Fashion and the power of community engagement

Fast Company published an article that encompassed Fashion Revolution, circular economy, the UN Global Goals for a Sustainable World and its title was Stop Buying Crap and Companies will Stop Making Crap. 60,000 words, endless hours, and donated funds later, that is exactly what I have been trying to say.

There are two topics in this article, which breaks the n.1 rule of journalism, it would make me fail the class. But life is full of contradictions, and I will try not to lose you and make the two points collide with a bit of storytelling.  

Imagine style advice column meets philanthropy. I am especially looking at 4 of the UN Global Goals for a Sustainable Development: n. 4 quality education, n.5 gender equality, n.8 decent work and economic growth and n.12 responsible consumption and production.


People still think that fashion doesn’t belong to them, because they are business people and they work, they don’t have time to waste in frivolities. Those are usually the ones that obliviously fell for the fast fashion wagon, met mindless consumerism on the train that fooled them like the fox and the wolf did with Pinocchio. Mindlessly. There’s no time or positive outcome with pointing fingers, not their fault and there’s no time to waste, must redeem ourselves from that vicious circle, we are boarding a Noah’s Ark and save the salvable. And to me it’s still that idea that Fashion is whispering, storytelling, an escape, Fashion is creating a dream, Fashion is doing good, craft and tradition, is heritage, Fashion is fair trade, is fair wage, quality vs. quantity.

I was talking with a friend just yesterday and she was telling me: “I am old fashion girl that still loves the smell of fresh crackling magazine papers, are we ever going to go back?”

Fashion Revolution is here to the rescue, the most modern and active revolution that aims to bring things back to how they were with the advantage of new technology and forward modern thinking.

We have so much crap in our closets that it’s enough to switch our mind to think and admit that there is more inventory than days to wear it. Statistics say that an average 28% of garments sleep unworn in one’s closet.

I am going to jump and skip one step, all you need to do is read my book’s chapter 8 But, first, shop in your closet.

What to do with what you have and don’t wear? Sell, donate, re-use, re-purpose, re-style, exchange, up-cycle. Chances are that stuff you haven’t been wearing belong to the you of a couple of years ago, maybe good quality but the new you would wear it with something else or in a different occasion. I am still not done with my boxes of heels, because I refuse to admit I don’t use them. Anyone with tips on separation anxiety, speak now.

Nathalia of Maria Loves Green, Joanis of Nomad Tribe and I joined forces to dismantle the bad rap of second-hand clothing (Global Goal n. 12) The topic was covered from many angles, statistics show that water, car miles, carbon dioxide are saved, we not only give a second life to clothing that are still wearable, we create new garments by up-cycling, we contribute to making new fabrics from garments that cannot be upcycled (more on this in a later workshop) and when we thrift we give the hope of a new life to whatever community we give back to. In our case, Saturday, it was the Lotus House, a female only shelter that welcomes, supports and empowers disadvantaged women and their children to build a new life, enter the workforce and provide their families a roof and a future. (Global Goal n.4,5 and 8) Everyone left with a (or multiple) bags and a heart filled with joy. I may have bought a desk.

To know more about Lotus House click the link.

To receive the PDF with a teaser of my new Sustainable Chic Manifesto, sign-up for my newsletter.


I proudly attended the Heart in Hand Awards benefiting No More Tears, a non-profit organization that saves, supports and empowers victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking.  I have been welcomed as a member of the organizing committee two years ago, since then it’s been a steep learning curve that made me a stern advocate for victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking.

Some facts:

  • the majority of them being women;

  • the numbers are chilling;

  • Florida ranks third in list of US capitals in which human trafficking is a business;

  • Miami-Dade sits at the top of reported domestic violence cases as per Florida Department of Law Enforcement;

  • 9000 are reported, the ones not filed we’ll never know;

  • average age 12;

  • $5000 saves the life of a woman and her children

My question is: who doesn’t have some extra time to volunteer or money to donate? In 2018 it’s unconceivable not to do good, not to contribute to better the community one lives in. I certainly get inspiration and a renowned will of doing more for women who for unfortunate life circumstances have less than what I have. These are trying times for women with an administration that keeps detracting all the rights we have gained through decades of fighting for them. It’s a tortuous and long route that will bring us to gender equality (Global Goal n.5) and the fight starts from one.

How does Fashion fit with this cause?

As per the words of award recipient Bernice Steinbaum, “I didn’t know that today everyone would look like they came out of Vogue”. Because badass women, 200 of them, can join forces, make shit happen and also dress damn well.

To know more about No More Tears click the link.