Raven + Lilly and Camille Styles Moore Team Up To Raise Awareness For Ethical Fashion
By Rob Giardinelli
Photography by Kate Zimmerman
THE SCENE: Green Acres Boutique Retreat, approximately 25 miles east of Austin in Elgin, Texas was the setting for an incredible evening of good food, better company and increasing awareness for an incredible cause that is helping change the way fashion is created and made. Kirsten Dickerson, founder of Raven + Lilly and Camille Styles Moore, one of the nation’s top lifestyle ambassadors hosted an intimate dinner party for 20 to educate top influencers in philanthropy, fashion, spirits and lifestyle branding. The duo teamed up to promote the concept of ethical fashion and how it is changing not only how we look, but how it empowers fashion producers to achieve new heights.
At its core Raven + Lilly is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that is dedicated to empowering women throughout the world, specifically those living in poverty. The powerful network Raven + Lilly has helped create employs 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages across nine countries on three continents ranging from The United States to Haiti to Ethiopia. This dedication has allowed Raven + Lilly to achieve acclaimed B Corp (Benefit Corporation) status, acknowledging the company’s commitment to artisan, eco-friendly techniques made by at-risk, impoverished women who are creating exclusive, modern designs at fair wages. It’s a trend that’s gaining momentum. In fact, Dickerson tells us, “There are several ethical clothing companies now, including Raven + Lilly, that are trying to make a difference globally through fair trade labor.”
THE VIBE: The evening began with cocktails served by She + Him Bartender Service featuring a signature cocktail courtesy of Nine Banded Whiskey as well as wines from Austin Winery, which is the first winery located inside Austin’s city limits that brings grapes from California to the area to be fermented locally. Guests were able to tour the grounds which featured live animals as well yurts on the Green Acres grounds, welcoming guests to experience the new trend of “glamping”, a glamorous form of camping.
The evening continued as guests headed underneath a simple, yet tasteful table with hand-loomed napkins and hand-blown glassware from Oh! Fox Creative, tableware from Keith Kreeger Pottery and centerpieces courtesy of Transplant Floral. The farm-to-table meal, prepared by chef Julie Ratzesberger, catered by Elgin Local Goods and expertly paired with wines from Austin Winery was designed to be “thoughtful of the food we are eating and the time it takes to grow and really savor that meal,” says Dickerson in describing the slow food concept. This philosophy was emphasized as each course was presented, underscoring the process of how the food was grown and how it got to the table.
THE CAUSE: During the dinner, both Dickerson and Moore provided thoughtful testimonials on the importance of ethical fashion and how this new and exciting trend is helping revolutionize the fashion industry. Women all over the world are gaining empowerment through the creative process of slow fashion. Moore elaborated, “For me, the most special part of the night was getting to learn more about Kristen’s vision behind Raven + Lilly and hearing the stories of the women who made the clothes that many of the guests were wearing.” The prolific lifestyle maven continued, “Approaching fashion with the same “slow” attitude as the slow food movement is not only good for society; it actually enhances the experience of wearing a beautifully made piece.” As the evening concluded, guests were provided with parting gifts emphasizing both the slow food and slow fashion concepts including delectable pecans courtesy of Yegua Creek Farms as well as a Raven + Lilly hand milled soap set, providing the perfect parting gifts to emphasize importance of stopping to think just a moment as to how things are created before we consume them.