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FFC x UN Sustainable Development Goals

Melissa Herana

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Welcome to 2019, everybody!

FFC is proud and excited to announce that in the new year, we will be partnering with the United Nations to promote their Sustainable Development Goals - the “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all” !

These 17 interconnected goals have been articulated to address global challenges that face us all and to inspire urgency by setting targets and goals that we want to reach by the year 2030.

Our team at FFC calls on you to join us in the UN’s initiative for all of us, regardless of where we come from, to promote world prosperity while protecting our beautiful planet.

As individuals, it might not seem like we have much power in such a big world, plagued with even bigger problems! We want to assure you that the reality is: we all have a part to play in the solutions that will make our world a better place for everybody.

Check out the UN’s super helpful (and relatable!) “Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World” and learn about the things you can start on today to do your part in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals and help save the planet and all the amazing people in it.

FFC will be right alongside you and countless others all over the world who are taking initiative with the goals in the UN’s Sustainable Development campaign. In the coming weeks/months, we will be highlighting each individual goal in the UN campaign- getting us all to think about ways that we can act and consume responsibly and consciously in our everyday lives. It won’t be easy, but can we all agree that this world is worth it? Let’s get to it!


GOAL 1: No Poverty

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“End poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030”

Currently, 11% of the world’s population live in extreme poverty and are struggling to access basic necessities. These people are living on less than $1.90 per day. If the world doesn’t take action by 2030, 167 million children will live in extreme poverty.

Poverty has many dimensions and while it may not affect those of us who are living comfortable lives, we have an obligation as human beings to help one another. With all of our combined efforts, we can take a step together towards eliminating poverty.

 
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Can we achieve this goal?

Absolutely. Economist Jeffrey Sachs calculated that to end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, it would cost $175 billion per year. This is less than one percent of the combined incomes of the richest countries in the world.


What can you do?

Although poverty is such a big global problem that seems impossible for us individuals to address, we all play a role in helping one another. As individuals, we can use our voices and votes to make a difference! Your active engagement in policy making can make a difference in addressing poverty. Voicing out, sharing your knowledge, and spreading awareness is crucial, but you can also support transformational change in people’s lives and communities with the power of your dollar as a consumer.

As fellow lovers of fashion, FFC wants to remind you of ways that we have a responsibility to the planet and all its people to consume not just eco-consciously, but just as importantly—ethically. This means shopping brands that engage in ethical trade, use sustainably-sourced materials, and pay fair wages to workers who labor in safe environments. In other words: do your research before buying and ensure that you are not feeding into systems that not only degrade the environment, but adversely affect the quality of living for people around the world.

Need some ideas? Check out this article at The Borgen Project to learn about 5 companies in the fashion industry whose work goes toward addressing issues of poverty in the world.


Check out these brands that support fair trade!

We have some suggestions for you! We know it takes time to research new brands, so we want to make your lives a little bit easier! The brands below support ethical and fair trade as well as sustainably-sourced materials. Choosing ethical fashion brands is a great way that we as consumers can make small steps toward ending huge issues like world poverty. Happy shopping!

Komana - https://www.kromagnon.com/

Organic Basics - https://us.organicbasics.com/

Gung Ho Designs - https://www.gung-ho-design.com/

Fashion for Conservation 2018 Highlights!

Melissa Herana

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


London Fashion Week x René Garza and Kalikas Armour

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Elle L, photographed in the cacao fields by @Stoyanovjones

Elle L, photographed in the cacao fields by @Stoyanovjones

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

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

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

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

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

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


Seattle Spring Cocktails for Conservation

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

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

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


Ibiza Summer Presentation at Atzaro

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

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

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

Eki Orleans: https://ekiorleans.com/

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

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


4th Annual Seattle Rainforest Gala

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

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

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

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

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


London Natural History Museum, WFN Hope Gala

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

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

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

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

Here are three ways to join us in 2019:

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

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

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

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Melissa Herana

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

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


Conservation-Inspired Jewelry by Salvari ($20) 

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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Beauty Chocolate Christmas Countdown Calendar by Esthochoc ($20)

Shop: https://www.esthechoc.com


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

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

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“Khanservation” Sweatshirt by Hoja Nueva ($155)

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


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

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1m Pounds Raised for Grassroots Conservation Heroes with WFN

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Thanks to the support from guests and partners, the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) raised one million for conservation, November 14th 2018.

The event kicked off with backstage festivities in preparation for the runway just 4 hours later…

Each look was specially curated in collaboration with AVEDA UK for hair and Attracta Beauty using WELEDA for makeup.

