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New York, NY
USA

Izavel Varela is a fashion brand based in New York City.

MY JOURNEY

My Love for Art, Fashion and the World!

Isabel Varela

It is TRUE! My first love was art. When I was younger my days consisted of eating, playing outside, and creating some kind of art. I would use anything and everything as my canvas, even the floor to my parents garage! (OOPS)

 Yes this is the floor of my parents' garage.

Yes this is the floor of my parents' garage.

It wasn't until the age of 10 that I started to see fabric as a source of art. I would watch my grandmother do alterations on garments while looking through fashion magazines. I started to appreciate the color, textures, and how the fabrics would lay on the body. Since I wore uniforms all my life in school, I made sure that on the weekends I would play around with clothing and create different silhouettes. Now in 2018, I still continue to upcycle my clothing.

 My grandmother's alteration box

My grandmother's alteration box

Everyday I am creating new garments, deconstructing, and altering garments to create a new story and to express myself. However, it wasn't until watching the movie "TRUE COST" that my whole point of view on fashion turned upside down. I decided that if I am going to continue in fashion, then I am going to be part of the solution.  This is when my love for art and fashion combined together to form my mission which is to empower others to be aware of choosing healthier options in fashion. We know that the fashion industry is the second leading polluter after the oil industry which is causing great harm to the environment and to humanity. Knowing this I knew that I wanted to become a positive disruptor and decided to host my very first Eco Fashion Event. 

Click to see more pictures!

 

The goal for the event was to be a zero-waste event, collaborate with like-minded individuals also making a difference in the world, work with veteran models, donate left over food to the homeless, and create art out of the flowers and left over things at the event. I also wanted to host a swap and upcycle event, host a silent auction and give the proceeds to a charity, create a capsule collection using only fabrics from past collections and to use the scraps of the fabric to make bags and to give my first presentation on the physical and psychological effects. Let's just say that everything was marked off the list! I appreciated everyone that came out to help, sponsor, and to support! 

Click on the pic to hear The most important speech of my life which starts at 2:06!

 

List of the Sponsors and Collaborators:

Prowess Veteran Model - Veteran Models
UpMountainswitchel - Sponsored Drinks
Weaving Hand - Weaved beautiful fabric from my scraps of fabric
Johnathan Vargas - Videographer
Maya Koshaba - PR Director / Model
Thomas Garza - Photography
Caite Winters - Brand Ambassador / Model

Mike Handleman - Host
DJ Pelau - DJ
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce - Sponsor

OM Indian Restaurant - Cater
Tosca Marleen - FAWAKA desserts
Land Gallery - Charity - Proceeds from silent auction went here
The Farm Soho - Location

What the heck did I do in 2017?

Isabel Varela

It has definitely been awhile since the last post however I have definitely been staying busy. Here are few of the highlights:

AUGUST 2017

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I was so excited to do an amazing collaboration with Make A Change World.  Both Gary Bencheghib and Sam Bencheghib of Make A Change World  kayaked down the #CitarumRiver in a boat made out of recycled bottles wearing Izavel Varela Shirts made out of Bamboo! 

The Citarum River is one of the most polluted rivers because of all the waste coming from household and also industry waste which includes waste from the fashion industry. This definitely made a huge impact and brought awareness to the the dangers that plastic has on the environment and humanity. They also were able to meet with others along the way that are also helping to reduce this pollution. 

Make A Change World is a media outlet and creative agency that is on a mission to do good by creating 100% original digital videos

To learn more about Make A Change World, visit http://makeachange.world

 

SEPTEMBER 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 


Another great collaboration was with REDRESS, Hong Kong based NGO working to reduce textile waste in the fashion industry. I partnered up with them for the month of September to not only celebrate their 10th Anniversary but to also empower everyone to be more conscious of their wardrobe. I wore 10 different articles of clothing for 10 days, in 10 different ways! I also donated a percentage of my online sales to them! The pieces that I chose to wear were from my eco wear line along with 3 pieces that were each over 10 years old! Check out the slide show!

