Eco Fashion Week is successfully challenging the consumerism-focused fashion world, now even referred to by some as “waste couture”, to change existing connotations of the words old and new. In an era where the quality of fashioning, fits and fabric has reached perfection, runway collections around the world are magnificent and women have never looked more beautiful. However, besides sales and which celebrity might be next to wear your brand, it seems there are fewer challenges every season… Therefore, I dare the fashion/textile and clothing industries to reduce their waste on a daily basis and create–with the same level of quality–collections using recycled or organic materials that still make the consumer feel like a million bucks. I dare the fashion industry in major cities to be open to new ways of making apparel, to educate their brand, and to remain conscientious every step of the way. In the hope that others can follow in our footsteps, how can urban dwellers repeat our successes in other contexts and renew the meaning of the term new?

Eco Fashion Week asks: How can urban dwellers reNEW the meaning of the word NEW?
Ari Seth Cohen answers: We are living in a time when there are more elderly people on our planet than ever before. People over 50 now make up a huge part of our population. They are often overlooked and made to feel invisible by popular culture. Ours is a society obsessed with youth and the latest in technological advancements.

What if instead of focusing on the new, we began to turn our attention towards what is already before our eyes. Once we start taking notice of older people we will begin to realize their value and learn from their collective wisdom. By showing positive images of aging and renewing what it means to grow old, we can redefine and adjust our attitudes towards our aging population.

Just by opening our eyes to the needs of older people, we can begin to create a healthier and more vibrant city and discover important life lessons along the way.

Who better to turn to for advice than someone with a lifetime of experience? Ruth, 100 years old, believes that staying active is the key to remaining vital at any age. Ruth has been active her entire life–she stretches, lifts weights and goes to pilates class once a week. She never leaves the house without dressing up and makes sure to put on lipstick even to go to the doctor’s office.

Rose, another centenarian, has a more active social life than most people half her age.

I photograph stylish, vital and creative women over the age of 65. By shining a spotlight on an oft-overlooked segment of the population, I hope to challenge people’s fears of aging and renew our image of growing older. Not only do these ladies refuse to give up, they serve as great examples for us all to live life to the fullest.