Bob Bland  CEO and Founder of Manufacture NY; Alden Wicker of EcoCult; Leanne Mail-Ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture; Emma Grady of Past Fashion Future

Bob Bland CEO and Founder of Manufacture NY; Alden Wicker of EcoCult; Leanne Mail-Ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture; Emma Grady of Past Fashion Future

Fashion Group International, a non-profit professional organization for members of the fashion industry, threw its annual Rising Star Awards luncheon this week. And the sustainable fashion community crashed the party.

Kate McGregor of Kaight,

Kate McGregor of Kaight and Joanna Green, assistant to Marci Zaroff

Well, we didn’t crash, so much as buy three tables to get an in. The CEO of The Green Shows, Harvey Russack, gathered together a select group of sustainable tastemakers for the event. There was schmoozing. There was networking. And there was a lot of dishes being sent back to the kitchen for not being vegan.

Harvey Russack of The Green Shows; PR professional Kristina Ratliff; fashion designer Titania Inglis

Harvey Russack of The Green Shows; PR professional Kristina Ratliff; fashion designer Titania Inglis

Attendees included:

Marci Zaroff of the forthcoming documentary Thread with FGI president Margaret Hayes

Marci Zaroff of the forthcoming documentary Thread with FGI president Margaret Hayes

Why the Appearance?

As FGI’s website puts it, their mission statement, “is to be the pre-eminent authority on the business of fashion and design and to help its members become more effective in their careers. To do this, FGI provides insights on major trends in person … access to business professionals and [a] gateway to the influence fashion plays in the marketplace.” Admirable goals. But some suggestions for FGI:

  • To become more effective in their careers, designers should have access to information and resources on sustainable textiles and manufacturing techniques, plus have support for manufacturing in the US and especially in NYC.
  • A major trend in fashion is to give thought to how your textiles, dyes, and factories affect people and the environment–which includes both people involved in fashion and your customers.
  • More business professionals (a.k.a. investors) should be aware of the benefits of investing in a designers who is looking toward the future with conscious fabrics and design.
Leanne Mail-Ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture; Harvey Russack, Bob Bland of Manufacture New York; Kayleigh Martin, print designer for Daniel Silverstein; fashion designer Daniel Silverstein

Leanne Mail-Ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture; Harvey Russack, Bob Bland of Manufacture New York; Kayleigh Martin, print designer for Daniel Silverstein; fashion designer Daniel Silverstein

While we were disappointed that we didn’t recognize any of the nominees as people who use any sustainable processes, we were excited to see the guys from Warby Parker win in the accessories category–it is a one-for-one business that provides eyeglasses to those who need them. Plus their stuff is pretty darn attractive.

The Warby Parker guys after their big win

The Warby Parker guys with FGI president Margaret Hayes after their big win

Designer Tara St. James of Study NY and sustainable fashion blogger Kate Black

Designer Tara St. James of Study NY and sustainable fashion blogger Kate Black

Photo credits: Steve Eichner