Green Your Closet

Westcoast Families - - Westcoast Families - by Peg Keen­ley­side

“The green­est city in the world” goal is within Van­cou­ver’s reach, ac­cord­ing to Mayor Gre­gor Robert­son, who said as much to the gath­ered fash­ion in­dus­try celebs and afi­ciona­dos of “up­cy­cled” and re­pur­posed cloth­ing de­sign at the Van­cou­ver 6th Eco-Fash­ion Week this past spring. This nec­es­sar­ily in­cludes a re-think about how we con­sume cloth­ing and what we can col­lec­tively do to make our clos­ets – and our beau­ti­ful city – a lit­tle greener.

The good news is that the up­cy­cled or `re­pur­posed’ cloth­ing move­ment is grow­ing and Van­cou­ver is on the eco-fash­ion map world-wide with all kinds of fas­ci­nat­ing con­sign­ment, thrift, vin­tage and de­signer up­cy­cled cloth­ing stores, craft mar­kets and on-line shop­ping op­tions to ex­plore. With the ar­rival of the fall shop­ping sea­son, prac­tic­ing those clas­sic back-to-school 3-Rs: Re­duce, Re­use, Re­cy­cle, could be the new­est “life-style” fash­ion state­ment you and your fam­ily want to start mak­ing.

How to get started

Take a de­tour from the an­nual fam­ily back-to-school cloth­ing trek to the big box stores and ex­plore the stu­dios and store­fronts along the lane ways of artsy Granville Is­land and the funkier parts of Van­cou­ver - Main Street Dis­trict, Gastown and The Drive (Com­mer­cial Drive). You’ll be amazed to see the va­ri­ety of what lo­cal eco-de­sign­ers, con­sign­ment and vin­tage shops have on of­fer. Melissa Fer­reira’s charm­ing 1920s-in­spired fall line of 95% re­cy­cled fab­ric fash­ions, as an ex­am­ple, are avail­able at her flag­ship Ad­he­sif store and stu­dio on Main Street (where she bikes to work 6 days a week), as well as on­line at­he­sif. Visit her Ad­he­sif web­site for pho­tos and a link to her great blog talk­ing about what’s in­spir­ing her lat­est work. Up­cy­cled leather de­signer Erin Tem­ple­ton’s witty, much-vis­ited on­line store­front at­in­tem­ple­ lets you know what she has in stock in her gor­geous line of one-of-a-kind leather bag de­signs be­fore you make the trek to her Gastown store and stu­dio, Erin Tem­ple­ton Leather.

Shop Ar­ti­san Mar­kets and Craft Shows

Craft shows and ar­ti­san mar­kets abound in Van­cou­ver and fea­ture the au­then­tic “slow fash­ion” re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence of talk­ing with tex­tile artists about their wear­able cre­ations. Rata­touille De­signs, for in­stance, of­fers ex­quis­ite vin­tage linens sourced in France, re­fash­ioned and embellished with ex­quis­ite em­broi­dery and vin­tage trims. Owner Su­san Perkuhn will be at the Dun­dar­ave, Kits and Yale­town Farmer’s Mar­kets in Septem­ber. Shows like Porta­bello West (Septem­ber and De­cem­ber), Cir­cle Craft (Novem­ber) and the Van­cou­ver artist in-crowd favourite shiny fuzzy muddy (De­cem­ber ) fea­ture the work of in­spired cloth­ing de­sign­ers and tal­ented crafters. If you’re tak­ing in a show this fall or win­ter, don’t miss Van­cou­ver de­signer Kim Cathers Kdon label de­signs – won­der­fully creative up­cy­cled fab­ric out­fits with a post-mod­ern de­con­structed flair. She took on the 2013 spring Eco-Fash­ion Week Value Vil­lage Chal­lenge of us­ing just men’s suits to re­fash­ion women’s wear and the re­sults are stun­ning.

Clock­wise: Cl k i Erin Ei tem­ple­ton, l Rata­touille De­signs, Ad­he­sif Cloth­ing Com­pany

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