Vancouver Eco Fashion Week roundup: the best of local and international designers

Sustainable fashion was celebrated last week in the city's downtown core during Vancouver Eco Fashion Week. In its fourth season, the event was wildly successful, with standing room only in many of the runway shows, well attended seminars, and packed parties.

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Local Designers

Standing Armed
Recently featured in Elle Canada, Standing Armed features a diverse line of lace, wool and warm colours. It's a melding of sophistication and ease with focus on classic, timeless pieces of the utmost quality. The line caters to the modern woman; elegant and feminine, its understated detail flatters the female form lending confidence and allowing personal style to reign. Standing armed is proudly designed, manufactured and produced locally in Vancouver.

The local brand uses only vegetable tanned leather, thread, and functional hardware that stand the test of time. The leather is derived from an ancient tanning process of soaking cowhides in a ‘vegetable matter soup.’ This process uses very little toxic chemicals and leaves the leather rigid and ready to be ‘tooled’. From conception to production, the bags limit waste by using shapes and sizes that maximize hide use. Fiveleft bags use very few parts, some as little as four pieces of leather.

All garments produced under the Adhesif Clothing label are all locally handmade from reclaimed and vintage fabrics and notions. Many pieces are as much as 90% reclaimed and one of a kind. The self-described whimsical and ecliptic brand has a flagship boutique at 2202 Main Street Vancouver, and is expanding its line to other boutiques nationally and internationally.




Mala Imports
Handmade in Bali, Indonesia, Mala Imports jewelry is sustainably harvested, fairly traded, and ethically produced. The jewelry features a unique combination of rudraksha beads and gemstones, from vibrant turquoise, to earthy lava rock. Rudraksha beads grow inside of what looks likes a blueberry, on trees in South East Asia. And each gemstone has its own believed healing quality. For example, turquoise increases love and destroys hatred, while lava is thought to provide strength and clarity. Overall, the jewelry is believed to help provide a calmer mind, body and spirit.

Arm Candy
Ollin's Arm Candy is known for mixing bold prints, colors and themes. The bags are made from recycled materials: defective candy wrappers are rescued before being brought to the landfills and used in the construction of each bag. It can take up to four thousand candy wrappers and four days for an individual artisan to construct one bag. No two bags are the same. And while they are made from candy wrappers, gum wrappers and soda bottle labels, they are known for long-term durability.

Indigenous takes a sustainable 100% organic approach to fashion, focusing on attention to style, detail, and luxurious eco fibers, while embracing fair trade principals and the time honored skills of local artisans in Peru. Fifteen years ago, Indigenous embarked on a journey that required a unique, one of a kind foundation with community and the environment as corner stone. Sustainability, passion and love define the seeds that took root to form Indigenous. From the beginning we believed clothing could make a difference in people’s lives and not have to harm the environment.

The men's clothing line based in Vancouver and is a fashionable mix of relaxed and sophisticated collared shirts, sweaters, pants and shorts. On their site they say, "We find clothing is an ongoing human expression, similar to music and architecture. It is not static; clothing is constantly evolving and changing, as do the people who wear it. Our goal is simple: to make quality goods with a following of people that appreciate what we do."



F as in Frank
F as in Frank is a unique assortment of retro fashions. The label sorts 100,000 lbs. of clothing per day, so inevitably, they come across lots of rare and unique vintage pieces. Included in this mix is vintage denim, rare work wear, motorcycle fashions, 60’s and 70’s hippie fashions, rare 40’s to 80’s t-shirts, vintage sweatshirts, WWII military goods, unique hunting fashions, and anything else that they deem interesting.  The line has a new clothing boutique located on 2425 Main Street in Vancouver.

Eason Wang's collection Unlokk was featured on the opening night of Vancouver Eco Fashion Week. For this collection, instead of purchasing new yards of fabric, he chose to almost completely design it by reusing the fabrics he already had in stock in his home studio. He describes his newest collection as a combination of new elements, structures, prints and colours. And he describes the type of person to wear his line as "stylish, confident, into quality clothes, fashion forward and hipster."

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