Social sciences senior Melissa Soroushian will showcase fashion and humanity this Friday with her senior project, the Eco Show.
The fashion show will feature clothing and jewelry from local sustainable designers.
“I’ve always had a passion for fashion,” Soroushian said. “And as a social science major, I have a huge investment in humanity.”
The Eco Show started as a lofty idea, one Soroushian said she was ready to let go of once the stress of senior year hit.
“I was so shying away from the idea,” she said. “But my adviser really pushed me, and my friends and family were so supportive, I had to make it happen.”
With the support of her peers, friends, family and faculty, Soroushian contacted Maria Kelly of ECOSLO, who has worked with other students on senior projects.
“When she presented the idea, I was really excited,” Kelly said. “It’s really important to address all environmental issues, including consumerism.”
So with the help of Kelly, the seemingly impossible project took off, and Soroushian channeled her creative side.
The process began with Soroushian contacting designers and local sustainable businesses to participate in the event, which required quite a bit of compromise and flexibility.
“Originally I had wanted all of the pieces to be from this one store,” she said. “But when I started looking into it more, I realized that couldn’t happen. And it changed the whole way I looked at the show.”
The final product will feature Bambu Batu, Hemp Shack, Rebellious Nature and AnarchTee, Hybrid Couture, Twisted Silver, From War to Peace and Salon Luxe Aveda.
Before the show begins, there will be live music and entertainment, as well as vendors from the participating businesses and food and drink specials at Creeky Tiki.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Soroushian said. “Even if you’re not there for the runway show, there’s a lot going on otherwise.”
Kelly said she is looking forward to the opportunity to bring community members together for an important cause.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the local businesses,” she said. “It will be interesting to see if this changes their traffic.”
The clothing from the local businesses will be modeled by Cal Poly students — some with desires to pursue modeling, but mostly friends of Soroushian’s, who have been happy to help with the project.
“Working (on the Eco Show) has been a lot of fun,” anthropology and geography senior Torie Robinson said. “But we’ve really been more than models. We’ve been spreading the word and working the booths, too.”
Robinson has never modeled before and said he is looking forward to the new opportunity. While he said he’s nervous, he’s more focused on the outcome of all the hard work Soroushian and the team have put into the project.
“It’s great that I have this opportunity to do something I’ve never done before, help a friend and raise money for a really great cause,” Robinson said.
All of the proceeds of the Eco Show will go to ECOSLO, a local environmental organization that primarily works on trails within San Luis Obispo County. Kelly said a lot of the proceeds will help cover overhead costs that can be difficult for non-profit organizations to shoulder.
“The little things sometimes get really difficult,” she said. “So fundraising like this is really critical.”
Soroushian said she hopes around 100 people will attend. As of Wednesday, 267 people have marked “attending” on the event’s Facebook page.
“I know that’s a funny way to measure things,” Soroushian said. “But Facebook has been really helpful throughout this whole process.”
Soroushian said she felt calm, but nervous for Friday. Her biggest concern isn’t the attendance — it’s the message she wants to convey from the show.
“I want the audience to see that you can create amazing things with sustainable materials,” she said. “And I want them to see that there are lots of sustainable local businesses.”
Robinson said he’s enjoyed his work with the Eco Show and is really excited to see the final product.
“I want people to be aware of what they’re supporting,” he said. “There are a lot of companies in the show that I had never heard of, I want to help get their names out.”
Soroushian said she encourages everyone to come take part in the event.
“There’s going to be so much going on,” she said. “It will be really great. I hope the community can come together through the cause.”
The event will take place at 7 p.m. at Creeky Tiki, and tickets are $3.