Earth Week Events Recap

Last week was a whirlwind of wonderful events that brought together people of all backgrounds and interests, united by a common cause: Do right by planet Earth. Here’s looking back at the week that was:

Image courtesy of 8 Boxwood Lane Pictures

Eco-Chic: Night of Stars and Rising Stars

Held at the Corcoran and co-hosted by the Corcoran and the Fashion Group of Washington, DC, the event celebrated eco-chic design, beauty, fashion, art, and architecture with live models, delicious food, and an awards ceremony emceed by Wendy Rieger. Hometown eco-preneurs Kimberly Wilson of TranquiliT and Debra Claire of Perfect Organics took home “rising star” awards.

WeatherizeDC Earth Day Fundraiser

On Thursday, WeatherizeDC held a fundraiser on the deck at Local 16. More than 200 people turned out for the event, which raised $7,000 and is enough to weatherize three homes in low-income local neighborhoods.

Material World: Green is the New Black

On Saturday at the Corcoran, a panel of leading designers from the worlds of fashion and interiors shared their personal experiences, exploring the green movement’s influence on their work. The panel was moderated by Rachel Cothran of Project Beltway.

Image courtesy of Twilight Earth

The Climate Rally
Thousands descended on the National Mall for the Climate Rally on Sunday, which included performances by the Roots and Sting, as well as appearances by James Cameron Reverend Jesse Jackson, Trudie Styler, Margaret Atwood, and many more. One of my green pals, Adam Shake of Twilight Earth captured some great video footage.

Earth Day-Inspired Fashion

Guest post by Heidi Strom Moon of the Closet Coach.

Armour sans Anguish

Every Earth Day, articles are written about “green” and sustainable fashion, from Bono’s Edun line to those totes that proclaim (perhaps a bit too loudly?) I Am Not a Plastic Bag”.

Many make a single green fashion purchase and consider it their contribution for the year; they’ve done their “duty.”

But truly eco-friendly dressing goes a deeper than that — and is almost as easy as tossing your recyclables in the ubiquitous big blue bin. In fact, if you’re already trying to live green, you can take a cue from the well-known 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.


Listed first, in spite — or because — of being the most difficult to achieve, “Reduce” calls on us to use less stuff in the first place for multiple reasons.

So, the fashionista says with a tremble, does this mean you want me to … shop and buy less? It seems daunting, but think of it another way: all of the top stylists will tell you to transform your wardrobe by first editing (reducing) your clothing inventory, and then carefully supplementing the remaining pieces with a few, well-chosen, high-quality, classic items.

So this idea of reducing isn’t so new after all. The hardest part is focusing on key foundational items and ignoring the constant allure of the cheap, the trendy, and the on sale right now.


Reusing takes a little more ingenuity. As you take stock of the contents of your closet, and remove the items you rarely wear, are there any that could be brought back to life? Are they in need of mending? Could your trusted tailor transform the silhouette into something more current? Could you rescue a boring or worn-out sweater with the artful application of buttons or beads?


Recycle is a close cousin to Reuse when it comes to clothing. After all, you can’t place last season’s trendy top in the big blue bin.

But if you can’t reuse an item and make it wearable, can the fabric and materials serve another purpose?

Stockings with holes are often recycled by transforming them into practical applications. And Dad used to tear his old T-shirts into strips to use for waxing the car.

Going a step further, garments can be recombined and redesigned entirely. In addition to recycling your own garments, you can shop for new items that are made from reclaimed materials–such as the tops and dresses from Armour Sans Anguish and numerous other Etsy stores that embody the reuse and recycle ethos.

Finally, consider these principles not so much a new way to live, but a proud return to yesteryear. Ask any grandmother who lived through the Depression or World War II how they made do when materials or money was scarce. To them, the 3 Rs weren’t a slogan; they were a way of life.

Fashion with a Conscience

Guest post written by Maria Fyodorova of Righteous (re)Style.

Treasury--fab vintage and second-hand finds
Kristen Swenson at Treasury

Kristen Swenson is not your average sewing lass. She’s an aspiring fashion designer committed to embracing sustainability.

As the in-house seamstress at Treasury, a 14th Street boutique that offers a tightly-edited collection of vintage finds, Swensen can help you turn that almost-perfect vintage dress into your best-fitting outfit ever.

Originally from a small town in Minnesota, Kristen recently moved to DC and hopes to launch her clothing line soon. Here’s what she had to say about her eco-friendly approach to fashion.

Can you tell us a bit about your approach to sustainable fashion design?

I prefer to pair design and recycling whenever possible. It’s the only way I can be in the fashion field with a clean conscience. Typically I will take damaged or second-hand items and completely revamp them so they can have another life before they find the landfills.

Why did you choose to work at Treasury? What do you like about vintage clothing?

The shop is beautifully organized–more like a boutique–which really showcases the items. One of the owners, Cathy, was so nice and welcoming to me, it was hard not to fall in love with Treasury. In addition, they would eventually like to sell my designs [there]. As for why I love vintage so much, simply put, it is the most glamorous form of recycling.

I know you plan to start selling your designs soon, can you give a bit of preview of what kind of designs we’ll see (i.e., materials, fabrics, silhouettes)?

It’s hard to give an official preview because what I will be making will depend on what second-hand items I find. In general, I aim to showcase the beauty of the female figure, and show an appreciation for curves. One can definitely expect to find well-tailored garments with a lot of details, made from beautiful and unique fabrics.

You’re wearing a bustier that you designed — can you tell me a bit about it? Where did it come from?

The outside is made from second-hand men’s suiting fabric, the lining out of an old bed sheet, and the underlining out of jeans I outgrew. Because the jean material is so sturdy, it reduced the amount of boning that was necessary for the garment. In addition, the cotton lining and cotton underlining allow the skin to breathe, even if the garment is tight.

More about Treasury

Treasury is co-owned by Cathy Chung and Katerina Herodotou. Their carefully handpicked vintage clothing is displayed artfully on salvaged fixtures from Community Forklift and Rough and Ready. Check out this lovely shop located at 1843 14th St., 2nd floor.  

Photograph courtesy of Mark Silva Photography