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Filtering by Tag: savetheelephants

ELEPHANTASIA: FASHION FIGHTS FOR ELEPHANTS X FASHION SCOUT SS18 INTERVIEW

Rachel Hester

We are excited to share this new interview with the founding team of FFC, conducted by our LFW SS18 venue partner for Elephantasia, Fashion Scout London.

" Activist fashion design group Fashion For Conservation present Elephantasia, a unique group that combines rights and conservation for animals with the fashion industry. Elephantasia creates unique couture interpretations of the elephant, bringing awareness to our LFW audience on the extremity of the poaching crisis. 

With the heartbreaking fact that 96 elephants are killed each day for their ivory, FFC wants to send vital messages to  Fashion Scout attendees about how important individual consumer choices matter to our world. We are intrigued by the concepts behind Elephantasia, and wanted to have a chat with the FFC team to find out more about their unique, artistic conservational project. 

 
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HOW DID YOU GET INTO DESIGN?

Elephantasia showcases 24 designers from 24 unique countries around the globe. Each have their own history of why they became a designer and what inspired them to be a part of this campaign. Find out here.  

As for how design became a part of our mission here at Fashion for Conservation (FFC), we suppose it was the world from which “one and a half” of our founders come…Nazanine Afshar is a creative director for major publications such as Vogue, Italian Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Allure; Samantha Zwicker is a wildlife conservationist and executive director at the Peruvian Amazon based non-profit Hoja Nueva; and finally Ava J. Holmes, connecting both industries as a former producer for fashion weeks worldwide, wildlife enthusiast and current reality TV show wilderness survivalist with Discovery Channel.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR CLOTHING?

"Today, it is not enough to just create pretty fashion campaigns and couture collections. As advocates of the arts, we have the responsibility to use the power of fashion branding and the available media outlets to spread important messages and to promote causes around the world that have a direct effect on the future of our planet!

Today, our message is preservation and protection of one of the most beautiful animals in the world: the majestic and beautiful elephant! Why? Because they are crucial to the health of our global ecosystem and the survival of our planet. 

On behalf of all my colleagues at the FFC, I wish to express how delighted we are to be present at London Fashion Week 2017." - Nazanine Afshar, Creative Director and Co-Founder

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DO YOU THINK THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS CHANGING AT THE MOMENT?

Yes. The industry is always changing it’s just that we now have to be more careful than ever as to how we allow change to happen. We see retail giants adopting fast fashion more and more into our culture which is not only wiping out the support for independent designers but wiping out entire species of wildlife on earth. Today, according to the IUCN REDLIST “nearly one-third of species are globally threatened or extinct.” Fashion is largely to blame. That is why we are here to help steer the industry towards being a part of the solution to its own problem. As participants—if you wear clothes at all—this is in fact all of our problem. 

HOW DO YOU THINK THAT LONDON FASHION WEEK IS DIFFERENT TO OTHER FASHION WEEKS AROUND THE WORLD?

It’s a hub of people passionate about innovation, a perfect petri dish for what we are trying to do here bridging the gap (or perhaps in a new way “minding” the gap) between fashion and each of our responsibility today to protect wildlife and the environment.  

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WHAT DO YOU HOPE FOR IN THE FUTURE?

“A world where every designer, every creative, and every creature like you and I that get to walk on this planet actually look out for each-other. The time to invest in the conservation of our shared home on earth—with our collective talent and individual fashion choice (buying from brands that also invest in conservation and sustainability)—is now. The urgency of conserving the earth now goes beyond cultural and wildlife preservation. Its basic human survival."  - Ava, Executive Producer and Co-Founder

FFC Elephantasia’s emphasis on encouraging ethical tourism and entertainment is only a small fraction of why they are working closely to make changes to the fashion industry; which has a direct impact on our planets future. Fast fashion is proving to be wiping out endangered species, minimalizing the beauty and culture we get to share globally. 

Elephants, being one of the most ancient animals to live, and being a huge part of African and Asian culture, it is crucial to share the growing importance of sustainability and using alternatives that save the world. 

