Green Your Closet
“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 at www.etsy.com/ca/shop/adhesif. 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 at www.erintempleton.com 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