Friday, June 25

Impact Fashion Goes Digital, Keeps Sustainable Roots

Top: Devinto, Leggings: Devinto, Necklace: Ashanti Renee Boutique, Shoes: Bhava. All photos Julie Lawrence Studios

After more than four years of running Impact Fashion, an eco-fashion event in Los Angeles, Sica Schmitz, its creator, took the forum virtual, during the COVID-19 pandemic. When it went for a virtual run on the QiqoChat platform on Labor Day Weekend, Schmitz felt like it didn’t miss a beat.

“About 500 people attended. It was the same number of people at the physical events,” Schmitz said. A move to virtual also expanded digital real estate for projects. There were 13 speaker panels, a digital market for clothes, meditation breaks, yoga and an eco-fashion show.

Schmitz produced the Impact show in a greenhouse by her new home in Sequim, Wash., a rural town on the Canadian border. Brands participating in the show included Kindom, Devinto, Tonlé, Daria Day, Kallie & Co., GOEX and Atonement Design.

There were also places to sell clothes to consumers and to shops. Qiqo provided links between the models on the walkway and the brands selling clothes, said Glynn Barrish-Carroll, COO of Kindom.

“It was a virtual fashion summit,” she said. “Qiqo allowed you to combine a Zoom meeting with an e-com website”

Panels during the event included subjects such as Black Lives Matter in fashion and a panel called “Clean Fibers: Organic & Regenerative Fashion,” which was led by Taryn Hipwell, founder of the organization Beyond the Label and author of book “How to Shop for Shi(f)t.”

Hipwell said a digital show did not slow down audience participation. “People are excited about Zoom and new technologies. At the end of the panel, they had a Zoom-style green room,” she said. “It was great to see that six or seven people stuck around to ask questions. We talked to people 40 minutes afterward.”

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