ECO FASHION WEEK VANCOUVER
VOGUE INDIA, 2016: 5 reasons why you should care about Eco Fashion Week
VOGUE | Rhea Manuel | May 5, 2016
Where style meets sustainability
When you think fashion week, chances are the words Paris or Milan spring to mind. But for the last five years, a quiet revolution has been taking place on the runway in Vancouver with Eco Fashion Week. Shining a spotlight on chic and conscious fashion from around the globe, its raison d’etre revolves around the biggest buzzword in fashion right now—sustainability.
As consumers of a fast fashion culture, where disposability is valued over durability, this revolution—by way of repurposing fabrics, responsibly sourcing raw material, and working with artisan cooperatives—is changing the style game. With brands such as H&M, People Tree, Stella McCartney and Péro by Aneeth Arora embracing a mindful attitude, an ethical ethos seems to be the future of fashion.
As Eco Fashion Week just celebrated its tenth season (in April 2016), Vogue brings you up to date with everything you need to know about this celebration of conscious fashion.
1. The organisation started as a non-profit in Vancouver in October 2009, and grew at a rapid pace, combining speaker seminars and panels of industry experts (including sustainability specialists from H&M and Levi’s) with fashion shows.
2. It received a glamorous seal of approval in 2010 when Gisele Bündchen collaborated with Swiss bottle manufacturing company SIGG to design an exclusive 100 per cent recyclable water bottle to celebrate their first-ever fashion week.
3. It embraces multiculturalism as well as sustainability, with designers from around the world participating in the week-long event. Ukrainian designer Tetyana Golota showed an eight-piece collection, six of which she herself hand-stitched using handwoven fabric and accessories from her hometown, while Kiwi jewellery designer Carolyn Bruce worked with recycled and re-purposed materials to create her quirky collection.
4. This season, Sonam Dubal became the first Indian designer to show at Eco Fashion Week. The traditional Indian craft of kantha (which utilises recycled saris), repurposed ikat and brocade, and cotton khadi formed the basis of his contemporary range of dresses and outerwear. Dubal also worked with fair-trade, non-profit organisation Sasha to produce ahimsa silk specially woven by craftspeople in Assam.
5. Eco Fashion Week is proof that there’s a world of innovation to explore in the quest for sustainable-meets-stylish fashion. Designers mixed organic textiles with luxe fabrics—take American designer Jeff Garner, who used silk and vintage French lace alongside natural fibres like linen and hemp—and used technology to cut down fabric waste, like Vancouver-based label Models Own, which laser-cuts dress hems for clean lines with an avant-garde aesthetic.