To learn more about Redress, visit https://www.redress.com.hk.

 

OCTOBER 2017

This year I took a vacation to Costa Rica, however it wasn't your typical getaway. I spent 5 days in Punta Mona, Regenerative Design and Permaculture Education Center.  I spent my days living in an open-air cabin in the middle of a jungle! I was definitely living with nature, eating off the land, and of course learning more about how to live in a zero-waste community. I fell in love with this location and highly recommend everyone that is up for an adventure!

To learn more about Punta Mona, visit http://puntamona.org

 

JULY 2017

 

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I was really excited about this next opportunity! I created the costumes for Anne of Green Gables Part 1 by Royal Family Productions! What was really great is I was able to up cycle fabric to create the costumes! 

 

WHAT A YEAR! 

As you can see it was a very busy year! In between this projects I was also working on building more brand awareness, making custom suits for various clients, made a custom gown for a client attending the International Indian Film Festival Academy Awards, presented a speech on "How to Dress for Interviews and the history of Men and women's suits, hosted by Bloomberg and Fortune Society  and of course preparing ideas for my next event!

 

I would love to invite you to join the community and to subscribe down below!! I am excited to share with you all the exciting things that I am working on to continue my mission of helping the environment and humanity through healthier options in fashion!!
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The Ethics Behind A Vegan Fashionista

Isabel Varela

 Chouara Tannery, one of the largest and oldest tanneries in the world, is located in Fez, Morrocco.    Photo Credit

Chouara Tannery, one of the largest and oldest tanneries in the world, is located in Fez, Morrocco. 

Photo Credit

With Gemini as my rising star, I have a natural passionate spirit for many things. Ethics in both food and fashion fuel my passion for my forward-thinking, cruelty-free fashion brand–Designed to empower people.

Here’s the truth behind why I don’t use leather anymore and why I do not fall into stereotyping or categorizing myself as completely vegan or vegetarian.

Let’s start with what we eat. Vegetarianism is usually a diet, while veganism is a lifestyle. It’s all about balance. I am not completely 100 percent vegan at this point, but the more that I realize the atrocities that happen to animals, the less I want to eat them, and the more minimalist I find myself becoming.  

 One of my favorite dishes! A Root Vegetable Fritata with Zucchini Pasta and Cranberry Sauce. 

One of my favorite dishes! A Root Vegetable Fritata with Zucchini Pasta and Cranberry Sauce. 

Here’s the shocking truth about leatherLeather is not a byproduct and it is not produced in efforts to minimize waste. The horrors of leather come from skinning animals alive followed by the tanneries drenching them in cancer causing chemicals.

The great news is that there are more cruelty-free options nowadays. I am continuously looking for healthier ways to produce fashion, and I am thrilled the new wave of innovative textiles will focus on the use of biotechnology. Did you know there is a fabric called Pinatex, which are fibers extracted from pineapples? And did I mention, spider webs can now be made into fibers!

This is proof there are better alternatives out there and more are to come! I strive to make my company cruelty-free and I want to inspire companies to do the same. The more I learn about the environment and all the harm that is happening around the world, the more that I want to do better in the world.

I want to be able to help the world, and it all starts with a conscience choice. That is why I am focused on producing safe, ethical clothing and creating awareness around options for a healthier choice.

 In the process of finishing one of the Red Bamboo Long Draped Dress.

In the process of finishing one of the Red Bamboo Long Draped Dress.

In the future, I strive for synergy in both food and fashion. I am working to offer a manufacturing company that pays fair wages to sewers, uses ethically sourced and produces organic fabric while combining a healthy lifestyle, showing others how to eat and live healthy.

The Future is ours and we will directly impact humanity and the environment. Everyone has free will to choose what they want, but as long as society becomes more aware of what is going on we will be able to choose the better choice.