As models and backstage team got ready, treats were provided by BEEBS Energy, Esthechoc, Candy Kittens, Conscious Chocolates, Hippie Peas, Emily’s Crisps and Remedy Teas.


Upon arrival to the iconic London Natural History Museum venue, guests were greeted with champaign before being escorted through the ambient lit “fossil room” where thematic soundtrack by music artist and Fashion for Conservation ambassador, Elle and producer Dan Vinci..

Awaiting at each guests’ table were artisan gifts made in communities local to conservation leaders supported by the Whitley Fund for Nature. FFC tables were also provided slow-beauty gifts from Cohorted and Weleda.

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WFN trustee David Attenborough and Kate Humble hosted a keynote address and later a dialogue on the critical importance and urgency of grassroots conservation along side WFN.


SUSTAINABLE CATWALK BY FASHION FOR CONSERVATION

Deborah Milner opened with a dramatic deep dive into the underworld with her collection inspred by the very coral reefs in the Natural History Museum itself.

”I never imaged how beautiful it would be to see my collection actually presented here.”

Mother of Pearl followed, proving that basics can be both beautifully designed and sustainable. Select pieces were curated specifically for the evening’s auction.


A NOTE ON HOW THIS COLLABORATION CAME TO BE

Ava J Holmes and Elle L first met with Whitley Fund for Nature back in January. In February they announced their collaboration and partnership at a special media event hosted by Elle L at Dr Rita Rakus' in Knightsbridge with key notes from the United Nations. Since then, it has been a process of determining which designers are leading the UK movement on sustainability. Months of preparation came to life this month. Ten months forward from the concept for the sustainable runway show to feature at this year's Hope Gala at Natural History Museum, models gathered in a nearby Knightsbridge penthouse. Mother of Pearl and Deborah Milner were the two designers Elle and Ava felt truly represented sustainable couture with thanks to the consult of Karen Malacarne of British Fashion Council... Amy Powney of Mother of Pearl has gone the extra mile to ensure the lowest carbon footprint from conception to creation, using only organic fibres and challenging the notion of sustainability way beyond just fashion. Deborah Milner has been an advocate of eco-couture since the noughties, with a rich history as head of couture studio for Alexander McQueen and special projects with Aveda. Deborah's designs were originally conceived in the Natural History Museum, drawing her 'Regenerating the Reef' concept from sketches of corals. In the true cyclical nature of creation, Deborah got to showcase her collection at the very place it had first been envisioned in front of an audience of 350 heads of fashion industry including Venetia Scott and top environmentalists, including Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The efforts of the Hope Gala realised the goal of raising £1m for grassroots conservation going to support the work of Whitley Award Winners. 

"Our inspiration to take on this project was two fold. One, the opportunity for Fashion to invest in Conservation like never before and work closely to support raising funds of £1m right from the very root of a Conservation organisation like WFN... Two, we wanted to bridge all our findings from the concrete jungle of couture and bring it back to nature. We chose two designers, Amy Powney and Deborah Milner who are living and breathing the change within the fashion industry, advocating for fashion to become more of a solution to our environmental crisis than ever before. Sustainability is slowing the negative impact but projects like this are making a tangible and immediate difference..." - Elle L for Fashion for Conservation

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Closing Party: Celebrating Fashion for Conservation 2018

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FFC X ELLE L AFTER PARTY: HOSTED AT MAYFAIR’S THE CUCKOO CLUB WITH EMBARGO APP

To celebrate this year’s Whitley Fund for Nature’s [WFN] Hope Gala at Natural History Museum, Elle L and Fashion for Conservation [FFC] hosted an exclusive after party with Embargo at Mayfair’s The Cuckoo Club in Mayfair.

As guests entered their hands were painted with an eco-glitter gold ‘X’ to mark the message: ‘no to extinction’. Designs from FFC’s featured designers, Mother of Pearl and Deborah Milner were showcased to guests. Keynotes were given from Georgina Domburger, director of WFN, co-founders Ava Holmes, Samantha Zwicker and music artist Elle L for Fashion for Conservation. Their joint vision was to advocate the power of each individual to support the greater environment and sustainability. It was announced that the goal of raising £1m for grassroots had been achieved through the partnership and special gala dinner at Natural History Museum.

Delicious canapés were created by Arnaud Stevens, Plate London and drinks were designed by Campari Group, ‘Hope’ a twist on Aperol Spritz and ‘Mother Earth’ and Ondina Gin and No.1 Botanicals were served.

