New York Fashion Week: Aveda's Greener Backstage at Christian Siriano, Band of Outsiders (Photos)

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Aveda's green backstage at Band of Outsiders. Photo: Emma Grady

TreeHugger is on the scene at New York Fashion Week, we've seen Edun, Samantha Pleet, Gretchen Jones, and more. Now we take a look at what's happening behind the scenes: Aveda's green backstage initiative known as "Catwalks for Water," supplies tap water and organic food to models, celebs, and stylists. This season they worked with four designers and we got a VIP pass to Christian Siriano and Band of Outsiders on September 10. Take a look:

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Models at Band of Outsiders pose with a reusable water bottle.Photo: Emma Grady

Since 2008, Aveda's green backstage program has centered around the same four pillars: replace bottled water with New York City tap water, which eliminates up to 300 water plastic water bottles per show, and provide reusable liter-sized aluminum water bottles backstage; work with designers who will eliminate the use of fur in their collections; serve organic and locally-sourced foods; and print all program and show invitations on 20% post-consumer recycled paper.

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Backstage at Christian Siriano. Photo: Emma Grady

Each season, Aveda has taken on various campaigns, in addition to their backstage initiatives. They once had organic ice cream truck parked outside a show. Another time, they had pedicabs take models and fashion week attendees around to fashion week events. Back in 2008, I took a ride in one of them while covering Preen.

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Heidi Klum backstage at Christian Siriano. Photo: Emma Grady

What Aveda offers is a lifestyle. You don't see anyone backstage talking about how green it is to have reusable bottles or how health-conscious the organic food is, everyone is more concerned with getting the models ready for the show and snapping photos of the celebrities like Heidi Klum, above.

That's not to say it isn't appreciated. "People come in and they say, 'oh the organic catering,'" Aveda's Meg Robinson told me. "They know Aveda and they know we're going to do it in an environmental way."

aveda green backstage photo

Photo: Emma Grady

Entry to Band of Outsiders was much swifter than Siriano's show. When I arrived I was able to snap some photos of the fresh food, above, before it was gone. A nice surprise outside the show, which took place outdoors under the High Line park, were two large pure biodiesel generators, pictured below, from GreeNow, a production company that provides generators and heavy machinery to the event and construction industry.

greenow generator photo

This season they created limited edition stainless steel EarthLust water bottles and worked with caterer City Bakery. On the menu: mini pizzas, mini burritos, tempeh crackers, Greenmarket vegetables, City Bakery cookies, and organic Irving Farm coffee.

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Backstage at Band of Outsiders. Photo: Emma Grady

In terms of stepping it up the green backstage program notch, there's always something more that could be done. "I would love to see designers and Aveda make more of a partnership and take this to a different level," Robinson said, when asked about the goals for the program. She shares her ideas, below.

What if we had some place we could compost the food we don't use. What if we could eliminate even paper cups backstage. What could we do next in eliminating any of the waste that we're creating.

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When I asked if this was a sentiment felt across Aveda, Robinson remarked "I think generally Aveda would always like to do more. It's the spirit of the company. We understand our faults and we understand where we stand. We do the best with what we can and we're always trying to get to a better place."

Currently, they are the only makeup and hair brand to have such an initiative in place. They've set a standard that others designers and sponsors can follow. You have to have catering backstage, as Robinson told me, they might as well be organic. Aveda has the power to set an even higher standard, too. That is, if they choose to.

Like this post? Follow Emma Grady, an award-winning fashion writer and the founder and editor of Past Fashion Future, on Facebook and Twitter.
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