Marta Zewdu + Green Upward: A Visual Collaboration

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This past week I collaborated with visual designer Marta Zewdu (Instagram: @collarbones) on styling and shooting Green Upward bags. Post shoot, I sat down with Marta to discuss the shoot and here’s what I asked her:

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Green Upward: Tell me about yourself!

Marta Zewdu: My names Marta, I’m a 24-year-old visual artist in learning from the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC area.

GU: How did you hear about Green Upward?

MZ: Well, a mutual friend (shout out: Richie) told me about a sustainable bag line of a fellow Virginia Tech grad and showed me pictures. I immediately fell in love with the simple design and message behind the brand and am also interested in experimenting more with content creation and marketing so decided to reach out.

GU: I’m glad you did. Do you consider yourself to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle?

MZ: I make a conscious effort around is to support sustainable fashion brands. I’m also huge on thrifting, I’m talking a part of the loyalty program at Goodwill status. They actually just emailed me about construction going on at their glebe road location. Hahah. It’s an area I can improve in, along with many others. Sometimes I feel like all humans are termites and bite away at this planet like there aren’t future generations to come. It’s a problem. I’m so excited for the future, even 2 seconds from now, but I don’t always act with the future in mind. Essentially, it’s up to us to shape what the future will look like, whether environmentally, politically, or socially which is why I have so much love for those (like Green Upward) that are working to create solutions, small or big, that we’ll all appreciate down the road.

GU: What was your vision for the shoot?

MZ: I think the bags are beautiful, both in their design and the messaging behind them of stop fucking the environment over people! Carry, collect, store, and ultimately **SAVE** are the main functionalities of the bag so I wanted to display the various uses of them. Outside of that, I left the vision open and playful. My friend Ahad let us use his studio space to just play around and see what came of it all.

GU: What did you have in mind when styling the shoot?

MZ: The bags have a very clean, simple design to them, so I reached out to my friend Saron, the minimalist queen, who has such a fresh look to model them. I think my personal style is a bit more eclectic and over the top so it was a fun exercise having to reel that in a bit and keep Green Upward’s brand in mind. I definitely snuck in some drama via texture though. Can we talk about those pleated burnt orange pants?

GU: Haha yes, we can. I think the entire shoot, pleated pants included, came together beautifully! What’s your favorite fruit?

MZ: Aesthetically, my newest favorite fruit is starfruit. Their beautiful! If you cut them they resemble the shape of a star. NATURE imitates ART, or art imitates nature….or both. Going grocery shopping for this shoot was actually my first introduction to starfruit, and the rest was history.

GU: Ah yes, they were beautiful, definitely the star of the shoot (ha!) and your least favorite fruit?

MZ: Easy. Cantaloupe and honey dew. Those are always the two weakest links left behind in my fruit cup.

GU: Yeah, we had a good time with the fruit haha...