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Filtering by Tag: #sustainable

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 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.


Makeup and Hair BTS With Fashion for Conservation

Kelly Zwicker

By Kelly Zwicker 

@k_stateofmind

Hello fashion lovers, 

Fashion for Conservation is sharing some BTS this week on what it's like to be on set with the team, and the fun and intricate details that go into a shoot! 

This past Friday, some of the team came together to shoot two looks for the upcoming Fall collection, so be on the lookout for them to be officially released then. As for now, we're revealing the smaller details. 

Here we have Rick Toth, Seattle based freelance makeup artist, doing the in-between look touches on model Marie Johansen. Rick is a published, award winning makeup artist, and was a nominee for the 2017 Best of Western Washington Makeup Artists. 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker @kellyzphoto

Photography: Kelly Zwicker @kellyzphoto

Photography: Kelly Zwicker @kellyzphoto

Photography: Kelly Zwicker @kellyzphoto

Makeup and hair for the shoot was done in downtown Seattle's Vann Edge Salon, with owner Lisa Vann. Aveda products were used for the hair styling, including the gold detail for the second look. 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker @kellyzphoto

Photography: Kelly Zwicker @kellyzphoto

Lisa Vann was on the set hair stylist, and her feature from FFC can be found here. Lisa has travelled the world as an Aveda educator and international editorial stylist. 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker @kellyzphoto

Photography: Kelly Zwicker @kellyzphoto

At this time, pictures of the two looks in this shoot will not be revealed, but stay tuned for that in Fall! On behalf of FFC, we love sharing our staff and BTS moments with you all. There are a lot of small details that go into shows, shoots, and events that we hold, and so many talented individuals are involved. 

Until next time xx 

 

FFC staff on set: 

Nazanin Alvarez - Creative Director

Lisa Vann- Hair Stylist

Rick Toth: MUA

James Cheng: Photographer 

Marie Johansen: Model 

Kelly Zwicker: BTS photographer/blogger

Vilté Rooney: Production lead 

Monique Ward: Production/ On-set assistant 

Jeia Villacis: Production assistant 

 


FFC's Lead Blogger

Kelly Zwicker 

@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

READ MORE...

 

 

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 

 

Through the Lens: With Chantelle Melzer

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker

This week, the Fashion for Conservation (FFC) team recognizes wildlife photographer Chantelle Melzer. Raised in Zululand, South Africa, Chantelle was always drawn to capturing wildlife in the African bush. Although studying Natural Sciences proved to cater to Chantelle’s desire to be involved in animal research, her other passion is art. Photography gives Chantelle an artistic outlet, while additionally promoting conservation through her images of incredible species.

Chantelle Melzer Photography 

Chantelle Melzer Photography 

Chantelle is constantly inspired by her photography. “It’s the concept of visual storytelling. I love capturing moments in time, fine details, moods and emotions that tell a story. I have always had a fascination and love for art in its many forms, but it is photography which has become the primary medium that allows me to explore and express that passion.”

Photography has indeed become Chantelle’s full-time profession, and it gives her consistent opportunities to fully appreciate what nature and wildlife have to offer. Taking the time to capture precious moments of wildlife provides the unseen beauty of the natural environment that many people do not get to see, or stop to observe. Chantelle aims to educate people on the importance of conservation by inspiring them with her photographs.

Chantelle Melzer Photography 

Chantelle Melzer Photography 

Chantelle’s combined passions of art and wildlife for the greater good is very similar to FFC’s drive to combine fashion and conservation. Elephantasia, the current campaign of FFC, motivated Chantelle to get involved due to elephants being one of her favorite subject matters. She initially made contact with FFC creator Ava Holmes, brainstorming ideas and thinking about potential collaborations. “This introduced me to the concept of Fashion for Conservation,” exclaims Chantelle, “ which really struck a chord with me as I have often thought of how wonderful it would be to bring more conservation-based ethics into the fashion industry, and how conservation projects and initiatives could benefit from the support of the fashion industry.”

Chantelle feels grateful to live in Southern Africa to be in the presence of elephants and witness their amazing traits. Chantelle refers to them as “intelligent, emotive, powerful yet gentle sentient beings,” although the illegal ivory trade casts a dark shadow on the survival of so many elephants even today. Elephantasia, being so centered on helping elephants and their way of live in the wild, immediately struck a chord with Chantelle to participate with her powerful photography.

Chantelle Melzer Photography 

Chantelle Melzer Photography 

In terms of what FFC has to offer, Chantelle views the organization as a dual effort, both promoting the beauty and necessity of wildlife and the natural world, as well as recognizing how to create sustainable fashion within it. “I love the feeling of unity of purpose,” she says, “the passion behind this drive, and the possibilities of what could be achieved.”

Combining the worlds of nature and fashion makes sense due to how much inspiration nature has already given fashion in the past. The current initiative of FFC is to ensure that it is a sustainable combination that in fact re-invests money in conservation in addition to the awareness and appreciation other brands have accomplished. Chantelle fully supports this movement and looks forward to the progress to be made in future events and projects.

As Chantelle also recognizes, the fashion world often comes at the expense of the natural environment. “We do live in a very broken world where priorities of so many have shifted towards keeping up with popular trends,” she admits, “with little or no regard for the negative impacts they might have, rather than actually focusing on preserving the natural habitats around us.” It saddens Chantelle that the fashion industry often has such devastating effects on the environment and the beautiful wildlife she aims to protect.

Chantelle Melzer Photography 

Chantelle Melzer Photography 

Chantelle believes in the FFC initiative to bridge the gap between fashion and conservation and focus individuals’ attention back towards conservation efforts, while still highlighting beautiful creations from featured designers. Currently, Chantelle views FFC as a revolutionary movement.

In terms of FFC going more international, Chantelle also incorporates her support given her residing in South Africa.”It is critical that ideology of FFC is spread rapidly and showcased all over the world,” she exclaims, “ in order to bring about a global shift in mindset and to inspire a trend aimed at supporting conservation through fashion.”

Chantelle Melzer Photography 

Chantelle Melzer Photography 

The FFC team is thrilled to have such a talented and passionate wildlife photographer on board for future projects and for increasing conservation awareness.The images alone that Chantelle has captured speak volumes without having to say anything at all, and that is the beauty of photography as an art form.

For more of Chantelle’s exquisite work, visit her website: chantellemelzer.com

Keep up with our blog for more updates and staff features, as well as our social media accounts!