Fanshawe fashion show promotes sustainability

Photo of The Story pop-up shop, featuring the store logo and clothing display. CREDIT: BEN HARRIETHA
The outfits put together for The Story fashion show were all pre-loved clothing hand-picked by students.

After not running in-person for nearly three years due to the pandemic, The Story came back to Fanshawe’s Student Centre.

The pop-up shop ran in the days leading up to the actual performance, offering a curated selection of clothing that students spent time picking through, thanks to a collaboration between the fashion marketing and management program and Goodwill Industries. Saleem Dahi, a second-year student in the program, was part of the store planning committee, as well as taking part in the show.

“Not only did we get a lot of merchandise from Goodwill, the fashion department has like a bunch of stuff on hand already,” Dahi said. “So we went through all of that thinking, ‘who do we think we could sell these to?’ It’s all pretty loved clothes, it’s a lot of like making sure there’s no stains or smells.”

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On top of making sure the clothing is all in good condition, the students have to remove any old tags still left on the clothing, value the pieces, tag them, then plan out where to place each piece of clothing using a map of the store.

Dahi added that the experience was not only fun but a positive learning experience as well.

“Even though we were very well planned, it was still a small amount of time. We had to plan such a big event in such a short time, we all learned how to really crunch when it came down to it.”

The entire project was headed by Deb Trotechaud, a professor within the fashion marketing and management program.

“The concept of the name came up because everybody has a story,” Trotechaud said. “All these pieces have their own stories. It was really just about listening to people and their stories, because you never know what someone's going through.”

All the money made from the pop-up store is put towards a scholarship for fashion marketing and management students in their last year.

“Goodwill’s mission statement is based around helping people with their mental health and so is The Story,” Trotechaud explained. “We have a lot of students obviously that suffer from mental health issues, and so when we decided to do this scholarship it was really just to support them in their last year. So as they’re leaving, we give them some money to help set up their life and change their story, make it a better story.”

The last in-person iteration of The Story was held at the Goodwill Centre on Horton St. back in 2019. Trotechaud said that it felt great to be back.

“Everybody’s been craving it. There’s definitely some social awkwardness because we haven’t done it in ages, and some of the students have been online learning since high school.”

She also mentioned that they chose to host at the college for their first year back to err on the side of caution, but the possibility of the show returning to the Goodwill Centre is not out of the question.