Meet The Designer’s for DFW Fall ’23 Sustainable Night During National Recycling Day

dfw sustainable night

Sustainable fashion has become a staple of Denver Fashion Week (DFW). With the fashion industry producing close to 10% of annual global carbon emissions, sustainable fashion is trendier – and more essential – than ever. This year, eco-friendly style returns for DFW’s Sustainable Night. 

Sustainable Night of Denver Fashion Week will take place on National Recycling Day — Wednesday, November 15, 2023. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

This year, nine unique designers will show their sustainable collections. Curated using vintage pieces, upcycled discarded textiles or handmade creations, — each designer is both distinct in style and committed to standing against wasteful and unsustainable fashion practices. 

Hair and Makeup Artists — Sign Up For Denver Fashion Week Here

After Always Apparel

after always apparel - sustainable night
Photo courtesy of @after_always_apparel on Instagram

After Always Apparel was founded by Zack Theony to empower others to practice sustainability in their wardrobe. The After Always Apparel TikTok consistently depicts Theony transforming thrifted fabrics – including blankets, sheets, curtains and other textiles – into comfortable, wearable art.

His TikTok tutorials mirror the way he first entered the world of design: after teaching himself how to sew via YouTube, Theony felt drawn to empowering others to do the same.

For his first ever DFW fall ‘23 collection, Theony is inspired by fall and winter fashion and the innate comfort of dressing in these seasons. He buys his fabrics from secondhand stores and wants the fabric to be the main focal point of is designs. 

“All of my pieces are cozy and warm. Instead of making stiff, one-time-wear pieces, I’ve always focused on realistic fashion,” He said. “This collection, I focused on that idea paired with letting the thrifted fabric do the talking.”


hoohah sustainable night
Photo courtesy of @hoohah_us on Instagram

Hoohah is a colorful outdoor clothing brand that combines functionality with vibrancy. In fact, Anna (Teddy) Tedstrom founded Hoohah on the idea that wearing bright colors and patterns can boost confidence and help relieve the pressure that comes with outdoor sports. In other words, wearing fun clothing translates to having more fun. 

READ: Meet the brand bringing amusement and embellishment to traditional outdoor wear: Hoohah

As a second time participant of DFW, Tedtstrom is using the fall ‘23 show to build on former designs. While a previous collection was themed “Dolly Parton Goes On A Ski Vacation,” this year’s collection imagines Parton’s wardrobe if she performed in Las Vegas. 

“Each look tells a piece of the story,” Tedstrom said. “From getting on her tour bus, driving through the desert, and arriving on the strip as the sun sets. She performs, then has a night on the town.” 

Photo courtesy of @TheDenverGinger on Instagram

TheDenverGinger is a vintage curator and stylist who is no stranger to high fashion. The brand’s founder, Nicole Manning, fused her love for community, sustainability, and self-expression throughout her fashion journey – first as a model and hairdresser and then as a personal stylist and vintage reseller.  

READ: Local Creative Nicole Manning Finds Community and Purpose In the Denver Fashion Scene

Through TheDenverGinger, she champions affordable, sustainable fashion, standing against the fast fashion practices that are damaging the planet.

Ultimately, Manning utilizes durable materials and vintage, U.S.-made pieces in her curation. She aims to reshape perceptions about thrifted fashion’s lasting relevance and offers personal shopping and styling services to empower clients. 

Magg’s Rags

magg's rags sustainable
Photo courtesy of @maggs_rags on Instagram

Magg’s Rags is a curation of one-of-a-kind handmade accessories and clothing, featuring custom appliqué embroidery. Magg’s Rags was founded by Maggie McLaughlin in 2019 with the mission of challenging conventional clothing consumption habits to encourage a more sustainable approach to fashion.

READ: ThriftCon Returns to Denver And Hosts A Unique Thrifting Experience

Now, Magg’s Rags introduces fresh designs each week on her site, all made from secondhand scrap fabric, used clothing, quilts, picnic blankets, tablecloths – essentially, any textile McLaughlin can get her hands on.

And while McLaughlin may be Denver-based, her impact is growing. Magg’s Rags recently collaborated with Free People to drop a custom vegan bomber jacket in McLaughlin’s trademark embroidery style. 

