The Fair Trade Fashion Show is an Experience That Educates and Connects
Sica Schmitz, Creator
I am Sica Schmitz, the creator of the Fair Trade Fashion Show and the founder of Bead & Reel, the ethical fashion community featuring the popular boutique, top ranked blog, and unique affiliate network, as well as the winner the 2017 Sustainable Business Council's Sustainable Business Award.
After studying fashion design in New York City, I moved to Hollywood to pursue costume design and went from working on independent films such as Safety Not Guaranteed to the hit TV show Castle before ultimately deciding to start my own business in 2014, combining my passions for fashion, environment preservation, human rights, and animal rights
I currently live in a small town in the Pacific Northwest and am a Sagittarius, an introvert, and a certified yoga instructor. My favorite things are vegan donuts (okay, basically all vegan desserts) and Ndotto, my orphaned elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trustin Kenya.
The Fair Trade Fashion Show is so much more than a fashion show. Along with re-branding fair trade fashion, the mission of this event is also to educate and connect. It opens up a discussion about the issues and solutions we see in fashion, and brings together the people and companies who are working to create a more thoughtful world. This is really a place where you can have a more complete fashion experience: learn, shop, get inspired, and give back.
One of the things I quickly realized in my business Bead & Reel is that people either didn't know about fair trade fashion (thinking fair trade was only for coffee) or had certain expectations about what it looks like. I had done an internship with New York Fashion Week in college and knew how exciting fashion show can be, and I really wanted to use the power of the runway to showcase a somewhat unexpected side of fair trade. It started as a small event quickly put together 4 years ago and has grown into one of the leading events in the sustainable fashion show, which is so exciting!
Offering something unique is really important to me - if something like this had already existed, I wouldn't have felt the need to create it! One of its most unique qualities is that it is both entirely fair trade and entirely vegan, combining these two often separate areas of activism. It's also open to everyone, as I want to remove barriers to sustainable fashion. We're offering a free Change Maker-Place filled with shopping and experiences from 10am - 4pm, and if you aren't in LA, you can even live stream our event on our Facebook and Instagram!
There are so many things I truly love and enjoy about this event (like our delicious vegan food and gorgeous fair trade fashion!) but I think my favorite thing is ultimately the people it attracts. From my Planning Committee to Partners to guests, every year so many wonderful relationships from business collaborations to friendships are created, and I have met some of the most important people in my life through the Fair Trade Fashion Show. It's a really special place to connect with genuine people who truly want to create change - and just happen to love fashion, too!