What do you get when you combine a street rider with Mother Nature? You get Deb Henriksen, designer and owner of Equillibrium Clothing, one of the featured designers at Denver Fashion Weekend that starts Saturday, November 9.
Henriksen's philosophy of creating ethically fabricated designs "gives my customers a product that is from the core," she says. With a degree from Colorado State University in Environmental Health, Earth Mother Deb embraced sustainability long before the concept entered the mainstream. One of the co-creators of Red Drinks, a style night for networking in the Fashion Industry in Denver; inspired from Green Drinks, a sustainability night for networking in the Green Building industry. Deb, also a member of the class of 2006 class of MasterMinds invited us into her creative space to catch up.
Westword: The concept of Equillibrium began to take shape in 1998 and you are an original champion of sustainability. How are things working with sustainable fashions?
Deb Henriksen: There has been a lot of movement over the past few years, but there is still a lot of educating that needs to be done on the topic. I was able to find something I was passionate about; Equillibrium is where my kind of lifestyle, art, activism, music, and fashion collide. There are still folks who are not mindful of their footprint. You have to take responsibility of what you put out there.
How have you grown with the sustainability movement?
I'm big on up-cycling materials (aka landfill diversion), pollution prevention and waste minimization. Equilllibirum will continue to focus on quality, not quantity and consumer education. The brand is growing; we have a sales rep now, and as it does we will our philosophy of producing on a smaller scale. With regards to sustainability trends in fashion, we always continue our education on the latest in sustainability and research advancements on sustainable textile manufactured regularly.
Deb, this is a question we try to ask all of our designers: What do think of the fashion community in Denver?
We should all be on the same team. There are too many ringleaders under the big top; there needs to be more cooperation, especially around events and shows. We have a lot of talent in Denver but there are some who don't realize the way we can make an impact is by unified numbers. We need to have industry standards. You should conduct yourself in a professional manner and if you are conducting business, you have to be able to deliver at that level. There will always be people who are trying too hard, polishing a turd; where everything is overdone, and the result doesn't look professional. Equillibrium is not one of those brands I think out every detail from the design I create to tag lines repeatedly used over the years. Consistency and progression as a brand is crucial to survival.
What can we expect from Equillibrium at DFW?
They'll look bad ass!
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Denver Fashion Weekend runs November 9-10 at City Hall Amphitheater, 1144 Broadway. Tickets are available at 303Magazine.com.