Green is the new Black for Goodwill of Silicon Valley

No matter what your opinion of Goodwill is, it’s time to throw it out and open up. Launching awareness to repurposed fashion, Goodwill of Silicon Valley hosted an Eco-Chic fashion show, luncheon and shopping event on September 11, 2009 at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose. Designers from the local Art Institute, Los Angeles and New York City showcased repurposed and one-of-a-kind vintage clothing taken straight from the donations made to Goodwill.

Goodwill partnered with globally recognized fashion designer Monique Zhang, who was the creative director of the fashion show. Zhang is based in San Francisco and promotes her vision to re-purpose donations, transforming those piles of rags in trucks and bins into eco-chic outfits.

Twelve designers debuted their interpretations of repurposed fashion in four segments:

Heroes – Men’s into Women’s fashion: suits, ties and button-up shirts

Transformers – Shredded and felt fashion

Mega Metal – Industrial past becomes the New Punk Chic

New Eves – Gala and Event gowns repurposed into wearable art

My favorite was the Heroes segment- entire dresses and skirts made from discarded men’s neckties. The outfits were elegant and creative, thinking way outside any formulaic fashion box. The models wore t-shirts & leggings in black so their newly fashioned pieces were unobstructed. They left many a fashionista breathless in the audience and were met with rounds of applause.

The philosophy for repurposed fashion is simple. Re-create and re-style clothing to update your wardrobe and lesson fashion's impact on the environment. The amount of waste created by throwing out clothing is staggering and simply unnecessary. Goodwill has a good idea here and guess what? There are designers out there who will take your old dust-gathering bridesmaid dresses, pull out your grandmothers fur coat you are too pro-animal to wear and repurpose it all. You could even repurpose your own creations with a sewing machine or screen printing session at the brand new Workshop. Quite honestly, it’s about time someone out here is starting this movement – who knew Silicon Valley Goodwill would be the one paving the way?

If you are feeling a little slighted that you were not informed about the event, don’t worry. Goodwill of Silicon Valley is hosting its First Annual Green Ball on February 27th, 2010 at the San Jose Convention Center.

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Corinne Phipps operates Urban Darling

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