At Darien designer fashion show, sustainability is on trend

Shoppers look for deals at the Darien Community Association Thrift Shop in Darien, Conn. Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

Shoppers look for deals at the Darien Community Association Thrift Shop in Darien, Conn. Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

DARIEN - Sustainability meets fashion thanks to an “unknown” town treasure.

The Darien Community Association is hosting a sustainable designer fashion show Sept. 14 to promote eco-friendly shopping.

All of the outfits will be pulled directly from the DCA Thrift Shop, showcasing a mix of classic brands such as Burberry and Valentino alongside contemporary designers like Rag & Bone and Paige.

Though the DCA Thrift Shop has been around for nearly 90 years, DCA secretary Sue Kunze thinks the show will open up “an unknown treasure in town,” to a larger audience.

“The DCA Thrift Shop is a really good place to try (thrifting) because there are so many amazing things,” she said. “The fashion show in particular is going to be a great introduction to anybody new to it.”

Normally responsible for overseeing the shop’s boutique section, Kunze is part of the styling team behind the show’s 25 to 35 outfits for the fall/winter season.

The runway will feature a range of styles for all ages and genders, featuring local models associated with the DCA.

All items featured during the show — clothes, shoes and accessories — can be purchased after the event, along with plenty of additional garments.

Prices will start as low as $20, Kunze said, capped at the thousand dollar range on select high-value luxuries like a cashmere Celine coat for a fraction of the retail cost.

Attendees at the event will be entered into a door prize for a Jimmy Choo handbag. For those unable to participate, tickets for a separate designer bag raffle are available at the DCA Thrift Shop.

Secondhand and vintage clothing have become popular sources for consumers to shop high-end products at a more affordable price point without contributing to fashion’s growing environmental toll.

Fashion production is responsible for 2 to 8 percent of global carbon emissions, according to the United Nations, with the vast majority of clothes eventually incinerated or discarded in landfills.

“If you can buy things that are beautiful without adding any detriment to the environment, it’s something you should do,” Kunze said.

All of the proceeds will go toward the DCA, supporting local scholarships and other philanthropic endeavors.

The fashion show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Darien Community Association, preceded by a wine reception a half hour before. Tickets are available for purchase through Sept. 13 on the DCA website for $25.