10/8/23 By Jacquelyn Weyker
On Thursday, the Boston Public Library held the Fabricating the Future of Fashion, a sustainable designer showcase and fashion show. This event included a panel discussion on sustainable fashion and a showcase dedicated to sustainable designers.
The panel included three industry experts, Dr. Catherine Weiss, Madhavi Venkatesan and Queen Allotey-Pappoe, moderated by fashion entrepreneur Taneshia Camillo-Sheffey. Each panelist spoke from personal experience coupled with their professional knowledge of sustainability, the economy, environmental harm and how to combat fast fashion.
“Each one of us is a consumer, an investor and a member of the government,” said Madhavi Venkatesan while on the panel.
The panelists educated and informed attendees that our biggest weapon against fast fashion is ourselves, the consumers.
About an hour into the panel discussion, it was interrupted by an unexpected emergency evacuation. The event’s organizers powered through the delay, reassuring everyone involved that the discussion would continue once the building was cleared for reentrance. However, this was not the first setback they faced.
“We were actually planning to do this event in April,” said Ava Rognlien, Environmental Studies Major at Northeastern University and co-organizer of Thursday’s event. “We started in February of last year to plan it, and then it ended up falling through.”
Persevering, Ava and her team continued to work for it and got in touch with Boston Fashion Week, finally turning their idea into a reality after over eight months of planning.
After the panel, models walked at Teen Central of the library for a crowd of students, supporters and fashion enthusiasts.
Each designer had their own unique style, and every piece was made sustainably with the underlying problems of today’s fashion industry in mind.
“I get a lot of my inspiration from people and the effect that we have on each other and on where we are,” said Hannah Richards, the designer behind H.E.R. Fashion.
Following the showcase, many attendees stayed to chat with the designers, organizers, and each other.
“For me, it was just really important to… just bring more of the community together because I don’t think that Boston necessarily builds that community with fashion,” said Rognlien. “I feel really happy with the turnout that came.”