I had the pleasure of speaking with Sandra Hanns, the founder and director of San Francisco Sustainable Fashion Week International. SFSFWI finds sustainable designers and provides them with a platform to be known to the world, not just as designers, but as people committed to environmental sustainability. There’s a huge movement with expanding awareness on zero waste, non-toxic chemicals, and sustainability in general. People can join this movement through SFSFWI.
“Little by little, the industry is listening. There’s a little more sustainability in fashion now.”
Sandra notes the amount of participation in sustainable fashion rising. From bloggers to students of fashion to professionals; people are recognizing that fashion needs to clean up their act.
Creativity and innovation are major players in San Francisco’s fashion week. There have been designers who grabbed leftover rolls of fabrics that would have gone to a landfill, and have gotten really creative with the materials they were given. At the Green Glam SF 2018, a designer transformed old vintage kimonos to design an exclusive collection. In past years, the designer had used telephone wires to bring a message of zero waste through fashion.
Other designers from Uruguay, India and Hawaii used sustainable fibers and natural dyes. The designs looked natural and in harmony with nature.
One of the best shows SFSFWI has hosted was their Green Glam SF event at San Francisco City Hall. It was an affiliated event to the Global Climate Action Summit. As part of the Summit, they focused on having an environmental community celebration. Speakers were invited to deliver their messages on different environment initiatives: 5 lbs of textiles going to the landfill each hour in SF, the ocean and plastic pollution, land pollution, etc.. “It was an event to celebrate those working to save the environment with speakers before the runway that showed creative sustainable fashion. It was an EPIC show; the best that we have done!” Sandra claims.
I asked Sandra where she wants to see the fashion industry going in the next 10 years.
She says she wants it to turn sustainable. “I envision we have an increase in 20% of the manufacturers becoming sustainable. I also want us to figure out how to use technology to transform textiles. Vegetarian leather. Textiles from pineapples, plastic bottles, whole new wave of sustainable textiles coming from waste. We’re still in the early stages. We need more ofthe new, less of the old.”
Looking forward to April 20th through the 27th, experts are coming together to collaborate. All visionaries, activists, and educators who are deeply committed to preserving the Earth. They’re all being conscious of purchasing power. Buying good things, not junk. The week also focuses on teaching designers how to become more sustainable. It’s a conference where there are designer workshops.
SFSFWI continues inviting those in the sustainable fashion industry and those organizations committed to sustainability to expand the awareness for environmental preservation and the health is future generations.