In an interview with Wabe.Org, owner of eKlozet Luxury Consignment and creator of Sustainable Fashion Week Atlanta Tanjuria Willis discusses her passion for sustainable clothing.
When asked why she became committed to advocating for sustainable clothing, Willis said, “I have a degree in electrical engineering. I started my career working in a nuclear facility as a plant systems engineer, and as I evolved, I’ve always been a lover of fashion and clothing, because I’ve always felt that clothing helps people to be successful. I say that my mantra is ‘Clothing is energy, energy is confidence, confidence is productivity, and productivity leads to success.' That’s exactly why I created Sustainable Fashion Week Atlanta, because I felt like there had to be a way to show people that we could live sustainably, we could dress sustainably, in a fashionable and stylish way, just like we always have, and they also provide that education for them — to help them to understand the effects that the clothing that they are typically used to buying … has on their day-to-day lives, how the chemicals affect the air, how that’s affecting what we’re seeing now in our hurricanes, and our tropical weather … the melting of the glaciers, all of these things are indirect results of what we are doing to the environment.”
“When I created the event, I really wanted to present high fashion in sustainable clothing, because I think people have this perception of what sustainable clothing means, and they think of it as only being this bohemian look, or the burlap sack, or something that’s not attractive at all. So part of my goal was to present higher-end clothing or just stylish-looking clothing for people to see there are alternatives to what you buy now, and you won’t have to change your aesthetic. We’ve also incorporated panel discussions that will talk about everything from busting the fast fashion gap to our circular economy — meaning what companies are doing now to invest more in sustainable practices … We have the United Kingdom doing a panel about the effects of sustainability in the United Kingdom, we have someone from the German Fashion Council talking about why are we buying the clothes that we are buying and what we’re doing to the environment, as well as another young lady from the African Fashion Guide. We’ll have also live entertainment, and we’ll have some shopping boutiques in places where people can get demonstrations on weaving and how to do things simply, turn things that you have, and use those t-shirts that you are going to throw away. We are hoping to create, as well, a recycling program for clothing and textiles where we can take clothing and have them issued back to be re-used as new designs or reduced to something that we can use. We know that polyester is really plastic, and so maybe it can be used for furniture,” said Willis when asked about panel discussions, Sustainable Fashion Week, and runway shows.
Information originally sourced from Wabe.Org.