June Ambrose hosted Goodwill NYNJ sustainable fashion fundraiser honoring Google

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Goodwill Industries of Greater NY and Northern NJ (Goodwill NYNJ) hosted its fourth annual Goodwill Evening of Treasures event to celebrate sustainable fashion and the power of work on May 2, 2024. Legendary designer June Ambrose hosted the event at 10 Hudson Yards; New York, NY 10001. Designers and brands Busayo Olupona, Jack Carlson of Rowing Blazers, Chris Echevarria of Blackstock & Weber, Zero Waste Daniel and Bibhu Mohapatra presented one-of-a kind outfits they upcycled using merchandise donated to Goodwill stores and that they donated to be auctioned.

(Left-Right)Bibhu Mohapatra and model, model & Chris Echevarria, model, Jack Carlson and model, June Ambrose, Busayo Olupona and model, Zero Waste Daniel and model.

Bidding for the upcycled outfits to benefit Goodwill’s Mission Services is live now starting on Friday, May 3 and will be open for two weeks. Register to check the outfits and bid at the auction site

Goodwill NYNJ honored David Coquillette with the Visionary Leadership award in recognition of his twenty years of service on Goodwill NYNJ’s Board of Directors, and Google with the Corporate Leadership award for their longstanding support of our mission work at the event. Tequila Lamar, NYC Outreach Lead, Education for Social Impact, accepted the award on behalf of Google.

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Google in the New York City metro region. Google is deeply committed to making a positive impact in the communities where our employees live and work, which is why we proudly support organizations like Goodwill. Across the U.S., Google partners with Goodwill to help job-seekers find meaningful career opportunities. Since 2017, Goodwill’s offering of Google’s digital skills programs has resulted in 400,000 Americans being placed into well-paying jobs,” said Tequila Lamar, NYC Outreach Lead, Education for Social Impact. “In New York, we have supported Goodwill’s Bridge to Tech program through funding, in-kind support, and volunteer engagement. Googlers have personally provided one-on-one resume assistance to Bridge to Tech alumni. In addition, Google and Goodwill NYNJ have fostered a nearly two-decade long partnership through annual collection drives, which have now evolved into permanent collections at our Meatpacking District campus in NYC.”

Revenue from the Goodwill Evening of Treasures, Goodwill stores and online site  ShopGoodwill helps support Goodwill NYNJ’s programs that provide job placement, training, on-the-job coaching, and retention services for individuals with disabilities or mental health diagnoses, and adults who are underemployed or unemployed seeking employment.

In 2023, Goodwill NYNJ provided employment services for more than 9,000 people who are under- or unemployed, more than half of them people with disabilities. Goodwill NYNJ connects people to jobs outside its stores with employers such as hospitals and health care centers, tech and accounting firms, warehousing and manufacturing sectors, grocery stores and pharmacies, and NYC agencies. Persons like Tony, a Queens resident with a developmental disability who came to Goodwill two decades ago seeking help to get a job. Goodwill connected him to a job that he loves in Trader Joe’s. Or Dunstan, a Bronx resident in his late 30s, who came to Goodwill unemployed and without hope for a career beyond a future of ‘odd jobs’. Goodwill provided him training at our Bridge To Tech program helped him increase his math and literacy skills to qualify for advance tech training, and an understanding of navigating the tech industry. The Goodwill team helped him enhance the soft skills needed to start a new career and learned new IT skills. After receiving his Google IT certification, he secured a job as Asset Manager at Baruch College. Or David Ponce, a single father who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. He had never held a formal job, so our team supported him through the process of identifying his skills/interests, identifying and applying for jobs, and conducting mock interviews to give him confidence for the real thing. When David got a call to interview with American Eagle, our Job Developer accompanied him to the interview and waited outside for moral support. American Eagle was so impressed with David they hired him on the spot! Employment has given David a steady income, increased confidence and independence, which support his wellness.

Meet Tony, Dunstan and David in this video

June Ambrose joined the 2024 Goodwill’s Evening of Treasures as Host. June is the designer & creative director who has pioneered the visual aesthetic language which came to define hip hop imagery and culture. The role she inhabits within the fashion arena is a result of her own audacious self-making, professional moxie, and an unsurpassed mastery of visual storytelling and creative branding. June brought tremendous experience to the celebration and conversation with the five designers featured in this year’s Evening of Treasures fashion show. June led a panel discussion about their upcycled creations with designers Busayo Olupona, Jack Carlson, Chris Echevarria, Zero Waste Daniel, and Bibhu Mohapatra.

