Conscious Collective pop-up shop takes a stand against fast fashion

Lifestyle | 19 Sep, 2019 |

At Conscious Collective located in the Phoenix Melrose District, sustainability and creativity come to life through locally made, handcrafted vintage fashion and art pieces.

The collective is run by a group of six eclectic women who strive to educate the community about sustainable fashion and art, the importance of shopping local and giving back to the community.

Located at 4310 N. Seventh Ave in the Modern Manor and Way.L.A. Studios is their first month-long pop-up shop where the public can buy their second hand, vintage and up-cycled sustainable pieces.

Their pop-up shop is open from Sept. 16 to Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, and by appointments only on Mondays.

From Sept. 16 through Sept. 21, the collective is donating $5 from each sale to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. During the first week of October, they will be supporting Aunt Rita’s foundation which strives to bring HIV education to the community.

The collective also hosts special events that are open to the public.

On Saturday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is their event, Bliss Market, which features over a dozen local and sustainable businesses owned by women.

Each of the six women’s businesses is featured in Conscious Collective.

Crystal Daniels is the designer of her business, Treasure Hunt, which reuses, recycles, and repurposes clothing pieces to keep them out of landfills. Her business features high-end, gently worn designer clothes for a fraction of the retail price.

Madeline Dolgin is a sustainable designer and seamstress who reworks and revamps worn garments to bring them back to life. She founded her business, Healing Seams, which repairs clothing items to prohibit them from being discarded.

“She has turned a pair of jeans into a vest, and she also does custom beading and embroidering,” Daniels said.

Laura Taylor is the curator and stylist of Vintage by Design AZ. Taylor brings her passion for vintage clothing and sustainability to life by selling second-hand clothing.

“Vintage by Design sells accessories, handbags, jewelry, clothing and just about everything from a 1940s floral gown to platform shoes from the 1980s,” Taylor said.

Jessica Zaneis transforms salvaged military gear, like jackets, into messenger bags through her business, Soul Care.  Each piece tells the story of a veteran who wore the item, and 25 percent of her profits are donated to a general fund which gives back to the veteran community.

Aside from fashion, the collective features two local artists’ work.

Tara Gamel is a local Gilbert artist who creates modern Pop Art with a twist. Her work features her feelings, sense of humor, and uses bright colors to grab the viewer’s attention.

“I love those moments when people connect with my artwork and say, ‘ah, I get it!’ It’s a good feeling to know people get you and you’re not alone in what you think,” Gamel said.

Laura Madden’s artwork is from completely reused and recycled materials, including all paint and canvases. Her brand, ReFashioned Art, is meant to take an environmental stance and deliver a message about consumer’s behaviors and their impact on the environment.

“My art, like fashion, is above all else an environmental stance. It’s about finding beauty in the things most people assume to be trash, leftovers, discards, the forgotten, the flawed. If we open our minds, we will see clearly that we already have what we need right in front of us,” Madden said.

What unites these six women together is their collaborative effort to introduce sustainable, creative, local, and vintage pieces to the community.

“The second biggest pollutant in the world, next to oil, is the fashion industry, and I think people are starting to realize that where they spend their dollars speaks volumes and that low-quality clothing is not sustainable,” Daniels said.

This is why she and her fellow curators support buying clothing that is long-lasting instead of buying clothing that loses its life after a few washes, also known as fast fashion.

“The earth is crying and any effort is a good effort. Sustainable shopping is just one way, but there is so much we can do to educate ourselves about what we can do in our daily lives to make a difference,” Daniels said.

Before the pop-up shop, many of the curators were doing one-day events or selling their products online. However, their month-long shop allows them to offer a real shopping experience while bringing sustainable shopping efforts to the community.

After this launch, the collective plans to host more pop up shops and to travel to different locations and get different curators involved.

“Our goal is to let Conscious Collective grow, and take on a life of its own,” Daniels said.

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