Highlights of Vancouver's Eco Fashion Week

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With the creation of EFW, Vancouver joins the list of forward thinking fashion cities such as New York, London and Paris who all hold similar, albeit larger scale, eco fashion events. In New York, as part of the their fashion week, there's an eco fashion event called the Green Shows. Paris has the Ethical Fashion Week. London has Estethica, which was started four years ago by the British Fashion Council. As BFC states: "All Estethica designers adhere to at least one of the three Estethica principles of fair-trade and ethical practices, organic and recycled materials and are selected for both their ethical credentials and design excellence." The Esthetica collective currently consists of 37 members. One of their members this year was Jeff Garner. He opened London Fashion Week, and he was one of the fashion designers at Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver as well.

Ray Civello, Myriam Laroche, Randall Cook, and Meaghan Orlinski at Eco Fashion Week Vancouver

I interviewed Eco Fashion Designers Jeff Garner ( Prophetik ), Lara Presber, Nicole Bridger, Kim Cathers ( Kdon ), and Regina Noppè, Owner of Green Sapphire, who brought EDEN Mens wear and the Green Sapphire by Patricia Moura Biojoias collection to Vancouver.  Jeff Garner, Nicole Bridger, Kim Cathers, and Regina Noppè at Eco Fashion Week Vancouver

One commonality amongst these four designers was that their fashion was not just about design, but lifestyle as well. They all consciously practiced an eco-friendly and simple lifestyle on a daily basis, so the "eco" in eco fashion was very personal to them. They always had an interest in recycling, reusing and repurposing things whether it was before fashion or after. This was a common thread for all four designers. They were also world travelers who all ended up going back home. Jeff returned to Franklin, Tennessee; Lara to Calgary, Alberta and Nicole and Kim back to Vancouver, B.C. It is very clear from talking to these rising stars of eco fashion, that home and family is very important to them as well as how they live their lives and pursue their careers.

Jeff Garner spoke with me about being a designer and showcasing his work at Eco Fashion Week. He was recently nominated for designing the most sustainable line by the Global Fashion Awards. Prophetik manufactures locally in Tennessee using sustainable fabrics like hemp, organic cotton, peat silk and linen. They spent about a year developing a way to create their own natural plant earth dyes, which they have been using to colour their fabrics for the past year. Jeff told me that it's an ongoing learning experience to balance making the dyes affordable yet sustainable. He said that Prophetik plans on sharing the knowledge and creating chemical-free dye for other companies.

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