An Ethical Fashion Market Curated by Former Health Care Students

We donated 10% of all sales from this event to Akasa Community, a non-profit teaching families in underserved neighborhoods about healthy eating and wellness.

Sarina Ho and Jenny Nayoung have only known each other for a little over a year. They recently made the switch from a career in health care to creative paths of fashion and graphic design respectively. It was Instagram that brought the two together.

Sarina and Jenny’s passion for sustainable fashion and wellness compelled them to curate an ethical pop-up market even with the short time knowing each other.

The MPCo. team and five other mindful creatives were invited to table at the event:

We got Sarina and Jenny’s take on the influence of bringing people of mutual interests together on a seemingly small scale.

In what capacity do events like this shape those involved and the greater community?

Jenny: We initially put together this event to bring together a community. Sarina and I are both very passionate about advocating for small businesses and brands we believe in, and also all about teaching people about slow fashion and the merits of it.

We wanted to foster a bigger community amongst local creatives, encourage a minimalistic and slow fashion lifestyle, and more. We wanted to make sure that all the creators involved with this pop up were all our friends, and most importantly, who aligned with our core values.

I think the most inspiring thing that happened at the event was how locals came through just by walking by.

It’s truly astounding to see how approachable and open a place like Hey Hey is. It was amazing to see locals come up to us and have them learn about our brands and the stories behind it all.

What was the driving force behind the pop-up market?

J: We have a lot of talented friends who create such amazing things. We wanted to bring them together. We are strong advocates for sustainable and ethical practices in the creative world, and wanted to help get everyone exposed to the local community.

I think we were conscious in choosing who to ask to participate. We got friends together, knowing them via school, work, personal relationships, mutual friends, and even through Instagram.

The main conversation was with Chris, the founder of Hey Hey, who allowed us to occupy his space. He is also such an advocate for community and supporting young creatives to find their path.

What outcome were you hoping would happen?

J: Honestly, we’re both advocates for “letting things happen” and “going with the flow”. We didn’t really expect much, but more so, we wanted to uplift all the creatives involved and showcase their work in such an approachable and accessible way.

I think what was important to us was that everyone involved got to meet one another and locals from the area. We truly wanted everyone to have fun and overall harness a bigger community in this way.

How did you go from health care to creative work?

Sarina: Jenny and I were both in health care and transitioned into a creative field prior to us meeting. I am so grateful to have met her because we have grown so much in the creative field together! I moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles for a job as a nurse, but found my creative path in fashion, more specifically ethical and sustainable fashion.

This desire to advocate for slow fashion developed after I watched the documentary "The True Cost," which completely changed my view on fashion. I started working as an intern and eventually became an assistant at Father's Daughter, a denim company designed and produced in Los Angeles started by a father and daughter duo.

This was my first step towards fashion and during this time, I started going to school for fashion design where I further developed my design and technical skills. I worked for several fashion positions after and am currently a freelance pattern maker as well as social media manager. My current goal is to work on my own clothing line while trying to implement as many sustainable and ethical practices possible.

J: I’m kind of a person who likes to do everything. Blame it on my need to do new things all the time (full-on Aries over here), but I like to be involved with many things. I initially studied health care and science in school, but I wasn’t happy doing it.

I realized I wanted to do creative things, and my first gig was a marketing and social media internship at P.F. Candle Co - a small business candle brand based in Los Angeles. I was very lucky enough to learn what I could from various gigs and from working different retail jobs. I realized that eventually, I want my own shop and community space, and want to work towards that goal. Currently, I am studying graphic design and do it freelance, along with styling for different photoshoots on the side.

Do either of you plan to host something like this again?

J: We would love to! This was our very first pop-up event, and it was honestly for the intention of bringing people together and bringing light to those truly making a difference. We felt really happy with how everything flowed so naturally amongst everyone, and we definitely have plans to do more events.

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