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Focus on Fashion Last Updated: Nov 20, 2018 - 8:05:28 AM

Reefs, Runways and Rainforests at Eco Fashion Week Australia
By Robbin Whachell
Nov 10, 2018 - 7:31:13 PM

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Eco Fashion Week Australia was held in Port Douglas with the stunning backdrop of all that North Tropical Queensland has to offer in an eco tourism destination. (Photos: Robbin Whachell)

The second annual Eco Fashion Week Australia is underway and this year the event expanded to Queensland, for 7 days of events in and around Port Douglas.

Tropical North Queensland is famous for the Great Barrier Reef, the world's 7th wonder. The area is also home to the 180 million year old – world's oldest rainforest, the Daintree. The area is also a short drive from the tablelands.  The Atherton Tablelands provide a combination of tropical rainforests, sweeping savannas and outback desert areas encompassing more than 20,000 sq. km of at an altitude ranging from 600m to 1100m where the air is cool and led humid.

"We decided to expand the event to Port Douglas to highlight these ecological treasures," said founder of Eco Fashion Week Australia, Zuhal Kuvan-Mills.  "Although the area has a small population of about 3500 people, our team felt it a good fit for the ethos of our mission."

Although Port Douglas is known primarily as a tourist destination, getting to that audience can be tricky. The event did not disappoint and it served as an excellent opportunity for designers in the region to showcase their craft. 

Tourists and locals that attended enthusiastically expressed their delight at the caliber of the runway shows.

The fashion week was supported by the Douglas Shire Council who is encouraging local tourism operators to become eco certified, in an aim to elevate the area as a top global eco tourism destination.

Runway shows took place at the Port Douglas Community Hall, with the Clink Theatre across the street serving as the seminar location for 'Disposable Planet 2' featuring a diverse range of ecofashion and environmental speakers. 

Speakers of the Disposable Planet 2 seminar at the Clink Theatre in Port Douglas. BACK row left to right: Marina Chahbourne of Beyond Fashion, Chiara Spagnola Gabardi of Eluxe Magazine, Douglas Shire mayor Julia Leu, Nicki Colls of Fibreshed, Bridgette Gower of Sea Shepherd, Robbin Whachell (cofounder The Bahamas Weekly) from Hoy-Scott Watershed Society in Canada, and Stewart Christie of Reef Restoration Foundation; FRONT row left to right: Sylvia Calvo of Barcelona, EFWA founder Zuhal Kuvan-Mills, Jane Milburn of Textile Beat, Natalie Shehata of Tommie Magazine. (Missing from photo was Peta Slack-Smith of Australian Wool Innovation. (Photo: Port Douglas Photogrpaher)

Mending workshops, clothing swaps, and a marketplace where designers could give people a close up touch of their clothing rounded out the week.

The local and international designers presenting in Queensland were: Green Embassy, Curtin Springs Paper,  Ngali, NoRuYeLo, Sylvia Calvo, MOLA, Jude Taylor, Clawdi, Pattern by Design, Nickelby Designs, Zuzana Hrubos, Classic Couture, Junk Weavers Inc., Skylark the Label, Birdtribe, Ren, Livie Rose Designs, Studio Membrane, Beads 'n Pods, Murii Quu Couture, Betty Spoke, Marita Moreno, Leah Kelly by Design.

Honouring those who are going above and beyond in their craft, the Anita Moon Awards of Excellence were presented to:

  • Regina Bochat for Best Australian Student Designer Award
  • Tayla Parnham (Fabric of Nature) for Best Australian Emerging Designer Award
  • Pearlita Oraongan for Best Australian Home Sustainable Garment Award; and

The Australian Made Design Award went to Rose Mercer / Livie Rose Designs.

The event moves to Perth, Western Australia for similar events running from Nov. 15 to 21 in Fremantle, with more designers added to the schedule as well as a slightly different array of speakers.

Get all the details at: www.ecofashionweekaustralia.com  or following on Instagram or Facebook.

Eco Fashion Week Australia proudly partners with The Bahamas Weekly; Douglas Shire Council; Explore Tropical North Queensland; Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef; Eluxe Magazine;  luxiders; Be Global Fashion Network; tommie magazine; Olio by Marilyn; Textile Beat; Circular Style Magazine; Style Drama; Dowerin GWN Machinery Field Days; LOIG'S MUSIC LAB; Dene Selby: Model School, Agency & Image Maker; Xpression Models; Claire Hair Boutique; Notre Dame University; The Beauty Room; QT Port Douglas; Ethically Kate; Slow Down Style; A Small Wardrobe; Zuii Organic; Australian Made Campaign; Edith Cowan University (ECU); Curtin University; Eco Fashion Talk; Rainforest Rescue; Sea Shepherd Australia; Reef Restoration Foundation; Indigo, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef; and Curtin Springs Paper.

About the author: Robbin Whachell is a publicist, writer, photo-journalist; and the co-founder of  TheBahamasWeekly.com. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, Skype. She can be reached at robbinwhachell@gmail.com

Runway shows ran four nights in Port Douglas. IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE: Classic Couture Vintage Bridal (Australia); Livie Rose Designs Jewelry (Australia); Zuzana Hrubos (Czech Republic); Junk Weavers Inc. (Australia); Ngali (Australia); Marita Mareno (Portugal) footwear and bags; Ren (Turkey); and Silvia Calvo (Barcelona)(Photos: Port Douglas Photographer)

Studio Membrane's "Claws of Clothes"(Japan)

Read our article about Japanese designer Hiroaki Tanaka and his resin work (seen above): Resin Textiles to Showcase at Eco Fashion Week Australia

Port Douglas runway shows and eco fashion awards. IN ORDER of appearance: MOLA; Green Embassy; Anita Moon Award to Regina Bochat; designer preview; and MC and eco ambassador, Angie Ayers. (Photos by Port Douglas Photographer)

Queensland designer, Birdtribe (Photo: Port Douglas Photographer)

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