Goodwill is the original disruptor. It created one of the first sustainable fashion enterprises nearly 110 years ago. Pollution is a problem in the fashion industry. The council for textile recycling said that more than 70 pounds of textiles per US citizen are going into landfills annually.

Goodwill NYNJ’s environmental impact: In 2023, Goodwill NYNJ helped find new homes for more than 37 million pounds of pre-loved clothing and home goods, equivalent to the weight of 83 Statues of Liberty, successfully diverting them from the landfills, and saving nearly 55k metric tons of CO2 from polluting the atmosphere.

“Goodwill’s Evening of Treasures is a celebration of the power of work & sustainable fashion. It is a night where fashion meets mission. We believe in a world where no talent is left on the sidelines, and we know that there is power in work for everyone regardless of disability, mental health, or previous education,” said Katy Gaul-Stigge, Goodwill NYNJ President and CEO. “Thanks to June Ambrose for hosting and designers Busayo Olupona, Jack Carlson, Chris Echevarria, Zero Waste Daniel, and Bibhu Mohapatra for their upcycled designs using Goodwill merchandise to support our mission and to prove that reusing and upcycling is the future of responsible fashion.”

About Goodwill NYNJ: Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. (Goodwill NYNJ) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates retail stores throughout the region powered by donations of clothing and household items. Goodwill NYNJ translates those donations into workforce development services for people with disabilities and the unemployed, and job training leading to employment. Goodwill NYNJ’s services build better lives for thousands of New York City Metropolitan Area residents and their families. For more than 108 years, the agency’s mission has been to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the power of work. Learn more about Goodwill NYNJ at http://www.goodwillnynj.org; follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillNYNJ; and find us on Facebook or Instagram @GoodwillNYNJ. 


“Participating in the Goodwill NYNJ Evening of Treasures was a no brainer. I am an avid, proud goodwill shopper. Obsessed actually! I have an unhealthy relationship with the book sections of Goodwill Stores.  I have locations that I guard with secrecy. I have been known to go up the island of Manhattan from Brooklyn to shop at my favorite Goodwill. And more importantly, I am honored to contribute in a small way to support the incredible mission of Goodwill NYNJ,  to give purpose through the provision of employment is such a gift and what nobler mission there is than to recognize and nurture  human potential,” said Busayo Olupona.

“It’s an honor to be tapped by Goodwill, and I’ve had so much fun working on this project with my mentee and CFDA Scholar at Parsons, Léo Guarin-Peters. We wanted to lean into the twisted, tongue-in-cheek take on American prep that Rowing Blazers is known for. We found a lot to work with at Goodwill (specifically, the Union Sq. location at 14th Street and the Chelsea location at 25th Street). We created two looks, based on our colorful, slightly subversive take on the classics: one more spring/summer and one more fall/winter. We’re excited to share these with the world,” said Jack Carlson.

“I love adding value to previously-worn, and Thrifted items, making upcycling about breathing new life into what already exists. I also love shedding light on all the different types of businesses that enhance the mission of zero waste and culture around labor. It was a no brainer to make this piece for Goodwill’s evening of treasures,” said Zero Waste Daniel.

“For the ‘Evening of Treasures’ event by Goodwill NYNJ, we embarked on a special project that embodies our brand’s mission of sustainability and community support. Salvaging four previously loved clothing items from the brink of disposal, we meticulously crafted a one-of-a-kind couture dress, symbolizing the transformative power of repurposing. Our aim extends beyond fashion; it’s about fostering a culture of sustainability and empowerment. As we navigate a post-Covid landscape, our brand has pivoted to prioritize quality over quantity, emphasizing craftsmanship and ethical practices. Through initiatives like this, we not only create beautiful garments but also pave the way for employment opportunities and encourage acceptance of sustainable processes within our community. This dress, a testament to our commitment, will be auctioned off, with proceeds reinvested to further our mission and support those in need,” said Bibhu Mohapatra.

