Victoria Eco Fashion Week is hosting an open casting call April 6 at the Greater Victoria Public Library’s central Branch downtown. The three-day fashion week event runs from April 25-27 and highlights the environmental impact of the fast fashion industry, as well as offering eco-friendly solutions. (Photo courtesy of Kenneth Kamero)

Victoria Eco Fashion Week to highlight eco-conscious designers

Organizers of Victoria’s first ever such event seeking models

Do you have what it takes to be Victoria’s next top Eco Fashion model?

Your big shot is coming up. Victoria Eco Fashion Week is hosting an open casting to recruit models for its 2019 spring edition shows in April.

The first-of-its-kind fashion event is debuting in Victoria April 25-27 with the goal of creating a platform for models, creative designers and the community at large “to embrace sustainable and environmental friendly clothing including redesigning, reuse and recycle for sustainable lifestyle.”

The show was created by Kenneth Kamero, a Kenyan environmental activist who migrated to Victoria just over a year ago.

Kamero was a key player in the effort to ban plastic bags in Kenya, but said his activism made him a target for plastics producers. He came to Canada to seek protection, and shortly after moving to Victoria, started planning Eco Fashion Week as a way to give back to his new community.

“I’m grateful that I have a safe country to live in,” he said. “So I started this project to feel that I’m contributing to a better Victoria.”

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Eco Fashion Week runs over three days and includes an open gala dinner, educational talks with prominent eco designers and eco fashion showcases from designers in the area.

A Rags to Riches competition on April 25 will see designers go head to head creating pieces from donated and recycled materials.

Kamero hopes the event will raise the profile of eco-conscious designers and help the public learn more about the environmental footprint of the fashion industry.

“I’ve always wanted to give back to the community and make a better planet,” Kamero said. “It’s a responsibility everyone has. It starts with us.”

‘Fast Fashion,’ the revolving door of trends and cheap clothing, contributes significantly to pollution around the globe – in fact it’s one of the largest polluters in the world.

“We hope that people pay attention closely to what they wear and who they buy their clothes from,” Kamero said. “It’s a point of learning and personal change not to go to for fast fashion. It will make a big impact.”

The event is hosted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Hall on Courtney Street from April 25-27. Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting kenneth.kamero@gmail.com.

Each day there will also be an eco-market featuring local vendors that will be free and open to the public from 2 to 4 p.m.

The open casting call will be held 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. April 6 in the community room at the Greater Victoria Public Library Central Branch (735 Broughton St.) and is open to all.

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