Videographer Silas Crews and photographers Julie Lawrence and Cindy Roth capture Lindsay Sué as she walks the runway for Impact Fashion’s show in New Dungeness Nursery. (Matthew Nash /Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Videographer Silas Crews and photographers Julie Lawrence and Cindy Roth capture Lindsay Sué as she walks the runway for Impact Fashion’s show in New Dungeness Nursery. (Matthew Nash /Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Fair trade fashion show finds roots on Peninsula

Debut set for Sept. 4 at Impact Fashion online

SEQUIM — Sica Schmitz of Sequim was seeking more greenery for her fifth Impact Fashion Show. She found exactly that — and her new favorite venue — at New Dungeness Nursery.

With a runway surrounded by trees inside a greenhouse, Schmitz moved her annual show from Los Angeles to Dungeness last week, with a crew of local and Seattle-area models, stylists and photographers creating an online version of the event.

“I’m so excited; we have models of all ages, body types and kinds of beauty,” she said. “It’s definitely the most inclusive thing I’ve been able to do.”

A look down the runway reveals a number of photographers and videographers shooting models for Impact Fashion, a fashion show highlighting designers focused on sustainable clothing and accessories. (Matthew Nash /Olympic Peninsula News Group)

A look down the runway reveals a number of photographers and videographers shooting models for Impact Fashion, a fashion show highlighting designers focused on sustainable clothing and accessories. (Matthew Nash /Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Opting not to travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Schmitz chose to film her annual fashion show on Aug. 6 at New Dungeness Nursery.

It’ll debut online Sept. 4, and participants can choose to join a two-day summit with 10 panels and four workshops focused on sustainable fashion such as women-led fashion and fair trade.

Many of the designers are involved in panels, too.

Online and through friends, Schmitz recruited 11 models — including Ms. Senior USA Cherie Kidd, a former Port Angeles mayor — to share three to five looks from more than two-dozen designers of clothing and accessories that focus on sustainable fashion.

To Schmitz, sustainable fashion is “taking care of this generation without jeopardizing the next generation.

“When it comes to fashion, it’s incredibly resource intensive; making and disposing,” she said. “A lot of fabric goes into landfills and just stays there.”

Sarah Shea of Sequim walks the runway to promote sustainable clothing lines through Impact Fashion. Photographers and videographers like Cindy Roth, right, will help compile footage and photos for the Sept. 4 debut of the fashion show as part of a two-day summit. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sarah Shea of Sequim walks the runway to promote sustainable clothing lines through Impact Fashion. Photographers and videographers like Cindy Roth, right, will help compile footage and photos for the Sept. 4 debut of the fashion show as part of a two-day summit. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Her nonprofit focuses on making fashion safe for people, animals and the Earth — promoting fair trade and wages, using animal-free materials and choosing innovative materials and sustainable practices.

Filmed by Silas Crews of Story Crane Productions, the runway show will be spliced together with highlights of close-ups of jewelry and clothes. It will run about 20 minutes depending on editing, Schmitz said.

With regulations in place across the nation, many designers are going virtual for their shows with some opting to send models clothes and accessories and have them film and model themselves for editing, she said.

Bringing people together in Dungeness maintains the lighting and feel of the show, Schmitz said.

“These past couple of months, people have been so excited about it,” she said.

On set, participants wore masks except models on the runway. No more than two models were on set at a time with one behind the scenes and one on the runway.

Aurora Lagattuta of Sequim was one of 11 models to participate in the impact Fashion Show. She and others wore up to five different outfits promoting sustainable fashion — free of animal materials — and fair trade. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Aurora Lagattuta of Sequim was one of 11 models to participate in the impact Fashion Show. She and others wore up to five different outfits promoting sustainable fashion — free of animal materials — and fair trade. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Setting

The show has been delayed a few times for various reasons, including COVID-19.

“We don’t know what life has in store, but things can always come together in new ways,” Schmitz said.

“It’s about getting less attached to how it came together and letting it come together in the right way.”

That attitude led her to bringing the show to her hometown and the New Dungeness Nursery.

“It’s the best venue we’ve ever had,” she said.

“It’s so different here in Sequim versus L.A. There, it’s such a process, whereas here, I just came in and asked.

“That’s the beauty of a small town. I didn’t know them before.”

A number of volunteers from the Sequim and Seattle area helped Sica Schmitz, creator of Impact Fashion, hold the nonprofit’s fifth fashion show on Aug. 6 at New Dungeness Nursery. The event will broadcast online Sept. 4 at the nonprofit’s website as part of a summit to promote sustainable fashion. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

A number of volunteers from the Sequim and Seattle area helped Sica Schmitz, creator of Impact Fashion, hold the nonprofit’s fifth fashion show on Aug. 6 at New Dungeness Nursery. The event will broadcast online Sept. 4 at the nonprofit’s website as part of a summit to promote sustainable fashion. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Being flexible also helped, as the show’s original backdrops were stuck in Los Angeles. Schmitz instead recruited a local designer to help create the paper backdrops the night before the shoot.

Schmitz also changed it up, inviting her friend Akia Ronai to pick outfits for the models instead of her, which she said felt like “an expansion to have her.”

When the models came down the runway, Schmitz said she loved the looks and surprise of it all.

Kidd said she’s intrigued by Schmitz’s message and that she “created a wonderful effort that so many people believe in.”

For more information about the nonprofit or tickets for the Impact Fashion Show, visit impactfashion.org.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].

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