Interview: Aysia Wright of Green Loop | Better Living Show

Stacy was able to get an interview with Aysia Wright of Green Loop even though she has to be super busy with the production that is Better Living Show. This event has a lot going on this weekend, so here are some links to navigate through it (and other weekend links):

Interview: Aysia Wright of Green Loop
By Stacy Day

It's not too late to catch the first SEMPER Fashion Aysia Wright, green loop, portland, oregonshow at 8PM + the best selection of the GreenLoop Warehouse Sale at the Energy Trust Better Living Show going on now at the Expo Center!

And if this didn't convince you, Aysia Wright of GreenLoop shares a few more reasons as well as an inside look at the eco-retail world + supporting sustainable companies.

{Attention singles: There may be some clues in there involving booze, cool acronyms that make you sound smart + wallets that make good conversation starters…}

Continue reading for interview

This is the second year of the Better Living Show, with last year attracting 22,000 visitors. What do you think is attracting people to the show + what moved GreenLoop to be an exhibitor?

For starters…its FREE! Not often the case.  But aside from the obvious, people are so much more aware now of environmental issues and willing to take extra steps to incorporate sustainable living practices into their lives. This show is not just another festival filled with booths on alternative healing and palm reading, which is fun, but has been done.  This show is a diverse gathering of people, products and services all aimed at providing information, education, services, value and entertainment to those attending.

Everything from finding solar power installation, having organic cocktails, to green remodeling, native plant gardening, energy conservation & home audit information, recycling & composting, eco transportation, business services, sustainable fashion & accessories. Those will be highlighted with three fashion shows over the course of the weekend – Fri & Sat at 8pm and Sun at 2pm, and a giant warehouse sale with 30-90% off.  Its modern, well put together, truly produced in a environmentally responsible manner, thanks to Blue Ocean events who really walk the talk, and are a lot of fun.

As a sustainable start up in 2004, what changes have you seen surrounding awareness of GreenLoop + the local Portland fashion industry?  And likewise, is there anything that has remained constant?

Its been a long road, as eco-fashion was barely on the radar at all when we go started, with very little to choose from in terms of designers to stock and offer.  About a year later, a noticeable interest in the movement was rising, with the media, a marked increase of designers coming out with well designed, sustainable apparel, an increase in the availability and variety of textiles to choose from, more focus on fair trade and monitoring manufacturing facilities to ensure human rights and safety are being protected.  From there, it has continued to grow as awareness and interest has broken free of fringe, progressive and green media to infiltrate main stream media and society at large.  You know you've come a long way when the big box stores, while maybe not the designer, and whose labor practices I can't speak for, are carrying garments made from organic cotton.

In 2004, there were a fraction of eco-conscious + focused business that there are now.  What changes or challenges have you seen in the availability of + reactivity to sustainable yet still stylish-forward products?

More designers and companies in general are realizing that we are going to demand environmental and social responsibility as a requirement of doing business; and consumers that care — a growing percent of the populate referred to as LOHAS consumers (those living lifestyles of health and sustainability), are using their dollars to vote for the types of companies they want doing business and rebuilding the economy.  There is a market here, that is far from saturated, and good designers, those with the skills desired and need to design garments that fit into people's lives, help to serve their self expression, are well made, look good, on trend without people overly so, to allow them to transcend many seasons – designers are seeing true value here and personal fulfillment.  Not to mention, it just makes good business sense to operate this way.

Everyone is talking about the economy, so I guess this question is not a surprise.  What impact have you witnessed in the retail eco-goods industry?

Of course eco-based business are going to be affected. When people do not have jobs or money to spend, they don't buy from any business, eco or otherwise.  Eco companies are coming and going, like many right now, and some are just barely holding on while others are thriving.  Mission based companies, from I have seen, are much more willing to get creative, support one another and collaborate in tough times, which I think is likely a reflection of the values and people these companies are founded and run by.

Helping one another always helps. There is of course also a large portion of society that still has not learned the “true cost” of buying and disposing of cheap, conventionally made goods that run the product mill from factory to landfill in a shockingly short time span.  NIMBY syndrome is common – if its not in my backyard, I can ignore it – until it affects me personally.  However, with the new administration and final near complete consensus and acceptance that global climate change is real, happening, and is going to be very damaging, a lot of consumers are shifting their living habits, including the way they shop and who they buy from.

Consumers are still trying to support those companies they want to see make it through this economic era, so while its slower for everyone, I am optimistic that sustainable companies have the advantage here and will come out on top and I urge everyone out there to think twice about what you are buying and who you buy it from. Are they a company you want to support, one that gives back, one that will work to help our environment?  If not, maybe you should look around a bit for a greener alternative.

GreenLoop “believes how we dress can be a good place to conversation [to] share knowledge about environmental issues”.  What is a recent or most memorable conversation you have had, who were you talking to + what clothes were you wearing?

This seems to happen to me a lot at the grocery store check out.  Granted, I shop at organic foods stores, so often times the people asking are a little more aware of environmental issues that others, but I usually get surprised responses regardless.  I carry a wallet made from recycled billboards by a company called Vy & Elle which never fails to get a response…  T-shirts with graphics, sweatshirts, and my solar bag are other pieces that often generate similar conversations at places like the library, the park or at dinner with a server.

What part of this year's line up (guest speaker, workshop, etc) are you most excited about?

I like just wandering around, meeting people at the exhibits, seeing what's out there, what's new, what I can scheme about doing, using or buying to up the green ante in my own life,  Now – for the most part I will be working our own exhibit, but a few laps around the show per day will certainly be in order.

Additional thoughts/comments?

Come out to the Portland Expo Center this weekend to the Better Living Showits cold outside – green inside, its FREE, you can take The Max.  Support companies you believe in, or learn about companies you might. You will leave with at least one thing you did not know about before and can't wait to try.

Thanks to GreenLoop + Aysia Wright for spending some time with the Pipeline. We'll see you there!

stacy*day is amused by a spinning mobile of design, arts + food.  these days she can be found tinkering w/her new business material*girl + not tweeting @stacyday.

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One Response to Interview: Aysia Wright of Green Loop | Better Living Show

  1. John Pelley March 28, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Using y0our own bags for shopping is great. The more we can get away with paper or plastic, the better off we will be. We try to keep our bags in our vehicle. So when we go shopping, we have them with us. Some foold stole about twelve bags from our truck. I don’t know what he thought he was getting.

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