DFW’s Sustainable night will be McLaughlin’s first time showing Magg’s Rags on the runway.

“I will be showing a few of my classic designs, but also some never-seen-before designs that I’ve been dreaming up for a while now,” McLaughlin said. “I’m also planning some unconventional runway looks involving my ceramic artwork as well.”

autumn olive crochet

autumnolive sustainable
Photo courtesy of

autumn olive crochet designs one-of-a-kind pieces handmade from mostly secondhand materials. Founder Autumn Olive said that these sweaters strike the perfect balance between “novelty and whimsical, depending on the piece.” From glow-in-the-dark fungi cardigans to a Wonderbread-themed sweater, Olive’s designs offer sweater lovers the opportunity to experiment with their style while staying warm and cozy. 

“For DFW this fall, my sweater designs will be styled with vintage inspiration like big curls and 60s eye make-up,” Autumn Olive said. 

To encourage sustainability and creativity, Autumn Olive also publishes free crochet patterns for the brand’s pieces, for any who are inspired to make their own one-of-a-kind creation. 


hyacinth sustainable
Photo courtesy of @hyacinth_designs_co on Instagram

Hyacinth is curated by Rachel Hazelwood. For her brand, Hazelwood creates unique, one-of-one jackets and other denim creations from thrifted and vintage materials. 

READ: What You Missed At DFW’s Second Annual Designer Emerging Challenge

In doing so, Hazelwood takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. With careful precision, she adds embellishment and cutouts to existing pieces and designs one-of-a-kind creations.

Hazelwood not only relies on thrifting her own materials – she additionally upcycles denim that lives in the closets of her customers. In doing so, she gives a new life to sentimental pieces – simultaneously preserving their unique energy and doing her part to cut down on fashion waste. 


reglow dfw sustainable
Photo courtesy of

Reglow seeks to bring a present-moment consciousness to the pieces we wear and the garments we style.

READ: Denver Fashion Week Brand, Reglow Creates Storytelling Designs

Through Reglow, founder Marlena Ray seeks to emphasize the interconnectedness of all things. They work with used textiles such as used garments and interiors, fabric scraps and other found objects to breathe life into one-of-a-kind creations.

This design process is guided by a distinct awareness of how we interact in the present, including the lands we inhabit and the social systems we engage with. 

“I am inspired to deepen in presence and interbeing as Thich Nhat Hanh named. I see clothing as a materialization between ourselves and the more than human world, a creative portal, a bridge, a second skin of identity,” Ray said. “My design process is a practice of being in dialogue with and accepting what emerges in the stories of the used fibers while breathing new life into their transmutation.”

Clay and Create

clay and create dfw sustainable
Photo courtesy of

Clay and Create was founded by Colorado Springs native and sculptor Brittany Smith. Her brand was founded on three core values: community, inspiration and creating the unimaginable. By using thrifted textiles and found objects, Smith is also committed to adding sustainable elements to her designs.

For DFW, Smith is putting a spin on the Zodiac signs with her upcycled collection. 

“I believe the stars do not have the authority to dictate who you are or who you are destined to become,” Smith said. “Each day, you get to choose the placement of your mind, thoughts, and actions. You are the only person that can determine the content of your character.”

Above all else, Smith seeks to empower others to think outside of the box and outside of their comfort zones. “It is my goal as an artist to make my materials misbehave and to create things that others think are impossible,” She said. 

Relic Vintage

relic vintage dfw sustainable
Photo courtesy of @relic.vintage on Instagram

Relic is a vintage store and creative agency returning to the DFW runway. The shop promotes sustainability by returning vintage pieces back into the fashion cycle. Relic encourages those who come to the shop to style old pieces in new ways. Relic’s vintage inventory is given a new life – outside of the landfill. 

Founder Emily Kaler is no stranger to Denver Fashion Week. But each time she returns, she’s determined to curate something unlike anything she’s done before.

“DFW is always a chance for me to experiment with new trends and new ways of styling,” Kaler said. “Some of my inspiration this year is coming from the concept of mixing together items and styles that wouldn’t normally be paired together yet still create a harmonious look.” 

Sustainable Night of Denver Fashion Week will take place on National Recycling Day, Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at York Street Yards. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

Discover more from 303 Magazine

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading