. They are often symbolic of spirituality and yoga rituals. They have been present in our everyday world more than we often think. 

 

Elephants are remarkably intelligent and expressive. They are said to have amazing emotional intelligence as well, and actually mourn their dead very deeply just as humans do. Mother elephants are fiercely loyal to their calves. The idea of family is not lost to an elephant. 

Elephants are absolutely crucial in our ecosystem. They dig pools of water with their massive build that other animals need for survival. They are also gardeners of the earth, spreading seeds along lengthy routes that grow new plant life. In Central Africa specifically, the tropical rainforest ecosystem the elephants help structure is crucial to the development and progression of current climate change. 

This is the real world of environmental issues, and elephants are a helping hand to aid our fight against negative climate turns. They should be considered an ally, not a means to an end for their ivory. 

Imagine if we gave elephants more of a representation in the fashion world. To mimick their gentle colors and the textures of their skin, and created beautiful pieces that not only unite people together in common fashion interests, but also people and the need to support struggling wildlife. The more creativity we can put into sustainability and wildlife efforts, the more responsive an audience will be. 

There are many things that can divide humans, and elephants are a species that can unite us in our passion for coexistence and care for all species. Will you join the fight for elephants? Visit our site and see our online merchandise for NO VOICE, and check for regular updates on our upcoming events on the blog, campaign info, and social media accounts for Elephantasia and Fashion for Conservation.

Model: FFC Co-Founder Samantha Zwicker wearing a NO VOICE pullover 

Model: FFC Co-Founder Samantha Zwicker wearing a NO VOICE pullover 

Model: FFC Lead Blogger Kelly Zwicker 

Model: FFC Lead Blogger Kelly Zwicker 

Models: Co-Founder Samantha Zwicker and Lead Blogger Kelly Zwicker 

Models: Co-Founder Samantha Zwicker and Lead Blogger Kelly Zwicker 

Even purchasing merchandise for NO VOICE is one step closer to giving elephants a better future. Do your part and raise awareness of the beauty and necessity of the elephant species. 
All the best, xx

-Kelly

Introducing Fashion for Conservation

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker

Fashion for Conservation (FFC) is just the combination Seattle culture needed. Combining a love for animal rights and conservation with the innovative eye of fashion is so unique, as is the FFC team. Everyone dedicates time and effort into making the company what it is today, and everyone has a role. The talent and motivations of all teams within FFC strive to play to their strengths and constantly support each other to reach new milestones.

Pictured: Director of Bilingual Affairs Cayetana San Segundo, Marketing Director Vilté Rooney, Co-Founder Ava J Holmes

Pictured: Director of Bilingual Affairs Cayetana San Segundo, Marketing Director Vilté Rooney, Co-Founder Ava J Holmes

Pictured: A handful of the dedicated members of the FFC team 

Pictured: A handful of the dedicated members of the FFC team 

Ava J. Holmes, the founder of FFC, believes in bridging the gap between the industries of conservation and fashion. “Fashion for Conservation to me is where creativity meets conservation,” she explains,  “It is a family of people from many diverse, even eclectic backgrounds contributing their unique experience in raising awareness and funds for meaningful causes.”

Pictured: Co-founder Ava J Holmes and Creative Director Nazy Alvarez. PC: Fashion Lab

Pictured: Co-founder Ava J Holmes and Creative Director Nazy Alvarez. PC: Fashion Lab

The Fashion for Conservation team has hopes of obtaining a physical presence in 6 countries by the end of 2017. The current events have been hosted in the United States, United Kingdom, and British Columbia. 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 be a staple in the future, and will become a well-known concept to much more expanded audience.

Pictured: Runway to Peru fashion show. Represents the future global expansion of FFC influence. 

Pictured: Runway to Peru fashion show. Represents the future global expansion of FFC influence. 

Pictured: Members of the FFC team strategizing behind the scenes of Runway to Peru.

Pictured: Members of the FFC team strategizing behind the scenes of Runway to Peru.

Current ways to stay updated with FFC efforts and events is through our blog and social media, encouraging individuals to attend global events, shop the wildlife inspired online store, or make direct donations.

Pictured: Co-Founder Samantha Zwicker in a No Voice hoodie, available online at fashionforconservation.com

Pictured: Co-Founder Samantha Zwicker in a No Voice hoodie, available online at fashionforconservation.com

Raising conservation awareness in itself is not an easy task, for this combination of industries is also educational for those less aware of animal welfare 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 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 non-profit 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.”

Elepose1.jpg

The actual fashion behind the eco-fashion shows are not as literal as one may think. Instead, pieces represent the idea of animals through colors and textures. Elephantasia, for instance, is a current campaign of FFC’s in 2017. A portion of sales go to the conservation of elephants and the quality of elephant sanctuaries. Elephantasia will be promoted on FFC’s upcoming European tour, complete with fashion shows to showcase the elephant inspired apparel. Elephantasia will be hitting the runways of Europe as soon as July 18th at  Ibiza Fashion Week and ending with a bang at London Fashion Week SS18.

The striking beauty and innocence of animals shows through the creativity of designers’ pieces, furthering the stance to preserve wildlife worldwide. Vilté Rooney, founder of Baltic Creative 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.”

FFC brings awareness to the importance of wildlife conservation.

FFC brings awareness to the importance of wildlife conservation.

Overall, Fashion for Conservation will grow and evolve in the Seattle community as well as globally through increased engagement and people believing in the cause. With a determined team working together to bring out inspiring content and increased awareness of animal conservation, FFC will become an essential piece to the fashion industry.