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Sustainability Efforts Abound for NYC, Paris Fashion Week

DonateNYC is launching ReFashion Week NYC, and Opera Carolina is presenting a recycled runway show for Paris Fashion Week.

Through March 1, the City of New York Department of Sanitation’s donateNYC program will host ReFashion Week NYC, the first-of-its-kind event celebrating sustainability and reuse in fashion. The week-long celebration will include events across the city, such as a pop-up market, clothing swaps, a mending and upcycling workshop and a ReFashion show—all focused on reducing textile waste and making fashion sustainable.

In addition, North Carolina-based Opera Carolina will travel more than 4,000 miles to Paris to present “Opera Recycles,” an eco-couture fashion show at Paris Fashion Week on March 4 at the InterContinental Paris - Le Grand. This opportunity will showcase the art of opera and environmental conservation on an international scale.

Every year, New Yorkers send approximately 200,000 tons of clothing, shoes and accessories to landfill. With fast-fashion wear becoming more popular and accessible, textile waste has the potential of increasing. ReFashion Week NYC is connecting the fashion world, sustainability experts, the reuse industry and consumers to reduce textile waste.

“The amount of textile waste that New Yorkers discard every year is equivalent to the entire height of the Empire State Building—and that needs to change. The vast majority of these items can be recycled, donated or mended and repaired to extend their lifecycle,” said Acting Sanitation Commissioner Steven Costas in a statement. “ReFashion Week NYC is focused on starting conversations and action between the fashion world, businesses and consumers on how we can make fashion more sustainable and reduce this waste.”

ReFashion Week NYC is done in collaboration with members of the donateNYC Partnership, including FABSCRAP, Housing Works, Goodwill, NYC Fair Trade Coalition and others. In addition to holding events, ReFashion Week NYC has issued logbook, a sampling of fashionable outfits styled with secondhand clothing from donateNYC partners.

ReFashion Week NYC will officially kick off with a pop-up reuse market and clothing swap at LIM College in Manhattan on February 25. It will culminate with a ReFashion Show on March 1 at Project Farmhouse, in which seven stylists will create unique looks using clothing from donateNYC partner thrift stores.

Opera Recycles is a program that promotes environmental awareness by creating couture fashion using recycled printed materials. In the four years since it launched, more than 36,000 pieces of marketing materials, such as old playbills and postcards, have been used to create couture gowns and fashionable statement pieces. This program is a part of Opera Carolina’s initiative to encourage sustainability efforts amongst the community.

“This has exceeded my expectations,” said Megan Miller, Opera Carolina’s marketing director, in a statement. “Not only has this initiative help promote the importance of sustainably and environmental conservation, but we also showcased our local models and designers to bring a piece of Charlotte to New York.”

Opera Carolina is presenting eight recycled dresses created by six area designers: Lyndsee Hairston, Malou Tabada Cordery, Sarah Danee, Itala Flores, Rocio Llusca and Edelweiss De Guzman. Opera Carolina is representing the city of Charlotte, N.C., while promoting the importance of environmental conservation.

Oxford Fashion Studio Showcase produces 100-plus runway shows across all fashion capitals showing 600-plus designers from more than 70 countries.

Opera Carolina promotes the Opera Recycles program around Charlotte and on a national and international stage as a way to introduce opera to new audiences all while promoting sustainability efforts.

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