[Founder Report] Eco-Fashion Week in Vancouver: Sustainably improving the world



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There are a few fashion weeks around the world, but Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver is unique with its emphasis on organic fashion. The initiator Myriam Laroche inspires with honesty and sense - and with the idea, step by step to make the (fashion) world a little better.


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Here writes for you: Simone Janson is a publisher, German Top20 blogger and HR communication consultant. Profile

From the buyer to the eco-enthusiast

Overview

Myriam Laroche, founder of the Eco Fashionweek, is actually from Quebec. Already with 16 she produced first fashion shows. In addition, she holds degrees in fashion and PR, and has been a buyer of various models for two and a half years.

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One of the hard kind, as she herself says: "Like many others, I was just concerned to keep costs as low as possible. At that time, it was not clear to me what the production conditions looked like. "

"Do something fundamentally different"

Overview

But over time, the buyer found that things did not continue like this: "I had the impression that you had to do something fundamentally different," she explains her motivation. In fact, the fashion industry is one of the world's biggest polluters.

When she heard that urban politics in Vancouver, western Canada, wanted to emphasize the environmental aspects of urban development and become the greenest city in the world, she came up with the idea: She initiated 2009's eco-fashion week, which has since then been held twice a year. Good 15 designers were last, but most of them from Canada "sometimes also from abroad - eg from Hungary," says the initiator.

More eco-awareness through voluntary self-control

Overview

"Our goal is to raise awareness of ecological fashion," she says. At the same time, she is aware that the topic is very complex - especially with regard to the frequently occurring label frauds in the eco-sector:

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"We can not control the conditions under which all the garments produced at Fashion Week are produced, but rely on what the manufacturers tell us. And I keep asking myself where the limit really is, "says Laroche. Even though there are already some initial approaches to certification in the fashion industry, such as Ökotex or Bluesign, it is surprising that officials are looking in vain for participation.

"We have to share and discuss knowledge"

Overview

For the initiator, it is much more of a joint development process of organizers and labels: "We all still have to learn, step by step. Because many mistakes happen because of ignorance, because eg buyers do not know the connections ", Laroche is convinced of the personal experience.

"Every label has to find its own way to more ecological fashion. That's why we offer seminars for textile workers who want to raise awareness and improve knowledge of the production chain. "Laroche wants to inspire. And maybe in the end there will be the creation of common standards. "It's important to share, discuss and share the knowledge," she says.

Second-hand instead of throwing away

Overview

Laroches favorite theme, however, is the recycling of used clothing pieces. Every year in North America, every person picks 86 pounds away from clothing - that's almost a whole collection. Accordingly, there are contests at the Eco-Fashionweek, where designers from second-hand pieces 10-15 design new looks.

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"If we manage to reduce the fashion garbage mountain, we are already a long way," says Laroche and advises women: "You do not just need to buy second-hand fashion. But if one of 10's new garments is needed, we're already a big step forward. "

Enthusiastic and pragmatic

Overview

The enthusiasm for second-hand fashion, however, is no coincidence: Laroche is an enthusiastic second-hand wearer herself: "However, I started it long before Fashion Week, because I wanted to dress more individually," she says.

I was very enthusiastic about Laroche's enthusiasm for the subject. It is nice that she devotes herself to the difficult topic with a great deal of pragmatism for what is feasible without exaggerated idealism. However, the Ökofashionweek is not a business model in its fourth year either: The event costs approximately 70.000 Canadian dollars each time, some of which come from sponsors, some of which are pre-extended by the initiator. In addition, she is still working in the catering industry to make a living.

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