About June Ambrose:

Over the course of three decades, June Ambrose — designer & creative director — has pioneered the visual aesthetic language which came to define hip hop imagery and culture. The role she inhabits within the fashion arena is a result of her own audacious self-making, professional moxie, and an unsurpassed mastery of visual storytelling and creative branding. She not only melded the genre but also made it an undeniable commercial juggernaut, ushering entertainers onto the global stage and into the stratosphere.

Altogether, she worked as creative director and costume designer on some 200 music videos, countless ad campaigns, global music tours, photo shoots and red carpet appearances. Her work elevated music videos as an art form and established artists as undeniable cultural figures.

Her latest history-making partnership is with PUMA, where in 2020, she signed on as Creative Director, designing across multiple categories, reconceptualizing what it means for women to be stylish and active. As a consummate collaborator: visionary, and tastemaker: June Ambrose’s influence is endemic to the very DNA of hip hop, fashion, and artistic visual culture.

About Busayo Olupona:

Busayo Olupona is an attorney turned Fashion Designer. She is the founder of Busayo, a Brooklyn and Lagos based fashion brand that has  several parallel guiding principles – a complete obsession and celebration with colorful prints and the amplification of traditional Nigerian culture and creation of great jobs in Nigeria. Busayo creates its textiles in collaboration with Nigerian artisans. Manufactured in Nigeria, Busayo is currently being sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Shopbop, Moda Operandi, and specialty boutiques throughout the country.  Her work has appeared on Saturday Night Live, Really Love, Only Murders in the Building and Kids in the Hall.

Busayo is a graduate of New York University School of Law and the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

About Jack Carlson:

Jack Carlson is a designer, author, archaeologist, and former coxswain on the U.S. rowing team. He is the founder of Rowing Blazers and led the revival of heritage brands Warm & Wonderful, Arthur Ashe, and Gyles & George. As a designer, Jack has collaborated with a wide range of other brands, including Gucci, Target, Seiko, Barbour, Umbro, FILA, Sperry, Noah, Tudor, J. Press, La Martina, Spalding, Globe-Trotter, Harry’s Bar, Lands’ End, Zodiac, Eric Emanuel, Babar, Hunter, Tracksmith, New Era, ’47, J. Crew, SEGA, LeSportsac, Puma Hoops, K-Swiss, Beams Plus, Ralph Lauren, The Grateful Dead, and the NBA. His approach combines obsessive historical research with a slightly subversive take on “the classics.”

Jack has received industry praise for his design work across apparel, watches, footwear, luggage, and accessories, and he and his work have been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, Esquire, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New Yorker, The London Times, Vanity Fair, Foreign Policy, Monocle, Antiquity, The New England Classical Journal, Hypebeast, and GQ. Jack has designed pieces that have been worn by Timothée Chalamet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Keith Richards, Dwyane Wade, Justin and Hailey Bieber, Mindy Kaling, Chloë Sevigny, Russell Westbrook, BTS, Tan France, B.J. Novak, Carmelo Anthony, Ashley Graham, Lukas Gage, Maude Apatow, Randall Park, Wayne Diamond, Henry Eikenberry, Millie Bobby Brown, Kit Connor, Joe Locke, Seth Curry, Ziwe Fumudoh, Jordan Clarkson, Will Ferrell, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Joe Keery, Charles Melton, Chris Eubanks, Sebastian Croft, Christian Pulisic, Blanca Miro, Russell Tovey, Donovan Mitchell, Whitney Peak, Tom Daley, Madelaine Petsch, Toro y Moi, Ronny Chieng, Romeo Beckham, Tracy Morgan, Joey King, Cam Norrie, Bara Strycova, Devin Booker, Vampire Weekend, Glass Animals, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Adam Scott, David Byrne, Dax Shepard, Daya, Hart Denton, Vic Mensa, Jules LeBlanc, Asa Butterfield, Mario Carbone, Thundercat, A$AP Nast, Suki Waterhouse, Macklemore, Pete Davidson, and Emily Ratajkowski, among many other luminaries. He has also designed uniforms and apparel for a wide variety of organizations, including Harvard University, Cambridge University, the U.S. rugby team, and the New Zealand and El Salvador Olympic teams.

