By Susan Romero
I never thought I would want to turn green until I attended the eco-conscious fashion show Teens Turning Green. The event, held at the Broad Street Ballroom earlier this month, was aimed at teenagers, but there was something for everyone to learn. The information we got about the dangerous chemicals lurking in everyday cosmetics and other personal care products was scary enough to make anyone want to change their lifestyle for the better.
The event was hosted by Zem Joaquin, founder and Editor in Chief of Ecofabulous, an online green guide, and Teens for Safe Cosmetics, a campaign organized by Judi Shils and her teenage daughter, Erin Schrode. Schrode, 16, and a native of Marin County, California, recently moved to New York City to pursue acting. She has a contagious enthusiasm for all things green, which is a natural extension of her real life.
Zem Joaquin, founder and Editor in Chief of Ecofabulous and event host
“I was organic from day one,” says Schrode. “My mom has always been super eco-conscious. We carpooled to school, had organic cleaning supplies and even my mattress and bedding were organic.” Growing up in such an environmentally aware household, it’s only natural that Schrode is eager to spread the word about what she calls the “Dirty Dozen” plus chemicals that are in so many widely used cosmetics.
Despite the hazards of so many products, Schrode and other teens involved with the campaign do not expect people to throw out all of their cosmetics. Mattie Kahn, 16, and a member of the Teen Advisory Board, recommends going to Whole Foods and trying out different products to substitute for the most dangerous cosmetics. “Everyone can pick one thing to change,” Kahn said.
The same is true of clothing. I don’t know about you, but there are some pieces I can’t bear to give away. No need to get rid of your entire wardrobe. Why not start with organic cotton pajamas or workout clothes like those featured in the fashion show?
Twenty teen models brought the runway to life giving each other air kisses or hip bumps as they passed. They modeled pajamas, workout clothes, school outfits, casual wear and evening dresses. The outfits were created by dozens of eco-friendly designers, including Bahar Shapar, Doie, LiViTY Outernational, Prana, Theory and Stewart & Brown. There were even designs by several high school students. The soft organic cotton casual wear featured bold colors made with natural vegetable dyes, and the evening wear included an electric turquoise silk charmeuse evening gown with recycled soda tab straps designed by student designer, Richard Schaefer.
After the fashion show, guests got a chance to slather on organic creams and lotions that smelled good enough to eat. Even Schrode’s campaign is getting in on the act and launching a line of green cosmetics at Whole Foods this August.
On the whole, the event was a positive, inspiring look into the future – and it is definitely green. “Given the state of our atmosphere, we really don’t have a choice,” said teen model Emelyn Daly.