6:00 PM18:00

Wash Care: An Avant-Garde Fashion Installation About the Environmental Effects of Fashion

wash care - design week portland event

Though it may seem like a mundane chore, the simple task of doing laundry actually has a much bigger impact on the planet than one might think. More than 60% of all clothing made today contains synthetic materials and fibers (aka PLASTIC). This means that every time we do our laundry, our clothes shed tiny microfibers of plastic which go down the drains of our washing machines, through the wastewater treatment facilities and into our waterways.

One single garment can shed up to 700,000 fibers alone so it's no surprise that it's estimated that 35% of microplastic released into the ocean each year is the result of washing synthetic textiles. What's scarier, it's estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish!

Falling in line with The Sustainable Fashion Forum's core values of discovery, education, and community we've partnered with Scrap PDX, Spin Laundry Lounge and Cerulean Winery to curate a thought-provoking and visually avant-garde installation that is both fun and engaging to inform viewers on the effects a simple task such as doing laundry has on our environment and educate them on how to reduce their personal energy/water use thus decreasing their environmental footprint, simply by making green laundry habits.

The awe-inspiring installation will be available to view one day during Design Week Portland and then again at our conference on April 27th.

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Designing for Sustainable Manufacturing
12:00 PM12:00

Designing for Sustainable Manufacturing

Designing for Sustainable Manufacturing Tara St James

Join us Friday, April 26th for an exclusive interactive workshop examining the complete lifecycle of a garment by analyzing its supply chain. Discover sustainable alternatives for every aspect of the manufacturing process by considering questions such as:

  • Are we failing at incorporating sustainability into product design and innovation? Why is it so hard?

  • What are some of the ways that other designers incorporate sustainability into their models? What role do designers/product developers have in your company and how influential are they in reducing product impacts? What good practices are you seeing in the marketplace? What is your approach to sustainable design? 

  • Why should companies incorporate sustainability / circularity to product design? What are the benefits? What have been the pay-backs?

  • Do sustainability practitioners and designers speak the same language? How do we bridge the gaps? How can we better educate designers as change-makers?

Following the discussion, participants will dissect product in small groups, answering the following questions:

  • What can't be changed about this product - what makes it iconic design wise? (Considering shape, material, construction, detail, brand, cost e.t.c)

  • What can be changed and does a designer have the power to specify that change? Consider ecological (what it's made from), technological (how it's made), social (who it's made by and where) economic (can the value of this product be more fairly/differently distributed?

  • What would a sustainable re-design of this product look like?

Whether you're just starting out or have an established brand you’ll leave this workshop with a plethora of knowledge and tons of new ideas to help you develop and build your brand with sustainability and mindfulness at its core.


Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Tara St James moved to New York City in 2004. She now calls Brooklyn home. St James graduated in 1997 from LaSalle College School of Fashion Design in Montreal, one of Canada’s top design programs, with a degree in menswear tailoring. Prior to graduation she spent a year studying French art & literature in Toulouse, France. 

After 10 years designing mens and womenswear in both Canada and the US, Tara launched the New York based label Study NY. Conceptual design & sustainability define this women's RTW brand. Study cuts & sews collections in NYC’s garment district using both ethical fabrics and production methods. Many elements from the collections collaborate with artisans around the world; for example, locally sourced Peruvian alpaca is used in much of the knitwear.

Shortly after starting Study NY, Tara focused on educating the next generation of designers on the importance of sustainability in design. She has extensive lecturing and teaching experience in NYC.  Some of the courses Tara has taught as a part of FIT‘s Sustainability Certificate include: Corporate Social Responsibility, Supply Chain, and Sustainable Materials & Eco Labels. She has also critiqued and lectured at Parsons, Pratt and FIT. Currently Tara is working as Production Coordinator and Research Fellow in the Sustainable Strategies Lab for Pratt’s new Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator

In 2011 Study NY was awarded the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Grant for sustainable design. In 2013 St James's Anti-[fashion]-Calendar was named one of Sustainia100 Solutions for Sustainability--a global initiative spearheaded by Arnold Schwarznegger to promote innovative global solutions across all industries. In 2014 Study was awarded runner up in the CFDA / Lexus Eco Fashion Challenge

Tara St James thrives on challenging her own preconceptions about design. Though vocal about her choice to use sustainable and ethical design principles for her label, Tara wants to be judged the same way all designers are judged, ostensibly for her design.

