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This Sustainable Peruvian Fashion Brand Is Making It Big In New York And Giving Back To The Community In A Unique Way

PAZ is a sustainable lifestyle brand with deep Latin American roots (Peruvian to be exact) that takes its heritage seriously. In addition to its commitment to environmental sustainability, PAZ Lifestyle also works to tell the stories of the Latino brands that it works with and uplift Peru’s Indigenous communities.

Now, as New York Fashion Week fast approaches, the annual Fashion Night Out events will have one major standout as the brand – which is largely an e-commerce business – prepares to host a special edition pop-up shop called Peru Fashion Night Out.

Peru Fashion Night Out is the work of Isabella Montoya and her sustainable brand PAZ Lifestyle.

As the focus of the event is to highlight the “Peruvian talent that exists inside and outside of New York,” Montoya recently hold HOLA! USA, Peru Fashion Night Out will see visits by model Juana Burga and environmental activist Marina Testino.

New York Fashion Week also comes as the community gets ready to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month and Latinx Heritage Week. Therefore, Montoya is set to organize a Latinx panel and a Climate Week Panel to talk about the relationship between the fashion and beauty industry and climate change.

Montoya’s e-commerce brand specialized in Latinx brands – including popular Peruvian ones like Ayni, Blanca Pukara, Greta, Imani, Lima Sagrada. But Mexican brands (like Doizpe and Malaumx) as well as Ecuadorian, Colombian, and Bolivian ones are also represented by the site.

The popup will be running through the month of September at New York’s Refinery Hotel, which is located just blocks away from all the action of New York Fashion Week – based in nearby Bryant Park.

PAZ Lifestyle was created out of a necessity to address the fashion industry’s sustainability problem.

According to her interview with HOLA!USA, Montoya says that the brand was born “as a destination for a sustainable lifestyle through art, culture, and aesthetics; where centuries of craftsmanship and new generations of conscious design are aligned under the same space.”

But their sustainable commitments go beyond environmental sustainability. Far too often Indigenous artisans are excluded from the meaning of sustainability – even though these same communities are often both directly and indirectly impacted by the fashion industry and global warming.

That’s why the brands that PAZ Lifestyle works with are fully supportive of artisanal work. In addition, the brands are overwhelmingly founded by women (90%) and 75% are BIPOC. This is why every product listed by PAZ Lifestyle is carefully selected by Montoya. It’s important for her that the products are ethical, and represent social responsibility, equality, and our ancestral heritage.

Fast fashion all too often fails to protect those most impacted by climate change and cultural erasure.

The fashion industry is a global issue and its environmental effects are far-reaching. The industry contributes to the depletion of non-renewable sources, emission of greenhouse gases and the use of massive amounts of water and energy. The fashion industry is the second largest consumer industry of water, requiring about 700 gallons to produce one cotton shirt and 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pair of jeans.

According to Business Insider, the industry is also the world’s second-largest water polluter, since leftover chemicals from the dying process end up in our water supplies.

Fast fashion also exploits the world’s most vulnerable communities, especially in developing nations. According to non-profit Remake, 80% of apparel is made by young women between the ages of 18 and 24. 

Even a report by the U.S. Department of Labor found evidence of forced and child labor in the fashion industry in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam and others. Rapid production means that sales and profits are more valuable than human welfare.

That’s why it is so important to stay conscious of where we are buying our products from and try to shop as sustainably as possible. Thanks to brands like PAZ Lifestyle, this is becoming easier each day.

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