The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

Get put together well: Ijams Nature Center hosts sustainable fashion show

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Brittany Fleurish Vertical 9The Fleurish fashion show will feature sustainable and stylish clothes to reduce your big old footprint on Earth.  Courtesy Fleurish/Ijams Nature Center

Help rock the catwalk at Ijams’ display of sustainable clothing

Cindy Hassil is a writer for Ijams Nature Center.

KNOXVILLE — Clothes can be a burden to both bear and wear. Ijams Nature Center offers fashionable alternatives with sustainability cred this month.

Ijams and Natural Alternatives Salon and Spa will present Fleurish: A Sustainable Fashion Event, from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, April 24.

“Fleurish is a runway show focused on how sustainability, conservation and beauty intertwine and affect our lives … and our future,” Fleurish Creative Director Ben Prager said. “This event engages the audience in ways that will help the average consumer make changes in their day-to-day lives to better impact the planet while never losing sight of the beauty of nature and the human experience.”

Twelve local designers, along with hair stylists and makeup artists, are coming together to create looks using both recycled and natural materials.

Sponsored by Hedstrom Landscape Architecture, and Sunny and Josh Biden, the event features a cocktail hour before the runway show as well as a meet-and-greet with designers afterward. Festivities will be held on the Ijams Homesite lawn.

Ijams Visitor Services Director Sarah Brobst said the event, the brainchild of Ben Prager, Sunny Biden, K.C. Coleman and Amy Linn, fits in perfectly with the nature center’s annual sustainability series, Take Action: Big and Small Ways to Save the Planet.

“We all play a role in protecting the environment,” Brobst said. “Even small changes, like learning how to sew on a button or fix a hem, makes a difference. Purchasing well-made clothing, swapping clothes with friends, or visiting thrift stores to find unique pieces to create your own look are all ways to keep textiles out of a landfill.”

“Fast fashion seemed like a great idea for consumers who love to be part of the latest trend, but when those trends end, a lot of clothes end up in the trash,” she said. “According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the average American annually tosses 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles in the trash. 

“The environmental impact of the companies churning out disposable looks also is significant because they use a lot of natural resources and chemical processes,” she said. “You can be kind to the Earth and still be fashion forward. Fleurish will inspire you.”

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