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18 November 2015
Fashion Fights Poverty Eco Ethical Fashion Forum
On November 11, Fashion Fights Poverty hosted a forum to discuss issues of eco-sustainability, corporate social responsibility, income generating programs, microfinance, and commercial fashion at the Thomas Moser Furniture of Georgetown.

Fahion Fights Poverty's Dress Responsibly Eco Ethical Fashion Forum initiated discussion amongst leaders, policy makers, consumers, and fashion designers. The event covered eco and ethical concerns faced by the fashion industry at all levels (consumers, workers, manufacturers, and designers). Topics included sustainability, social responsibility, micro-finance, worker’s issues, and the international commercial fashion industry.

The forum was held at the Thomas Moser Furniture located in the heart of Georgetown. Four speakers from various fields in the fashion industry spoke about their influences and ideas for an eco-friendly fashion industry. Yvette Castro, Vice President of Research & Programs, from Fashion Fights Poverty gave opening remarks and served as moderator between the four speakers.

The discussion started with Nicholas D’Aurizio, a former Project Runway contestant, who explained his work in disaster-torn Haiti. Mr. D'Aurizio's fashion line, Nico Lena, creates jobs for women in Haiti and his work during Haiti Fashion Week raised thousands of dollars for Haitian charities. Heidi Rauch, designer and founder of Belabumbum detailed her experiences with micro loans, local sourcing and local production. All of Ms. Rauch's clothes are produced in South America, where she employs locals and buys textiles from across the continent, including Peru, Brazil, and Colombia. Melanie Kapinos, Manager of Volunteer Programs at Ten Thousand Villages Alexandria spoke on the company’s social impact. Ten Thousand Villages works with artisan groups to bring authentic crafts from around the world to consumers in the United States. The store’s fair-trade business model promotes corporate accountability, fair pay and quality work conditions for laborers.  Soledad Requejo was the final speaker. Ms. Requejo, whose background is in economics, works for Better Work, a program of the International Finance Corporation and the International Labor Organization. Ms. Requejo works to enforce better labor standards, create alternatives to sweat shops, and bring together workers and managers to prevent labor strikes and increase productivity.

UNA-NCA is thankful to Fashion Fights Poverty for the opportunity to partner on this event and engage in a great discussion on eco-sustainability, corporate social responsibility, income generating programs, microfinance, and commercial fashion.