PITTSBORO — Hempsmith Clothing Co. in Pittsboro hosted its second annual East Coast Runway on Saturday, a sustainable fashion show with aspiring designers, several of which focused on clothing made …
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PITTSBORO — Hempsmith Clothing Co. in Pittsboro hosted its second annual East Coast Runway on Saturday, a sustainable fashion show with aspiring designers, several of which focused on clothing made from hemp fabric.
Hempsmith was founded in 2014 by Zafer Estill, the son of Lyle Estill and Tami Schwerin who own The Plant at Lorax Lane in Pittsboro. Zafer Estill passed away in April 2016 at age 19, leaving his brother, Arlo Estill, and his business partner Tristan Nelson to pick up where he left off. An ardent supporter of hemp, the environment, and his community, Arlo Estill has been on a mission to promote not just hemp clothing, but sustainable fashion.
Estill is a student in the College of Textiles at N.C .State University and his study of “fast fashion” has renewed his faith in the importance of “slow fashion,” something the fashion show highlighted.
“Fast fashion is where there is new merchandise coming to the stores each month,” he said. “People see the items and know it will be gone in a month so they think they have to buy it. Fashion is so fast, so cheap, the quality is awful, and it’s tearing up the environment.”
“It’s not about the money,” Estill said. “It’s about the movement. The slow fashion. Hemp is a big player in the slow fashion movement.”
For the East Coast Runway event, Estill brought together designers, including Hempsmith, each sharing six looks that highlighted clothing from hemp, recycled materials, or up-cycled from thrift stores. Designers Jennifer Jennette and Surya Leela’s line was inspired by a “dedicated to versatility and sustainability, inspiration to be delighted, free, and empowered physically, an exploration of the natural and unbound, encouraging good health, good news, and good vibes going down.”
Lizzie Barnhardt, a sophomore in Fashion and Textile Design at N.C. State University created her line, The Striped Lemon, from refurbished thrift clothes that had been re-invisioned and completely handmade. She says she has a “strong passion for recycling clothing and hopes to own a sustainable clothing company one day.”
Emma Rigby is a second year Fashion and Textile Design student at N.C. State University. She named her collection “World on Fire,” opening the collection with green to “show the vibrant and healthy earth, then transitions to orange to show the environment ‘catching fire’ as people mistreat it, and then transitions into black to represent the darkness of the environmental crisis.” Each outfit is made entirely out of hemp linen that she hand dip-dyed to “embrace the idea of sustainable fashion.”
The youngest designer was Zoey Wisniewski, a sophomore at Carolina Friends School in Durham who has always had an interest in fashion. She was very excited to showcase her collection of stylish yet sustainable clothes.
The models run the gamut of size, age, and race, an effort Estill emphasized.
“We wanted to promoted diversity and a radical love for our own bodies,” Estill said.
“We did this to bring the community together and give everyone the opportunity to show their work around the topc of sustainable fashion,” Estill said.