Asheville – The Color Me Goodwill benefit fashion show of up-cycled outfits will be Friday, April 29 in The Orange Peel in Downtown Asheville.
This is the sixth annual Color Me Goodwill (CMG) put on by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina (GINNC) as a fundraiser for local Goodwill programs. The show starts at 7 p.m.
Seven Asheville area fashion designers each showcase five “up-cycled” outfits of the same color, that they put together with fabric from Goodwill retail stores. They each got $200 to buy clothing and materials.
Entrants were chosen from among applicants of various levels, all of whom submitted photos of their sample clothing creations. Designers can compete individually, as a duo or trio.
Their creations are judged by a panel of judges for the innovative design, creative use of original materials, the garment’s construction, and sewing skill and quality. The overall winner is chosen by judges, and receives $500. The audience choice winner gets $200.
The seven designers competing in Color Me Goodwill are Art Blue, Raw Fawley, Jenna Jaffe, Mama Trash, Shepp McManus, Sugar Britches, and The Three Graces.
Three Graces, a longtime CMG contestant, won ‘Best in Show’ a year ago and ‘Best in Category’ in 2019. The trio is designer/costumer Charlotte “Cat” Murphy, Studio Vonceil and Trollbinde Jewelry. Another team is Sugar Britches’ textile artists, who run a downtown Asheville shop.
Mr. Blue specializes in vintage fashion. He and Fawley return, after competing in CMG in ‘19. McManus worked across the nation as a costume designer and educator. Jaffe returned to fabric design and construction. She is an artist, musician and teacher.
“Mama Trash” — as she calls herself — makes costumes only from up-cycled, second-hand materials. She is a burlesque performer and roller skater. The University of Utah grad was a 4-H farmer during high school. She had an eye for fashion since childhood, and is into “glam” and reusability.
“Color Me Goodwill is a showcase for Asheville’s unique community of sustainable fashion designers,” said Jaymie Eichorn, Goodwill V.P. of marketing and communications. Entrants include “established, well-known designers as well as up-and-coming artists” with “distinct, original perspectives.” She noted they “deconstruct and rebuild, to create their stunning collections.”
Designer Leanna Echeverri said contestants “share a commitment to sustainable fashion, using repurposed materials.” She won Color Me Goodwill in 2018 and ‘19, and now is one of its directors.
Up-cycled clothing is a growing local industry. Stina Andersen took her Asheville-based business on the road around town and to major festivals, in her ARTeries Mobile Boutique. She said an outfit can be a “visual narrative” of a fashion model’s character.
CMG was cancelled in ‘20 and held virtually in ‘21, but returns in person. “The Asheville fashion community immediately embraced Color Me Goodwill, which is why we’ve made it to this milestone,” said Sara Butner, Goodwill’s communications manager for eight years. “The show has sold out every year. We expect a standing-room-only crowd at The Orange Peel again this time.”
The Orange Peel is among Asheville venues requiring proof of vaccination or a recent COVID-19 test.
Color Me Goodwill “celebrates the potential of second chances” in human lives as with garments, Eichorn said. She noted CMG models are Goodwill clients who “parcipated successfully in one of Goodwill’s employment programs.” You’ll get to hear their inspiring stories during the show.
Goodwill sells quality name brand clothes and household items to raise money for its programs. Programs include providing jobs, such as in Goodwill retail stores, to help people hunt for jobs, budget finances, and attain financial stability.
“We help build responsibility” in workers, help them advance their, “education or assist with their personal needs,” Butner said. She noted that “every year we help more than 30,000 people write resumes, develop job interview skills, and train in the fields needed by employers — all for free.”
As she says, “we are not just a retail store. We are an important entity for our neighborhood communities.”
The fashion show’s admission revenue helps with this mission. So do donors of pre-owned merchandise. During the pandemic “people were graciously donating on a fast and furious basis,” Butner said. “People were cleaning out their attics and garages at a higher than normal pace. Our employee volume was keeping up as they could.” Continuing to get and sell items helped retain staff.
Butner relates to Goodwill shoppers. “All my life, I’ve loved scouring thrift stores for one-of-a-kind treasures and bargains on name brand clothes. Who doesn’t love transforming someone’s thrown out lamp, end-table or worn-out curtains into something unique and beautiful?”
Tickets to Color Me Goodwill cost $25 or $20 in advance, and can be bought via The Orange Peel box office. For more info, check www.colormegoodwill.org.
Editor’s Note: Katrina Morgan contributed to this report.