Guests included Whitley Award Winners, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Laura Pradelska, Lara Fraser, Roxy Horner, Louisa Connelly and new music previews were dropped by Elle L with producer, Dan Vinci.

Samples of Esthechoc, Vegan Crooked Beverages, The Lost Explorer and a slow-sustainable beauty edit from Cohorted was gifted to each guest in No.1 Botanicals seed bags to become wildflower’s when put back into the ground.


Images: Jasper Wilkins

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Season Recap: 4th Annual Rainforest Gala and #RainforestRunway

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THANK YOU!!! TO EACH OF YOU WHO JOINED US ON THURSDAY: TOGETHER WE PROTECTED 150 ACRES OF RAINFOREST HABITAT AND SUPPORTED ONGOING CONSERVATION PROJECTS WITH HOJA NUEVA (DETAILS BELOW).

$12,000 will go toward expanding Hoja Nueva's land by 150 acres to protect rainforest habitat for conservation.

$6,000 will support the exciting start of Project ReWild, a program aimed to rehabilitate and reintroduce threatened animals to the wild. Funds will help construct the Khan Memorial Reintroduction Center for future cat species, and support the dwindling populations of macaws using the installation of nests and the rescue of abandoned chicks. 

The rest of the funds raised will go toward ongoing conservation projects such as supporting indigenous women in business, our 5 year transition sustainable cacao program, waste, water and soil management program, and others.

While guests mingled, Deseo Carmin swept across the stage in her gorgeous red dress* filling the air with her wondrously sweet voice along side her entourage of whimsical musicians….

Upon entrance, guests pealed back tropical leaves in search of their table while sipping on bottomless passed champagne & tasting their uniquely customized starter from the Peruvian Ceviche Bar.

What else was on the menu??

First course: customized ceviche made with locally and sustainably sourced fresh caught rockfish courtesy of Pike Place Fish Market.

Second: Chili lime rubbed local Rockfish, cumin chicken or coconut cauliflower over Peruvian style potatoes with tropical slaw.

Sweet Ending: coffee brushed chocolate cake with rum mascarpone cream and almond or compressed melon with mont and olive oil.

*Dress made by Edna Jimenez

Meanwhile…

Backstage models and makeup artists, stylists and designers, performers and producers make their final touches before the show!

Guests were lead deeper into the fashion jungle after dinner, pushing back the leaves of large palms to find a stunning marketplace of international goods and experiences.

Pop-ups included:
Silent Art Auction
Hoja Nueva Store
Indi Chocolates Bean to Bar Tasting
Dom Gomez Live Fashion Illustrations
Tropical Cocktail Bar
Kendra Scott Jewelry

MC Meiko takes center stage to announce what we have all been waiting for…

But first: as the lights dimmed, guests were reminded of why we were all there…here is the mission, vision and passion behind Hoja Nueva.

And finally….the show began! And with an adorable surprise opening: a children’s collection by Polleras de Agus! Following—gorgeous sustainable silk skirts stunned the audience with their bright colors and detailed embroidery. The skirts are hand sewn and embroidered by women in Cusco, Peru in collaboration with founder Griela Parez (her sun “Agus” inspired the brand)

Nature inspired menswear designer Kelly Dawn Riot rocked the runway next.

The show piqued with the majestic show stopping pieces of Kalikas Armour.

More live performances by Deseo Carmin!

Rene Garza’s vibrant 0 waste collection lead guests into the second half of the fashion show. Pieces were completed with jewellery made from recycled shirts and materials in Ayacucho Peru by Beyond Threads.

“The detail of every piece on the runway was unbelievable” - Audience Member

“The detail of every piece on the runway was unbelievable” - Audience Member

Gorgeous designs by local headliner Luly Yang finished the show with a butterfly bang.

And finally…

THANK YOU TO OUR VENUE BLOCK 41, SPONSORS AND TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU WHO GOT LOST IN THE WILD WITH US TONIGHT.

We could not have done it without you.

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Whats next?? Come visit us at Hoja Nueva in 2019!!


Read more in the media:

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

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Questions: why this rainforests in particular?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Who is Hoja Nueva?

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

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

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How can we help? / Get involved?

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

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

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

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:

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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

MOMBASA COLLECTION - A Tribute to Africa by Kleed Kimonos Summer 2018

Kelly Zwicker

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What would the world be like if every brand chose to support an important cause?

At Fashion for Conservation we are dedicated to creating a world where every purchase helps better our planet whether directly funding ecosystem conservation or supporting communities in living in better harmony with nature, and with each other. 

With KLEED joining the movement, we are one step closer to this future of fashion. 