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 Designing for Change: Sustainability in Fashion & Textiles
6:30 PM18:30

Designing for Change: Sustainability in Fashion & Textiles


October is Portland Textile Month and to celebrate The Sustainable Fashion Forum is hosting a panel discussion centered around ethical design and the use of sustainable textiles. 

It’s estimated that we consume 80 billion pieces of clothing per year. Consequently, millions of tons of textiles are discarded each year, placing an increased pressure on the Earth’s decreasing natural resources. As we look for ways to balance our love of fashion with conscious consumption it’s important that we are aware of the materials used in our clothing and soft goods.

Join us for an interactive panel discussion as we discuss the challenges and goals of sustainable textiles in the fashion industry and explore ways members of our community are minimizing their impact on the environment through waste reduction, new techniques, technologies, and trends. 

Shannon Welsh, Fibrevolution
Alyssa Woods, VAVA Lingerie
Ashley Metzger, Allmade
Kiriko, Kiriko 
Lori Caldwell, Minnie & George
Moderator: Carley Irwin, Xhiled Textiles 

6:00 pm Meet and Mingle
6:50 pm Introduction to The Sustainable Fashion Forum
7:00 pm Panel discussion
8:00 pm Audience Q&AA

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Fashion Horror Stories
6:00 PM18:00

Fashion Horror Stories


Oh, the DRAMA! 

In the spirit of Halloween we’re doing something a little... different.
From the outside looking in the fashion industry is pretty glamorous with gorgeous models, picturesque photo shoots, star-studded parties and fancy fashion shows but the reality is, the fashion industry can be, at times, anything but glam. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁣

We asked 3 longtime industry insiders to reveal their most horrific fashion experiences that they can now laugh about in hindsight. From missing orders and last minute disasters to he-said she-said battles owning a business/working in fashion is tough and sometimes it seems like things never go exactly according to plan. Join us for a fun night sharing stories about went wrong and how they were fixed so we can learn from the mistakes made. ⠀⠀⁣
Elizabeth Mollo 
Sarah Bibb
Adam Arnold ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁣


Industrious is the largest premium coworking and flexible workplace company in the United States, with more than 60 locations in 37 cities across the country. We combine dedicated hospitality with stunning design to deliver a world-class office experience for companies of all sizes and stages of growth. Ideally located in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square, Industrious has everything you need in one place — iconic views from the top 3 floors of the building, bike storage with showers and lockers, conference spaces, and Water Ave’s on-site coffee bar. Schedule a tour here and experience our sophisticated, understated aesthetic for yourself. Our mission is to make people proud and excited to come to work, and we can't wait to be a part of your next truly great day.

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6:00 PM18:00

How to Build a Fashion Business & Focus on Sustainability

SFF panel.jpg

Come grab a LaCroix, enjoy the summer weather and hear from our panelist what conscious responsibility means for brands and consumers today + how to create an ethical business model for your brand.

Seats are limited.

Andrea Moore Beaulieu, MOORE Custom Goods
Cassie Morgan, Altar PDX
Marisa Howard, Seaworthy
Jason Calderon, West Daily 
Moderated by Sarah Donofrio, One Imaginary Girl

6:00 pm Meet & Mingle
6:50 pm Introduction to The Sustainable Fashion Forum
7:00 pm Panel discussion
8:00 pm Audience Q&A

From Fashion Revolution and Fashionista.com to Eileen Fisher Renew and Prairie Underground, we’ve had an amazing lineup of people & brands join us on stage at the Sustainable Fashion Forum. We’ve planned a stellar lineup for our 3rd annual event (hint...VOGUE) but we need your help to get them here. Proceeds from our summer party will go towards our phenomenal 2019 lineup and support the SFF as we continue to bring events and workshops focused on ethical and sustainable fashion to the Portland market.

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