By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Sunday, March 20th from 1PM to 9PM, ‘O Cluster,’ a Rio de Janeiro fashion, food, and art fair, will return to Casa da Glória with a special ‘Consumo Ético’ (‘Ethical Consumption’) edition. Created by Carolina Herszenhut, the designer behind Branchée, and independent content producer Camila Félix, O Cluster held its first edition in November 2012.
According to the fair’s creators and organizers, the idea for the special edition, the fourteenth edition of the fair, of was prompted by their discovery that Americans purchase over eleven billion kilograms of new clothes every year, discarding 10,000 pieces of clothing every five minutes and throwing away a little over thirteen million tonnes of clothes every year.
The struggles and limited rights of clothing industry workers including low wages, substandard working conditions, limited to no benefits, and restrictions on the ability to organize, also contributed to the reasoning behind the fair’s special.
“The concept of ‘Ethical Consumption’ will be addressed in order to create public reflection,” said, creator of the event, Carolina Herszenhut in a released statement. “We know that it is impossible not to consume, but Cluster wants to show that there are other non-traditional forms of consumption and also make it clear that the brands that are part of 0 Cluster are concerned about having a responsible and inclusive production process.”
Featured brands during this edition of O Cluster will include Another Hot Brand, Augustana, Aro, Benta, Biombo, Box 19, Cofi, Cabron, Desir, Emi Beachwear, Flow, Guarda, Gaia, Jaqueline Vasconcellos , Led, Lahe, Mabo Jóias, Mesclado, Mash up, Magari, Musthave, Nuu Shoes, Nylow, Óleos do Brasil, Quaint, Rue, Re-roupa, Sartô, Serpentine, Think Blue, Tricky Hips, Velt, You do, and Zsolt.
During the event, there will also be a screening of American filmmaker Andrew Morgan’s 2015 documentary “The True Cost,” which explores the current global impact of the fashion industry.
“We want to show through the film that our production is different,” said Hersz, adding, “and to generate thought about some questions, such as: Who makes your clothes? How important to you is ethical and responsible production? What kind of inclusions do these brands do? Do they work with NGOs? Do they empower people?”
For this edition, O Cluster also will host Clube de Trocas, an area where attendees are encouraged to bring their own unused and used clothing and personal items to exchange them with other attendees.
Providing entertainment during the fair will be DJs Vinicius Tesfon, Icaro Dos Santos, Nado Leal, Fabiano Moreira, and Fil. There will also be art and live painting with Davi Rezende.
Offering the cuisine options will be Amélia Gastrô, Avante Delícias, Baguel Store, Cris Cunha, Doce Predileto, Namasté, Praia Brasa, and Sorvete Local.