“Africa speaks to me in the most elemental way – I knew on that first trip that I had come home. Here, I live in a state of heightened consciousness, of permanent wonder. Walking barefoot in the rust-red earth; losing myself again, under the star-filled indigo sky. African wildlife is ever-present in my life – it eclipses anything else. Best of all, Africa fires my creativity in terms of prints, patterns, colours and textures. Here, I truly come alive." - Carolina, founder of KLEED

“Africa speaks to me in the most elemental way – I knew on that first trip that I had come home. Here, I live in a state of heightened consciousness, of permanent wonder. Walking barefoot in the rust-red earth; losing myself again, under the star-filled indigo sky. African wildlife is ever-present in my life – it eclipses anything else. Best of all, Africa fires my creativity in terms of prints, patterns, colours and textures. Here, I truly come alive." - Carolina, founder of KLEED

Spring/Summer 2018 KLEED Kimonos "Mombasa Collection' collection unveils a thought provoking collection, which pays tribute to the proud Massai tribe, with vibrant prints, life-blood reds and the bold terracotta colours of Kenya.

The warm, terracotta reds and charcoal browns at the heart of this collection resemble the rolling plains and fiery colours of the Kenyan hills. A new line of ikat kaftans – metal grey and ivory cream – then take us to the sun-kissed beaches and endless vistas of the Indian Ocean.

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As KLEED's founder Carolina Guedes Cruz, explains “Mombasa Collection is the most
African-inspired collection to date. Over the last ten years, great strides have been
made in wildlife preservation. Through KLEED and contribution to wildlife conservation, we have shown we can make a difference and I am proud to have been a part - but there is still so much to do. KLEED has always meant far more than fashion, and from the very beginning, our clients recognized and endorsed us in our commitment. My time in Africa, working in conservation projects, fires my creativity and inspires my designs. Africa is, quite simply, who I am.”

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The KLEED KIMONOS brand was founded in 2016, the brainchild of Carolina Guedes Cruz, a dynamic Portuguese entrepreneur, with two ruling passions in her life: fashion and wildlife conservation in Africa.

For Carolina whose professional experience includes working with renowned luxury brands such as Gucci and Alfred Dunhill, Fashion is an art form that draws inspiration from different cultures; yet its language is universal, and its messages resoundingly clear.

Over fifteen years of volunteer service in conservation projects in Africa, working with several species from elephants to rhinos, convinced Carolina that her contribution to wildlife conservation should combine the two worlds - international fashion and the preservation of African wildlife. Since then, KLEED has become a worldwide brand advocate for the conservation of wildlife in Africa.

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Carolina believes that KLEED has a pivotal role to play, in the international fashion community, for wildlife conservation and the sustainability of our planet. Every collection reflects the essence of Africa – in themes, colours, or materials and in each one KLEED raises awareness for the huge challenges facing African wildlife today.

Although conservation efforts are finally paying off, Rhino poaching is an extremely aggressive business, with professional gangs operating in several countries and fueling Asian-led demand.

KLEED’s support of Imire's project is two-fold: raising awareness of the rhino conservation projects and contributing with donations of KLEED’s turnover to Imire Safari Ranch. The monetary support is used directly towards funding the Rhino Conservation efforts on the ground, with equipment, medical support and helping to cover food expenses and transport costs.

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KLEED is a young brand, with a stellar ambition - to become 100% sustainable. KLEED is already committed to ethical conditions with pieces designed and handcrafted by empowered women.

Fashion for Conservation welcomes KLEED to the global movement and family.

Caroline and her team will be exhibiting in upcoming FFC events including a capsule collection inspired by the rainforests of Africa for FFC's current campaign #RAINFORESTRUNWAY at fashion week & the Annual Rainforest Gala & Runway.

Follow @FashionforConservation @kleedkimonos for more from this shoot and others.

In the Jungle with Fashion for Conservation and Hoja Nueva

Kelly Zwicker

By Elle L

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

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

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

Elle L @hojanueva photographed by @stoyanovjones

Wearing: @wearthewalk | @marybensonworld | @calvinklein

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

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

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

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

Elle L & Lara Fraser @hojanueva photographed by @Stoyanovjones

Elle L & Lara Fraser @hojanueva photographed by @Stoyanovjones

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

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

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

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

Angel, a local photographed by @Stoyanovjones

Angel, a local photographed by @Stoyanovjones

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

Orphaned Baby Ocelot, Khan as photographed by Harry Turner

Orphaned Baby Ocelot, Khan as photographed by Harry Turner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@ellel__ | @hojanueva | @fashionforconservation