Last Thursday, I spent the afternoon at the Lower East Side Girls Club in New York City and left feeling more inspired than ever to help people explore mindful consumption. In no way does anyone need to scrap fashion for lack of funds.
Let me explain.
Debra Rapoport, one of the advanced fashionistas I’d written about in “How Can Advanced Style Be a Retreat from Compulsive Buying” (July, 10, 2016) (Click Here
), has done workshops at the Club and invited me to attend a luncheon and fashion show there. Serving girls from 6th-12th grades, all of whom come from one of the poorest parts of the city, the Club brings a world of opportunity to girls who most need it.
There are programs in science and technology; the girls gain meaningful employment experience. They train to become entrepreneurs, they build supportive peer groups and learn to navigate the
complexities of life in the city. The fashion show was one of a variety of opportunities in the arts, humanities and media that the Club offers to encourage the girls to tap into their creative passions.
The Club’s stated mission “ to break the cycle of local poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial, and environmental leaders” was fully in evidence at the fashion show, skillfully produced and executed proudly by the girls themselves. Their sewing and material arts classes were the incubators within which, working with nothing but scrap materials, they fashioned well-constructed, whimsical, cutting edge garments, worthy of any runway, without spending a dime.
Filled with joy, power, and possibility, the atmosphere was electric. It reminded me of the thrill of using men’s neckties and other scrap fabric to make wearable art with one hundred and forty teenagers in South Africa last December. If you missed what I wrote about my experience, “Tie-Ing Together Two Continents: Part I and Part II”, Click Here
What could be a better illustration than this joyous event that mindful consumption in no way means scrapping fashion, whether you have the budget to afford designer clothes, live comfortably, albeit frugally, or you have to watch every penny and need to use scraps to fashion new garments?
complexities of life in the city. The fashion show was one of a variety of opportunities in the arts, humanities and media that the Club offers to encourage the girls to tap into their creative passions. Here are two short video clips from the show: