Let’s face it, everyone loves to shop. Whether it be new, secondhand, upcycled, recycled, people shop to the tune of trillions of dollars a year. Clicking online, at the mall, off the backs of our stylish friends or straight off the runway – we refuse to stop shopping and events like fashion week fuel our material desires. 

So we asked ourselves, what if someone created a unique fashion week that was capable of providing a truly memorable experience, education on the environment (without being overly preachy), fun shopping, recycling challenges, international runway collections and beneficial networking within the fashion industry?

Well, welcome to Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week (EFW). If our elevator pitch wasn’t enough to get you excited, here are 5 more reasons you should check the event out: 

Diversity – Designers, Stylists, Models

eco fashion week vancouver

Instead of focusing on the newest and greatest, coolest and trendiest, EFW curates a selection of people and personalities that tempt and challenge attendees to enjoy a different kind of fashion week — one that is friendly to the environment and the people behind the scenes. The EFW posse of stylists, designers, models of all sizes and ages, makeup and hair artists, and creatives operate with a suitable amount of volunteers, like a well-oiled machine. The resulting atmosphere is conducive to conversation, laughter, and let’s face-it, when people are talking and networking, there is less selfie posing and pouty lip action.

Image via @alfonsoarnold

Thrift Challenge and the 81 Pound Challenge

eco fashion week vancouver

Creative challenges utilizing designers and stylists are amazing because they feed into our subconscious love of reality television. Whether it is convincing a newbie stylist or an industry veteran (Dominique Hanke, photo centre) to create a collection within a $500 budget or to take part in a weight based challenge – we love watching the struggle, the successes and the incredible failures. This year, the Value Village sponsored 68 Pound Challenge, has been renamed the 81 Pound Challenge. Unfortunately last year, fashion lovers threw away, on average, 81 pounds of clothing. That’s up from 68 pounds in previous years. Season 10 of EFW will see the fashion design grad class of VCAD create a whole runway collection weighing no more than 81 pounds – including jewellery, footwear and accessories!

Image via @kunaphotography

Chic Sheets Challenge

eco fashion week vancouver

Every year, the hotel industry discards tons of linens and EFW has a challenge geared towards one of their sponsors, The Fairmont Hotel. This season, eight alumni of EFW have been challenged to use the theme ‘Celebrating 70 years of Balmain’, and will be provided with a set of used bed linens and Tintex dyes to produce a runway ready garment. Last year’s challenge had a kimono theme and the garments were placed on display in CF Pacific Centre for shoppers to vote on their favourite.

Image via @alfonsoarnold

Education

eco fashion week vancouver

Throughout the year, EFW keeps in our consciousness by partnering with local events. Our favourite collaboration is with Vancouver International Film Festival, which includes a series of educational films that aim to expose the truth of how our clothes are made and who makes them. Educated shoppers make better decisions and who doesn’t love a reason to get dressed up and go to the movies? EFW founder Myriam Laroche and media personality Natalie Langston sure do!

Image via @alfonsoarnold

Accessible ‘Frow’

eco fashion week vancouver

Most fashion weeks have a front row (frow) occupied with a giddy assortment of hobby bloggers, media darlings, special guests and those who are really, really good at looking good. At EFW, the frow is available to paid ticket holders, those of shorter stature, other designers and sponsors. Media is usually placed second or third row with no shame.  

Image via @kunaphotography

Alternating between Vancouver and Seattle, EFW continuously provokes and challenges all aspects of the fashion industry by bringing forth suitable resolutions to balances ecology, society and culture.

Will you be attending Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver this season?

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Featured image via Instagram/@Ecofashionweek