Thursday night, Campeche’s Feria Zero Waste took off with a bang.
From the terrace of the gorgeous Casa Balché, overlooking the city center of Campeche, a socially-distanced crowd of over thirty enjoyed music, artisanal organic wine, and a contemporary dance performance. But the main event? A zero waste fashion show.
In an audacious opening event, models from across the world walked the runway to showcase the recent work of Argentine designer Alex Aguiar. From jeans to kimonos, handbags to dresses, Aguiar’s wide repertoire was on full display, and molded a spectacle into the nexus between sustainability and high fashion.
Aguiar implements groundbreaking techniques to weave garments that honor zero waste philosophy: the tenets that we should reduce our consumption of single-use plastic and other waste, seek out reusable items, and find creative ways to reuse old or damaged items. As guests to the show saw, Aguiar’s inspiring innovations serve both to educate and to celebrate — two themes of the larger Feria that are promoted throughout various other events.
Namely, guests on Friday night gathered in the Xaman Ek ecological refuge to enjoy delicious organic fried ice cream while hearing experts from Plastic Oceans International discuss the future of plastic in society. POI’s participation in this year’s Feria comes on the back of over a year of close collaboration with the Campeche community; in fact, Campeche was the pilot site of POI’s #BlueCommunities program, a global initiative working to facilitate locally-led environmental action in communities across the world.
This ethos of community is central to the vision of Feria. The dozens of stands and palapas you see as you enter the festival did not appear overnight; they are the product of years of collective engagement across Campeche, people from all walks of life seeking out like-minded individuals to help one another and amass momentum in what has become a bold local movement. Only after such extensive, genuine collaboration do you attain the palpable connectedness that permeates all aspects of the festival, as local vendors, craftsmen, and scholars gather to share tools, ideas, and — of course — delicious food and wine.
“Having a community like this definitely amplifies the message we are trying to promote,” says Antonio Peres, a vendor who sells second-hand clothing. “It is about values — treating our environment, and one another, with respect.”
The beautiful thing is, this community is open to all. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, don’t worry — there is still much to come. Events from premiere screenings to repair workshops will occur throughout the upcoming days until Tuesday, March 30th, when the festival will conclude with a farm-to-table dinner hosted by Enrique Ortiz, head chef of one of Campeche’s only Green Business (Empresa Verde) zero waste restaurants, La Maria Cocina Peninsular.
So whether you’re near or far, come by and enjoy all the Feria has to offer. Because there are big things happening here, and each person that enters becomes a part of it.
Still to Come
Sunday, March 28
Event: Green Market (Mercado Verde)
Location: El Refugio Xaman Ek
Tuesday, March 30
Event: Farm-to-table dinner, hosted by Enrique Ortiz
Location: Casa Balché
Isaiah Maynard for Times Media Mexico
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