Fashionistas don’t need fur to be fancy.
That’s the message behind an upcoming fashion show to benefit a local animal charity.
Plans are in the works to transform the gym at Yukon College into a runway for the ResQ: Rescued By Design show on Feb. 1.
Funds raised will support Kona’s Coalition, a charity to help pet owners in financial need.
The show will feature fashion that is “cruelty free,” said organizer Jordi Mikeli-Jones.
“I feel like, as northerners, we have a very active lifestyle. People are very conscious of what they put in their body, but some people might not pay as much attention to what they put on their body,” she said.
The show is meant to help people realize all the different options that are available.
That means not only the conventional ideas of avoiding fur or leather, but also considering where and how the clothes were made.
“Look at someone like Climate Clothing. They are using soy and hemp. It was the most comfortable thing I wore pregnant,” she said.
The show will feature more than 30 models wearing clothes from an ensemble of fashion designers, from high school students to established veterans.
Local businesses Sandor’s Clothing, Unity Clothing and Climate Clothing will also be providing some wears for the show.
The night will feature a cocktail party at 6:30 p.m. followed by a fashion show at 8.
Performances are planned by the Brass Knuckle Society and DJ KJ.
“We’re really trying to bridge the communities of animals, music and fashion,” Mikeli-Jones said.
Kona’s Coalition began in March 2013. Since then it has raised approximately $20,000 to help pay for a range of medical procedures.
This includes things like amputations, tumor removals and porcupine quill removal from animals whose owners could not afford to do it otherwise.
“What we’re trying to do is avoid having animals end up needlessly euthanized and save those relationships that have been built,” Mikeli-Jones said.
The organization looks at situations on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes they’ll pay for a portion of the medical work, and other times the entire procedure, she said.
This year the focus is on growing that part of the organization and also on expanding.
Mikeli-Jones said she would like to begin working in the local schools to develop some form of a “junior ambassador” program for young students looking to learn about animal welfare.
“We want to reach out to kids when they’re younger and talk about spaying and neutering and responsible pet ownership,” she said.
The coalition has also begun setting up a network of foster pet parents to help out in emergencies.
Lastly, the group would like to start advocating first for changes to Whitehorse’s municipal bylaws dealing with animal protection and later the territorial animal protection laws.
Mikeli-Jones points to a recent case of a Whitehorse woman who dumped her cat at the edge of town and ran it over with her truck.
She was fined $800 and ordered to donate $500 to the Mae Bachur animal shelter emergency fund.
Mikeli-Jones said those fines were not nearly enough and are a sign that the laws need to be updated.
Tickets to the February event are $20 ahead of time and can be bought at Triple J’s, Sandor’s Clothing, Unity Clothing and Climate Clothing.
Tickets at the door will be $25.
The event is licensed and minors need to be accompanied by an adult.
Contact Ashley Joannou at