A three-time member of the U.S. national rowing team, Jack won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships and won both the Head of the Charles and Henley Royal Regatta in 2013. In 2023, Jack trekked to the South Pole with his seventy-two year old dad. Jack has a doctorate in archaeology from Oxford and an undergraduate degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown. He worked as a field archaeologist in Italy and has written on a variety of topics, from iron age weapons to the Arch of Constantine. His interests include the visual and sartorial trappings of status and power; the art and archaeology of the ancient world, especially the Roman and Chinese empires; heraldry (the study of coats of arms); vexillology (the study of flags); and the modern history of men’s clothing, from tailoring to sportswear and streetwear. Jack is a Fellow of The Explorers Club, the Royal Society of Arts, the Royal Asiatic Society, and the Royal Numismatic Society; and a Life Member of the Archaeological Institute of America, Oxford University Boat Club, and the I.B.F. at Harry’s Bar in Paris. Jack also serves on the board of Row New York, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young people through the sport of rowing regardless of background or ability.

About Chris Echevarria:

Chris Echevarria is among the leaders of the modern menswear style movement, with a commitment to recontextualizing ‘Americana’ through his products and brands; Blackstock & Weber and Academy by Chris Echevarria. Echevarria

created the modern day loafer boom through designing a fresh silhouette that managed to fit comfortably within both street and classic menswear aesthetics. He has brought an  ‘effortless cool’ to all of the companies he’s done projects with including JJJound, Kith, Bloomingdales, and J. Crew to name a few. Echevarria has positioned himself at the forefront of a new era of American fashion through exquisite storytelling and a penchant for exceptional design.

Brand Descriptions:

Footwear and lifestyle brand Blackstock & Weber, founded by Chris Echevarria is a vanguard of what American style can be and can represent.  B&W, as some call it,  has emerged on the radar of streetwear aficionados and sharp-dressed menswear enthusiasts alike for the brand’s uniquely contemporary spin on the iconic loafer. ACADEMY, Echevarria’s latest endeavor, is a case study in American fashion. Since launching the label in 2023, Echevarria has infused the many existing parallels in his upbringing and education to highlight pieces that have, and always will, stand the test of time. Through ACADEMY, Echevarria transcends footwear offering signature essentials, statement pieces, smart tailoring, bold outerwear and iconic accessories reflective of quintessential American style.

About ZWDaniel:

Zero Waste Daniel is a New York-based clothing designer and zero-waste lifestyle pioneer who uses pre-consumer waste sourced from New York City’s garment industry, as well as other hard-to-recycle materials, to create his line of genderless clothing and accessories that send nothing to landfills.

His story and brand first went viral in 2017 with more than 35 million views worldwide on NOW THIS, INSIDER, MASHABLE, and BUZZFEED. Daniel continues to inspire change and make headlines by growing the mission of ending waste culture and redefining the meaning of “sustainable design” as a call to action for all who wish to participate. As of 2023, his projects have been featured on CNN, THE BBC, and GOOD MORNING AMERICA; as well as in global publications such as FORBES, VOGUE, and THE NEW YORK TIMES.

“I don’t make work that hurts people, or oppresses people, that makes someone hate their body or their face, or that pollutes someones water. I’m willing to work with what we’ve got, I don’t care how long it takes, I care that you look good. I care that it’s made here, that it’s made fair.” ZWDaniel.

About Bibhu Mohapatra:

“When I think about my work, it always goes back to this idea of craft. Crafts that are ancient or dying or actively being reinvented…those crafts speak to me.”

Designer Bibhu Mohapatra moved to the U.S. in 1996; his years growing up on the east coast of India in Odisha formed the expanding spirit of everything he sees and creates. His mother, Shashikala, instilled in him at an early age a near obsession with handwork and textiles and a deep appreciation for making clothes that function and symbolize something powerful. “My memories of my mother and her teaching me to sew are always very much a part of my design process,” he says. “And I’m always instilling those early skills, influences, and experiences into various aspects of my collections.” As the longtime design director for J.Mendel (before that he spent a year designing at Halston), Bibhu spent a decade honing his knack for strong tailoring balanced with wearable, expressive design. “In fashion, it’s important for me to always be aware of that continuous interplay between elements and attitudes and how those elements spark something functional and new.” In 2008, after years of working in other houses, Bibhu rented what he called “a thinking box” on 73rd and Broadway. He painted the walls white and filled the shelves with old and new books on painting, history, architecture, and fashion while using an ancient gold-gilded mirror he found in upstate New York as the centerpiece of his new studio.