The maple life The maple life

Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver

Strike a pose…

I’m not going to pretend to be some kind of fashionista. In fact, despite years of writing for women’s magazines I’d never even attended a fashion show before, but I was intrigued about the ethos of Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week – taking the idea of reusing, recycling and repurposing clothes – so went along to see what it was all about.

Stylish — and eco-friendly.

Celebrating its fifth season, Vancouver’s eco fashion week is one of the world’s most exciting ethical style events, bringing together designers and fashion industry leaders. I went to watch the Value Village style challenge. Value Village is an international thrift store with branches in Canada, Australia and the USA. They partner with local charities and community organisations, and over the years have given millions to help those less well off. Three designers, Nicolette Lang-Anderson, Mimi Lauzon and Tony Vu had taken on the challenge of creating an entire show on a $500 budget each, to create and style 10-15 looks to send down the catwalk. A shocking 90 million lbs of clothing end up in landfill sites around the world each year, so I loved the idea behind this; making buying second-hand clothes cool again.

I love that you could easily put that together for the price of a pair of shoes!

I managed to bag front row seats and have to confess that I felt a frisson of excitement as the room began to fill. The shout went out — standing room only — the lights lowered, music pulsed from the sound system and the first show began. I was surprised by how exciting it was, craning on the edge my seat to watch the willowy models stride down the catwalk to be met by a barrage of photographers at the other end, and then sashaying back to quick-change into something else. I came away inspired and a few days later, paid a visit to my local branch of Value Village and snapped up a gorgeous chain-design wrap dress for under $10. A bargain that literally did not cost the earth! Guilt-free shopping at last…

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