Eco Fashion Week needs to re-think recycling approach–Part 1

The first day of Eco Fashion Week featured Nicole Bridger Fall/Winter 2012/13 collection shown at the Vogue theatre. The evening started off with a singer, then 3 speakers. Nicole Bridger collection was worn by dancers who put on a dance performance. A more in-depth collection review will be done this week at Nicole Bridger’s store on 4th avenue, Vancouver.

The second day featured clothes from Value Village that had been re-styled by Nicolette Lang-Anderson, Mimi Lauzon and Tony Vu. We have an issue with showing used clothing and from Value Village. What in effect Eco Fashion Week has done is encourage people to shop at Value Village and not to shop with our local Eco Designers. What a way to support local designers.  It has set them up to compete with a Washington state company that get’s it products cheaply or free.   TrendFashion 1 has been advocating support for local designers, as it is very difficult for local independent designers to survive in Vancouver and they really need our support. Is that the purpose of Eco Fashion Week?  Frankly Eco Fashion Week should rethink this section of their show, as this does not support our own fashion industry, let alone create jobs for British Columbia.  So lets look a little further.  Who is Value Village?

Looking at the ownership and practices of Value Village we all should have some cause for concern. Value Village is owned by a Bellevue, Washington based company Savers and a private equity company Freeman Spogli. Freeman Spogli owners have connections to George Bush.  Apparently only $1.00 out of $3.55 goes to local charities and if you donate directly the profits go directly to Value Village/Savers in the US. More can be read at Grab News (see article).

It seems clear to us that free  clothing donations given to a local charitable thrift stores should benefit our local community. We give our clothes direct to a local charity, never to one who deals with a US based organization. As one long time local fashion professional commented, “clothes from Value Village on the runway, we have reached an all time low” in Vancouver. Re-think your approach, Eco Fashion Week, support local BC Based designers and not American owned corporations.  Your may want to consider  a replacement to this section of the show and approach men and women, who have that unworn item hanging in their closet, and have it restyled by one our talented eco designers or stylists, paired with an item from our  BC grown designers.  Then at least you encourage shop local with a hint of reuse-re-style.

We do not want to take away from the styling of our talented stylists. Here are a few photos of their work.


Kim Cathers decided to do a 68-pound challenge by obtaining 68 pounds of clothes from (again Value Village) and using them as textiles and making new garments. (See Market Influences-Remakers) We have no problem with a designers utilizing used clothing, drapes and tablecloths and re-making them into a new garment.  Just try to get the garments from a charity thrift shop that directly benefits our community or directly from the public. Kim’s work was visually stunning especially the use of lace, drapery and dollies.  This is a Spring/Summer 2013 trend see New Lace Structures. She has so much creativity and always thinks outside the box.

5 Responses to “Eco Fashion Week needs to re-think recycling approach–Part 1”
  1. Tina says:

    Great piece! I’m glad you did your research, and hopefully organizers of Eco-Fashion week understand who they are promoting. Are there any Canadian clothing donation organizations that could possibly facilitate this project?

    • Yes, we have many not for profit thrift stores such as St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, SPCA, Vancouver General Hospital and the list goes on. They all benefit people in our community. Better still, let us go to people who have that unwanted or unworn piece of clothing, before it goes to a charity and remake it into something lovely that they will wear.

  2. Interesting take on this. Going to have to do my research now. So hard to keep up on all the ins and out of the industry. Have you had this discussion with the organizer in advance of EFW? Always a good time to put this kind of information out. After the fact it’s a done deal.

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  1. […] second day was all about Value Village. We made comments about Value Village last season. We hope some consideration will be made to […]

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