If you weren’t able to attend this year’s Project Earth Day Eco Fashion Runway Show, we have good news for you: Inhabitat was on the scene at Openhouse Gallery to bring you all of the pics and juicy details. From several killer runway shows to a rockin’ reception where people (including our very own editor-in-chief, Jill Fehrenbacher) were chatting so excitedly that their voices were hoarse the next day, Project Earth Day officially blasted away any stereotypes that eco-fashion is boring or crunchy. FINALLY!

 backstage pass, Bahar Shahpar, earth-friendly design, eco-fashion, green fashion, Project Earth Day, project earth day runway show, Sustainable Fashion, Sustainable Materials, sustainable style, projection, sign

The theme of this year’s show was “Through the Looking Glass” and challenged designers to explore scale and dimension. Bigger is not always better, and although we’re not sure if it was intentional, even the venue reflected that idea. Openhouse Gallery is quite a bit smaller than last year’s space, but the production itself felt grander than ever before with tons of media attention, people lined up around the block to get in and the hottest names in green fashion participating.

 backstage pass, Bahar Shahpar, earth-friendly design, eco-fashion, green fashion, Project Earth Day, project earth day runway show, Sustainable Fashion, Sustainable Materials, sustainable style, crowd, openhouse gallery

PED Student Competition


Since the future of sustainable fashion lies in the hands of tomorrow’s designers, the Student Competition portion of PED had us on the edge of our seats (or on the tippy-toes of our high heels if you were standing like me). This year’s star-studded guest judging panel included Drew Becher, Executive Director of sponsor, New York Restoration Project, Janine James, Founder and Creative Director of multidisciplinary design think tank, The Moderns, John Schroeter, President and CEO of Applied Textiles, and Josh Dorfman, media personality and author of Inhabitat favorite “The Lazy Environmentalist.”

Project Earth Day Guest Judges

Judges, clipboards in hand, were asked to rate student designs on Creativity & Concept (50%), Technical Execution (25%), and Eco Design Principles Checklist (25%). We thought it was quite clever that the Eco Design Principles portion included criteria such as Sustainable “Sites”, Energy and Atmosphere and Innovation in Design, mimicking the checklist that sponsor USGBC NY uses for LEED certification of buildings! Well, at least the nerdier ones of us did.

PED Student Competition: First Place: Stacy Longo (FIT)Stacy Longo of FIT

PED Student Competition: My Favorite look by Boram Kang (FIT)Boram Kang of FIT

PED Student Competition: Caroline Rossignol (Parsons)Caroline Rossignol (Parsons)

PED Student Competition: Sawa TakaiSawa Takai

and the winner is….STACY LONGO (of FIT)

PED Student Competition WinnerStacy Longo wins FIRST PLACE!

PED Student Competition: Winner Stacy Longo (FIT)first place winner Stacy Longo


While we loved the student competition and its glimpse of the future of green fashion, we also know how important it is to check out what designers are doing today to create sustainability in the world of fashion. Because of this the professional eco-fashion runway show which closed Project Earth Day was a special treat as all of the existing brands in the show pumped inspiration into anyone who wants to start making their wardrobes more eco-conscious right now. The professional designer runway show featured sustainable style superstars Alkemie, Bodkin, Bahar Shahpar, Charmoné, Covet, Cri de Coeur, Eko-Lab (Meiling Chen, Melissa Kirgan, Mika Machida, and Xing-Zhen Chung-Hilyard), Lara Miller, Larsen Grey, Loyale, Mociun, Mattainai, NEUAURA, Olsen Haus and Sublet. We are happy to report that the vast majority of the looks featured were sleek, polished, sculptural designs that were anything but hempy. While many of these designers have been featured on Inhabitat before, stay tuned for more sustainable style goodness on the lines that struck our fancy.

PED Runway Show: Pink Madison dress by Lara MillerPink Madison dress by Lara Miller

PED Runway Show: White Alviso jumpsuit by LoyaleWhite Alviso jumpsuit by Loyale

PED Runway Show: Deep Waters gown by Melissa Kirgan (Eko-Lab), eco fashion show, eco fashion , green fashion, eco project runway, green project runway, green fashion showDeep Waters gown by Melissa Kirgan (Eko-Lab)

You know how much we love our eco-fashion here at Inhabitat, and we were psyched to see so many people come out to rub elbows (literally, it was THAT packed) with one another, proliferate ideas and collaborate on even more sustainable projects. And while we have such an amazing time at these events, we hope to eventually move towards a new era where Project Earth Day will no longer need to take place because every fashion show will be inherently sustainable. Hopefully we can hold out for a few more years though – PED is too fun to give it up that quickly! Check out our photos of the event here >

+ Project Earth Day

+ Project Earth Day 2009 Photo Gallery

+ Project Earth Day 2008 on Inhabitat

+ Project Earth Day Student Competition 2008 on Inhabitat

PED Runway Show: Suspender coveralls by Bahar ShahparSuspender coveralls by Bahar Shahpar

PED Runway Show: Men's Striped Sweater and shorts by CovetMen’s Striped Sweater and shorts by Covet

PED Runway Show: Tri racerback jumpsuit by Melissa Kirgan (Eko-Lab)Tri racerback jumpsuit by Melissa Kirgan (Eko-Lab)

PED Runway Show: Niki Coat and Donna dress by Lara MillerNiki Coat and Donna dress by Lara Miller