Sustainable Fashion Epicenter: Vancouver Eco Fashion Week 2017
Peggy Sue Collection Photographed by Ira Rotenberg for Trend Prive Magazine at VEFW
In the words of @leighmegb The Peggy Sue Collection honours the talents of the Farmer, the Maker and the Creator. Without these skills, fashion would not be possible. .
Anyone who has visited the hub of British Columbia, Canada, knows that Vancouver is a veritable eco haven. From the sea in the foreground to the mountains as a backdrop, you can’t really spend time in this gorgeous city without truly getting a feel for the why in being conscious of our environment. So it is probably understandable that the first Eco Fashion Week started in Vancouver almost a decade ago.
Some say that VEFW has been even more successful than the city’s annual VFW (the minus the eco one) in how it has grown and evolved. Back when eco and ethical meant granola, this event truly pioneered a movement that today is the trendiest topic in fashion. Sustainability has actually been part of the Vancouver fashion scene since day one, back when Peter Fox and John Fleuvog were the IT hipsters (yes, before it was termed “hipster”).
The clothing, textile and fashion industry represent more than $300 billion of annual revenue worldwide and is the third most damaging industry to our planet after oil and agriculture. The aim of VEFW has always been to find a cross section of sustainable-minded slow fashion and the fashionable, wearable (and marketable) darlings of the design world. Admittedly it took some doing, the stigma born of years of poorly fitted, badly sewn forays into “fashion” took their toll on the genre, but this year’s crop of ethically created garments has proven that chic truly can be done au naturel.
There were three stand out brands this past weekend. First up, Peggy Sue Collection‘s cheeky slogan Ts could have stolen the show if they weren’t backed by such a gorgeous lineup of tactile pieces. This collection has a luxury feel but also just says “cozy”. We can’t say that it screams anything, it seems too sophisticated for screaming… more like it makes a firmly whispered statement. Comfort definitely married with style for an affluent woman. Who maybe listens to opera. And paints. By the ocean.
Kromagnon first got our attention with their stunningly dyed silks and sassy silhouettes. They have further tailored their collection to showcase an even more fabulous set than in previous (successful) shows. Launched just last year, there is some design history behind their founder. From the Eco Fashion Week page:
“Kristen Luong graduated from the prestigious Menswear Design lookbook program at the Fashion Institute of Technology where her final collection won second place and was showcased at The Museum at FIT. Kristen interned for Zac Posen where her work was featured with his collection at Paris Fashion Week. Kristen also worked as a patternmaker for Derek Lam where her work for the Derek Lam Collection was sold worldwide in Barneys and other stores. Kristen subsequently launched her own line, Kromagnon.”
Hailing from New York, this brand was one of highlights this year on our eco radar for venturing out of the typical “safe” options we often find in sustainable fashion, without going too far sideways. Blending delicate cuts with more substantial, textured pieces, this collection is stylish and wearable. The eco is a bonus.
New (to us) Vancouver brand Anian is one of the few brands to really have the guys’ backs. They don’t cater solely to men but they definitely have their number. From basic button downs to comfortable threads to hike mountains in, this is a company to watch. They were slick in their presentation, they have their audience figured out, and they have a quality product. In this market that takes you a long way. Our favourite aspect to this company wasn’t something found on the runway but rather something they have in the works BTS. Anyone actively participating in the doing of good and pushing sustainable fashion forward gets major points in our books, and their current tackling of the microfibres issue pretty much makes them our new BFFs. Plus… Great Bear Rainforest. #Winning.
An honorable mention goes to Bellatoni for their pretty light blue number. As a publication that is always searching for “editorial looks”, it is refreshing to see designs that stray from basic into the territory of “designer” in a way that is always difficult to find in sustainable fashion. We hope to see more of this in the future. The world has more than enough pairs of PET yoga leggings. Let’s see more of this please!