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Hot New Trends From Retro Fabrics A Big Theme For Eco-Fashion Week 2013

Vancouver’s Spring/Summer 2013 Eco Fashion Week – to run from Oct. 16th to 19th – has gained so much momentum and popularity since its inception four seasons ago (running twice a year) founded by stylist/buyer Myriam Laroche, that this season (its fifth), there’s scheduled to be nearly a dozen designers, lots more creativity in presenting the runway shows, inspirational speakers talking about caring for the environment and fair trade practices, and lots of industry workshops focused on ecologically conscious and sustainable business practices.

The week will kick off with music, inspirational speakers, and a runway show by local-famed designer Nicole Bridger at the Vogue Theater, on October 16, with doors opening at about 6:00 p.m.

The opening evening will begin with a performance from emerging jazz vocalist Jaclyn Guillou. Born and raised in Vancouver, Guillou is a recipient of the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award from the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and has recently toured internationally.

Among the opening speakers will be Madeleine Shaw who is co-founder of Lunapads, an East Vancouver-based company that specializes in creating washable cloth alternatives to disposable feminine hygiene products.

Lunapads is also really great in that it operates a unique in-house/international humanitarian aid project called Pads4Girls, which runs a number of programs including – One4Her: Pads for Girls, Jobs for Women.

One4Her is a Lunapads/AFRIpads buy one, give one program supplying girls in need with pads and supporting local employment for women in Uganda.

For every eligible Lunapads One4Her purchase, Lunapads provides a girl in need with a Uganda-made AFRIpad to help her continue going to school during her menses.

The pad donations are managed by AFRIpads and “distributed according to regions and schools where they assess the greatest need,” explains Lunapads.

Madeleine Shaw talked about the evolution of the program on her company’s website, saying:

Lunapads has been sending pads as donations to women and girls in developing nations since 2000, when we were contacted by Zimbabwean/Canadian activist Isabella Wright. She informed us that girls and women had little or nothing to help them manage their menses, and as a result were missing school or work rather than risking discomfort or ridicule.

The effect of these missed days is devastating, with girls missing up to 20% of their education and thereby increasing the likelihood of dropping out, earlier marriage and pregnancy as well as limiting career options. Since that time, we have received and fulfilled similar requests from individuals and NGOs in numerous other African nations as well as Mexico and South and Central America.

Since its inception, in partnership with dozens of groups, individuals and NGOs, Lunapads has provided over 2,000 girls and women in 15 nations with thousands of menstrual pads or underwear, giving them an immediate, essential, and sustainable means to remain in school or at work.

In 2012, we plan to further develop and refine our Pads4Girls program that will include formalizing a commitment to donate a certain percentage of sales or profits (through a combination of in-kind product donations and cash donations) for the benefit of Pads4Girls program recipients.

This opening night will cap off with the launch of Nicole Bridger’s fall/winter collection called ‘Kali,’ after the Hindu goddess.  This will be a showpiece event in collaboration with choreographer Heather Laura Gray, mixing the traditional runway show with contemporary dance to exhibit the collection and tell the story of its inspiration.

The Goddess Kali. Image from Nicole Bridger.

Kali was chosen as the name for the collection because Bridger said that while “sometimes regarded as destructive, Kali strives only to eradicate ignorance. The skulls around Kali’s neck represent slain negative tendencies and the nakedness represents the loss of illusion.”

“My new collection is about the death of habits, patterns, and ways that no longer serve us. It is about going deeper within to truly see what those are and let them go. I named the collection Kali because she is a powerful goddess that can help us on that  journey,” added Bridger.

She also continued that, “To symbolize the journey of going deeper, the color palette for the collection will feature deep tones of blue, grey-blue, berry reds, and woodsy greens. Different shades of red will portray the death of negative tendencies. This season will be the first to see print, an abstract floral to show elements of the sweetness that is waiting at the end of the journey.”

Designs from Nicole Bridger’s fall/winter 2012 collection. Picture from Nicole Bridger.

Talking about the materials she uses for her designs, Bridger says, “We go to great lengths to track where our fabrics originate, and ensure that their production processes are both sustainable and socially conscious.”

Her company says that it “sources renewable and, in many cases, biodegradable fabrics from all over the world, including wool made in a GOTS certified factory in India, organic cotton woven in Portugal, and linen grown in Belgium. Ninety percent of the Nicole Bridger line is manufactured right here in Vancouver, while the remaining pieces are produced in Fair Trade factories overseas.”

Bridger’s company also says that its “commitment to the environment resonates in every detail, even the small ones. In order to avoid plastic, we use buttons made of Tagua Nuts from palm trees. These are durable and sustainable alternatives to traditional buttons, and their production provides an economic boost for the indigenous people of the Central and South American rainforests, where they’re harvested. Our labels use cotton instead of polyester, and our handtags are made entirely of 100 percent post-consumer paper.

Also, almost all of the Nicole Bridger pieces can be washed at home, eliminating the expense and harsh chemicals used in dry cleaning.

Another big highlight during this eco-fashion week will be designer Kim Cathers collaboration with global thrift store chain Value Village to take on the 68 Pound Challenge. She is scheduled, on Oct. 17, to put on a runway show exhibiting a collection made entirely from 68 pounds of thrift clothes and recycled fabrics.

The runway show will be the culmination of a five-week challenge of sorting through secondhand clothes and textiles to “find the perfect fabrics and prints for a spring collection,” said a spokesperson for the event.

Attendees at this event will have the chance to see her process of picking and choosing items at Value Village in a short video shown right before the models walk down the runway. If you want a sneak peak at the collection and design process before the show, or you can make it to the show, watch this video from go! Vancouver.

This challenge represents what Eco Fashion Week founder Mariam Laroche says is the amount of clothing and other garments that the average North American throws away each year. Showing Cathers’ collection will be the closing event for an entire evening of runway shows devoted to reworked and restyled fashions.

Cathers also soon plans to launch ‘Kim Cathers elements,’ a line of clothes and accessories made from recycled fabrics. She also runs “Our Social Fabric,” an organization that specializes in textile collection, recycling, and re-manufacturing, which also providing jobs for the local community.

Other design labels that will be showcasing their fashions during the week will include: atelier b., RISE UPCYCLING, and Adhesif Clothing Compnay.


Reader comments and input are always welcomed! 

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Reader Comments (1)

Nice information, thanks to the author. It’s helpful to me!
August 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterXNXX

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