Eco Fashion Week, Vancouver

Eco Fashion Week invited Our Social Fabric to be part of a panel for on their Smart Talks this last Friday evening. I spoke at the last event of the evening to a diverse crowd interested in the implications of “fast fashion” and wanting to learn about how we can slow it all down in order to create less waste in dressing ourselves. The other two panelists, Mark Skiazeski of SustainU and Melissa Ferreira of Adhesif Clothing Company are leading innovative projects here in Vancouver.

SustainU‘s mission is to engage in textile recycling and clothing production with the twin goals of reducing clothing’s environmental footprint as well as bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Mark shared some facts such as your average brand new t-shirt uses about 2000 Litres of water in its growth (cotton) and production. A SustainU t-shirt uses about 5 recycled PET bottles (the #1 recycling code plastic bottle) to make a brand new t-shirt. Their current target market are corporations, universities and large sporting events. Keep your eyes open for a fully recycled North American manufactured t-shirt in a store near you – and if you don’t see it there, ask them why!

Melissa Ferreira from Adhestif Clothing sources clothing locally – she spends hours combing through warehouses looking for rejected items, often destined for the landfill,  from which to craft her designer clothing line. She reckons that she goes through about 200 pounds of clothing every couple of months, which represents the tip of the iceberg in terms of how much clothing we are throwing away here in Vancouver. Clothes that don’t go to folks like her, or thrift stores, or the landfill, are shipped off to Africa for resale there. Melissa’s store at Main & 6th stocks items for 42 local designers, all of whom are working with recycled or repurposed materials. I’m looking forward to checking it out!