Words by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins & Amber Whitaker 

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Ibiza Recap: Opening Night of Elephantasia at Atzaro Fashion Festival

Rachel Hester

By Melissa Hills (GYPSETGIRL)
Photo Credit: La Skimal & David Corral

Elephant conservation has always been near and dear to my heart. How could it not be? These majestic and intelligent creatures are so special and nurturing and a lot like human beings. More like humans than most understand. Did you know that elephants have memories like human beings? Elephants actually visit the graves of their dead family members just like humans do. They remember the happy experiences, as well the heartbreaking tragedies they endure. Like for example the witnessing of the slaughter of their herd/family members for their tusks by greedy poachers. These beautiful giants carry these haunting and brutal memories with them for a lifetime. It is a tragedy that any living creature would be subjected to this. Did you know that if it isn't stopped now, elephants will be extinct in our lifetime? This fact is crushing to me. 

So when Fashion for Conservation invited me to create a dress for Elephantasia and for my brand GYPSETGIRL to join them in their crusade to spread awareness and raise money for elephant conservation, I jumped at the chance.

Elephantasia Design by Mellissa Hillas, blogger and designer behind GYPSETGIRL

Elephantasia Design by Mellissa Hillas, blogger and designer behind GYPSETGIRL

The launch of this seasons Elephantasia showcase was in Ibiza on July 18th at the Atzaró Fashion Festival 2017. It was a magical evening, full of uber bohemian style, a fabulous fashion show, pop-up-shops and most importantly recognition of the plight of African elephants.

Elephantasia design by Shriti Pratap

Elephantasia design by Shriti Pratap

There's so much to share, I don't even know where to start! The night began with the arrival of the 2000 breathtaking international glitterati that some like myself, came all the way to Ibiza just for this extraordinary event. The cocktails flowed as people walked and danced around the property exploring the amazing food to sample and the boho-luxe wares each vendor had to offer their enthusiastic buyers.

As the sun set, drawing a kaleidoscope of pink and orange in the sky the show began to the sound of a flute with what seemed like pixies coming from out of a forest. I was soon to discover that these "pixies' are some of the gorgeous members of the internationally known World Family Ibiza. A nomadic group of glamorous gypsies who travel the world to design and sell their incredible fashion collections (I couldn't resist taking a few of their colorful and luxurious pieces back home with me.).

As the World Family Ibiza members left the runway, their designs soon followed in colors and textures that took my breath away!

The most amazing part of the show for me of course, was seeing all of the mega-talented designers looks that were all elephant inspired for Elephantasia. They were very unique in style, striking and exceptional in their own right. I truly can say that as I watched each look come down the runway, I really loved how through fabric and design each piece embraced the spirit of the African elephant in such an artistic way.

Elephantasia Design by FREE MIND

Elephantasia Design by FREE MIND

Elephantasia Design by Autonomous Collection

Elephantasia Design by Autonomous Collection

Look 1, 2. Shriti Pratap
Look 3. Gypset X Vismaya
Look 4. Kromagnon
Look 5. Phrophetik
Look 6. Re.ne(w)
Look 8. Meredith Allen Kelly
Look 9. C. Nicole
Look 10. C. Nicole
Look 11. C. Nicole
Look 12. Free Mind
Look 13. Autonomous
Look 14. IVORY ELLA
Look 15. IVORY ELLA

Fashion for Conservation Co-Founder Ava J. Holmes thanking the audience for an Elephantastic opening night!

Fashion for Conservation Co-Founder Ava J. Holmes thanking the audience for an Elephantastic opening night!

Closing this absolutely fantastic show was the legendary Scottish designer Pam Hogg. Known for her eclectic designs, Hogg has dressed rock stars and celebrities alike, including Blondie, the Cult and Naomi Campbell. Her newest collection did not disappoint any of us expecting to see all of the edgy vibe that drips from her designs.

What an amazing experience the whole evening was! I feel so privileged to have had this opportunity and to be included with so many other designers that I find so inspiring. I hope that you feel inspired as well. We all share this planet together, even though in some cases our countries have borders that are separated by oceans. Nonetheless, we all need the elephants to keep this world turning. African and Asian alike, and they need us to save their lives.

So please do what you can to help support Fashion for Conservation and all the organizations working to prevent extinction and to save all the worlds beautiful and much needed creatures.

WATCH THE VIDEO