Known as the first fashion show in the country to focus on sustainable and eco-friendly fashion, Portland Fashion Week has been around since 2003, but since 2007 has made the entire event eco-friendly and sustainable. (From construction of the actual runway with eco-friendly materials, to eco-safe styling products on models, to even using sustainable-certified hotels for our guests, the city is committed to lead by example in the use of sustainable practices whenever possible.) For one week in mid-October, local fashion designers debut their latest RTW collections to audiences of buyers, press, and the fashion community. It’s low-key with an indie-vibe, and the low entrance fee for designers wanting to showcase their collections ($1500, compared to the $150K+ required for showing at New York Fashion Week) means that other non-local designers not necessarily striving for sustainability also have a chance to present their lines. Though the collections usually have a more commercial bent to them, there is also often a rising star (Leanne Marshall, recent winner of Bravo’s Project Runway, showed her Leanimal collection in 2007) or well-known mainstay of sustainability and eco-friendliness (Lizzie Parker, who showed this year) presenting, and overall, the event is fun, youthful, and energetic.

This year, yours truly hit the latter half of Portland Fashion Week to visit the shows and get the scoop on the latest in sustainable fabrics, clothing, hair, and makeup. Day 1 and Day 2 showcased: Icebreaker, the Art Institute of Portland, MEWV Sustainables, In Harmony, dlr designs, Revivall Clothing, Bon’Lou, and Studio SKB, but since we weren’t there we can’t write too much. (We’ll post some photos copped from other photogs in the coming days.) However, since we started attending on Day 3, we’ll start our coverage with Nike Considered in an upcoming post. Below, some photos we took backstage and of the event:
modelsheetsThe runway was made of 100% recycled rubber balls (though I’m not sure where they got all those rubber balls!).
barThis was what the bar was made out of (EnduraWood). Only in Portland!

And these were fabulous. These are dresses made completely out of paper – folded, cut, glued, sewn, molded – and they’re just insanely gorgeous. You can read more about the line and designer Lia Griffith on her website at



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