Renter de­fies ren­ovic­tion

> BY KATE WIL­SON

The Georgia Straight - - Housing -

“I Ilived in an apart­ment build­ing for eight-and-a-half years. It was sold. When every­one else chose to leave the com­plex, I stayed. Maybe it was the wrong de­ci­sion, but I wasn’t ready to leave my home—and I wanted to see what would hap­pen if they didn’t fol­low the law.

“The new own­ers no­ti­fied every­one that they wanted to start work­ing on the build­ing in four to eight months’ time. They told us that they would need to evict us all and that they had started the process of get­ting per­mits from the city.

“They gave us a lot of in­for­ma­tion about Van­cou­ver’s ten­ant-re­lo­ca­tion pol­icy. It spec­i­fies a num­ber of things, in­clud­ing their right to help you find a new place and the fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion that we’d be en­ti­tled to. It also pro­vides an al­lowance for mov­ing ex­penses and gives us the right of first re­fusal of a room in the new apart­ment block with a 20-per­cent dis­count. It’s a pretty good plan—but I no­ticed that in the doc­u­ment they gave us ini­tially, not all the de­tails were cor­rect.

“Around Novem­ber, the com­pany gave every­one a form to mu­tu­ally agree to end their ten­an­cies. They also of­fered all the renters a $250 sign­ing bonus. At that time, I knew that the new own­ers didn’t have the per­mits to be­gin the ren­o­va­tions. I de­cided not to agree to end my lease be­cause I wasn’t ready to move, and a city of­fi­cial con­firmed that I wasn’t ob­li­gated to sign. As I un­der­stood it, my lease with the build­ing man­ager—and our com­mit­ments to each other—would con­tinue.

“Every­one else in the build­ing signed and left. Maybe they didn’t un­der­stand

As the en­vi­ron­men­tal costs of the tex­tile in­dus­try in­creas­ingly come to light—think about the thou­sands and thou­sands of gar­ments that are pro­duced by retailers such as For­ever 21, H&M, and Aritzia on the daily—more and more peo­ple are rev­ert­ing to the way of life of their grand­par­ents, pre­fer­ring to fill their clos­ets with lo­cally made, hand­crafted gar­ments.

But you don’t need to break out the nee­dle and thread to build a wardrobe that stands the test of both trends and time. Here in Van­cou­ver, there is a wealth of tal­ented designers, met­al­smiths, and shoe­mak­ers who are craft­ing eth­i­cally and sus­tain­ably minded ap­parel, jew­ellery, and ac­ces­sories that will make you ac­tu­ally feel good about shopping.

Be­low, we high­light a hand­ful of our favourites, all of whom will be ap­pear­ing at Van­cou­ver’s up­com­ing Fall For Lo­cal pop-up mar­ket or the in­au­gu­ral First Pick Hand­made fair.

HARLY JAE Those who fancy their wardrobe sta­ples with a lit­tle vin­tage flair will find much to love in Harly

“I go to thrift stores all the time and I would see all these other clothes that didn’t fit me but were re­ally awe­some,” ex­plains Barr. “So I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I could do some­thing to these and sell them.’ ”

Re­cently, Barr be­gan con­struct­ing her own pared-down denim pieces and fash­ion­ing her one-off, hand­stamped fab­rics—of­ten dec­o­rated with large geo­met­ric shapes—into easy-to-wear jack­ets and tops. A woman of many trades, the de­signer is an ex­pe­ri­enced met­al­smith, too, and spe­cial­izes in sculp­tural gold, ster­ling-sil­ver, and cop­per jew­ellery that boasts a marred tex­ture sug­ges­tive of years of wear.

“They look like art pieces al­most,” says Barr. “They’re raw and rough but very wear­able still.” These, along with Barr’s vin­tage re­works and a new line of bright enamel jew­ellery, will be on deck at First Pick Hand­made.

AN­DER­SON’S BOOTS Kevin Milne is what you would de­scribe as handy. The Toronto na­tive has built mo­tor­cy­cle en­gines, brewed his own beer, dis­tilled whisky, and even as­sem­bled gui­tar am­pli­fiers with lit­tle help, so when he de­cided to tran­si­tion from leather to ve­gan boots for eth­i­cal rea­sons, his next step came nat­u­rally.

“There are ve­gan boots, but they

tend to be made in larger fac­to­ries and not nec­es­sar­ily made to last or to be resold,” Milne ex­plains by phone. “So I de­cided to take it upon my­self to make them.”

For a lit­tle over a year now, the de­signer has been craft­ing rugged, cru­elty-free, and ready-to-wear men’s boots that work equally well at work and out­doors. The shoes, which use tra­di­tional English and North Amer­i­can pro­duc­tion meth­ods, are made of Ecol­or­ica, a light­weight ve­gan sub­sti­tute for leather that’s man­u­fac­tured in Italy.

At First Pick Hand­made, Milne will have sam­ples of six-inch and eight­inch lace-up boots, which are hand­made upon or­der, as well as a se­lec­tion of selvedge men’s Ja­panese denim that the de­signer re­cently be­gan ex­per­i­ment­ing with. As for the name An­der­son, it’s a way to carry on the maiden name of Milne’s mother. “I have all brothers and we’re all Milnes, and I thought it was kind of silly to have that name die off,” he says.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.