Fashion Club promotes sustainable style expression

Random chatter drifts throughout the room as Fashion Club members make casual conversation with one another. Where robotics materials are usually found, colorful pin cushions, sewing machines, and even an iron are distributed throughout room 4123 for the group to use in their designs. Club leader Ellie Dawson-Moore stands up from her chair after a minute or two, signaling the start of the meeting and quieting the group.

“Every meeting, we start with a go-around where we each go through our outfits and talk about where we got each piece,” junior Quenby Wilson said. “I love seeing what parts of their outfits everyone is excited about, and I love the opportunity to share mine.” Go-around questions vary but are a nice way to kick things off and get a discussion flowing. Everyone gets a chance to respond, even faculty advisor Aaron Shulow.

During the club’s Nov. 15 meeting, members shared a bit about their outfits as per usual, followed by the question of the day: “which winter clothing item are you most excited to wear, and which are you dreading?” Dawson-Moore’s response was, “I think that everyone should wear earmuffs. They’re so cute and practical.” This was met by a chorus of snaps, one way the club is building a supportive and fun culture.

When junior Solvej Graff’s turn came around, she mentioned how the change of seasons will impact her clothing choices due to the brutal temperatures. “I’ve never entered winter with my new style,” she said, and in response, club members chimed in to suggest she incorporate tights and layers into her pencil skirt, blazer, and high heels outfit combo.

As the club settles into a groove in its first few months of existence, members have collaboratively brainstormed activities to make meetings more hands-on and interactive. For example, they plan to each bring a clothing item they regret buying or don’t know how to style, so they can offer suggestions on how to utilize it in their closets. Other ideas that surfaced included a fashion-themed gift exchange for the holiday season, as well as a presentation day where members would share slideshows of five outfits that are “quintessential to who they are.”

Sustainability and ethical fashion are definitely a central focus of the club, and we’re planning on hosting events that highlight that—such as a clothing swap, first between members and later on with the campus as a whole.”

— Ellie Dawson-Moore

With a key club focus on sustainable fashion and buying clothes secondhand, Dawson-Moore sent club members off on Thanksgiving Break with a special assignment. The task was to find five clothing items you don’t like anymore, donate them, and take a selfie. Club members delve into upcycling in other ways, too: repurposing old items, planning outfits with old clothing, and encouraging buying secondhand or thrifting. Dawson-Moore highlighted that the club aims to slow their contribution to mass overconsumption, saying, “Sustainability and ethical fashion are definitely a central focus of the club, and we’re planning on hosting events that highlight that—such as a clothing swap, first between members and later on with the campus as a whole.”

Fashion Club cultivates a lighthearted and immersive atmosphere for fashion lovers to explore all things sustainability, style, and collaboration. As senior Owen Pifer said, “What I like about fashion is both the self-expression […] and also the creative process that goes into creating an outfit.” This value is a shared one between club members, and this passion fuels the club’s meetings.

Fashion Club meets in room 4123 during X-Period club time. Wilson, Dawson-Moore, and Pifer all echo each other in encouraging prospective members to join. “Come visit us for at least one meeting! It’s super fun, and we have a lot of really cool things planned for the future,” Wilson said. The club will meet next on Dec. 6.

Juliusson: Hi, I’m Zekiah. And today, we are here with Ellie Dawson-Moore, who is the fashion club leader.

Dawson-Moore: Hi, it’s an honor to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Juliusson: Well, thanks for being here. So why did you create fashion club?

Dawson-Moore: I have always loved fashion. I think it is one of the most vulnerable forms of creative expression. It really bonds people together, and I feel like the club, even just like the ten individuals we have right now, we have really grown close through talking about all this stuff together.

Juliusson: That’s awesome. What is the mission of fashion club?

Dawson-Moore: Yeah, so our mission is to inspire and to try and educate ourselves on clothing, and you know the ways we consume it, the ways we can create clothing and move from there.

Juliusson: How do you plan your meetings? You obviously do a bunch of creative and independent stuff.

Dawson-Moore: Yeah, mainly it’s just like whatever I am intrigued by um, over the weekend I will like work on a document and try to brainstorm activities, and yeah that’s kind of it. A lot of the meetings are kind of like very social we go around, we talk about like our outfits of the day, we try and snap for everybody you know like give people compliments and feedback. Yeah, it’s a pretty collaborative process.

Juliusson: How does the club want to reach past its current members and like to spread change throughout the whole SPA community?

Dawson-Moore: Yeah, so there are a couple of different things we want to do as a club, the first of which we are hoping to plan up with or coordinate with CAS to plan and run a clothing drive, one just for like clothing donations. But then at another point in the year, we want to do a clothing swap, if not one then multiple, so that the whole community can kind of like share and bring home different articles of clothing and then also maybe start to question like “oh what kind of clothing do I want you to know in my closet”, you know like “what can I get rid off”, “what can I change”, like “what alterations I need to make”.

Juliusson: Yeah that’s really cool. Is there anything else you would like to say?

Dawson-Moore: No, just thank you so much for talking to me. And I hope to see you know, maybe not you if you’re not going to go to fashion club that’s fine, but I hope to see some new faces and even if you don’t think its the right fit for you, we are just like a very welcoming fun bunch of people, and we always appreciate the support so yeah.

Juliusson: Once again, I’m Zekiah, and this interview was with Senior Ellie Dawson-Moore. Thank you.