Eco Fashion Week changes it up for 2016

Dec 19 2017, 9:07 pm

Vancouver’s annual sustainable fashion event is now in its 10th edition and Eco Fashion Week continues to raise global awareness for socially, environmentally and economically sustainable consumption.

Eco Fashion Week

Press Conference 2016. (Alfonso Arnold | Eco Fashion Week)

Running from April 9 to 14, EFW is venturing beyond the ballroom at the Fairmont Waterfront, to various locations around the city including RYU in Kitsilano, the Waterfall Building in False Creek, and Mercer Creative on Granville Island.

Eco Fashion Week

Eco Fashion Week 2015 H&M Conscious Collection. (Eco Fashion Week)

This year’s event will feature local and international designers in partnership with pre-loved fashion heaven Value Village, the impeccable Fairmont Waterfront, with hair and make-up creativity by cruelty-free line La Biosthétique led by Marc Riese.

The opening night will be hosted at ​RYU (Respect Your Universe)​. This innovative and environmentally responsible athletic brand will present an insider’s view of athletic wear development evolution–understanding the purpose of athletic apparel and the practice of sustainable development.

Eco Fashion Week

Stylist Dominique Hanke and 68 Pound Value Village ‘Mean Girls’ Collection from 2015. (Eco Fashion Week)

The ever popular and entertaining Thrift Style Challenge is back and is definitely the most anticipated of the runway shows. Three stylists – Nadia Albano, Nathalie Rees and newcomer Jason Pillay – will be given $500 in Value Village gift certificates to create ten runway-worthy outfits using only gently-used clothing from the racks of Value Village stores.

Eco Fashion Week

81 Pound Challengers for 2016: Nadia Albano, Nathalie Rees and newcomer Jason Pillay. (Alfonso Arnold/Eco Fashion Week)

Sadly, the 68 Pound Challenge has been re-named the 81 Pound Challenge, sponsored by Value Village, to reflect the growing amount of waste the average North Americans throw away each year. The change up this year is all the participants are fashion students from Visual College of Art and Design (VCAD) mentored by three established fashion professionals and VCAD teachers Jason Matlo, Wen-chee Liu, and Glencora Twigg.

Eco Fashion Week

The Eco Fashion Week Team with VCAD judges. Image: Alfonso Arnold | Eco Fashion Week

The runway collections will be held at the Fairmont Waterfront and the line-up promises to be creatively diverse with designers from New Delhi, Nashville, London, and more. This year’s focus is will on celebrating the origins and roots of the sustainable fashion industry. Internationally renowned Jeff Garner of ​ Prophetik designs​, traditional garments from New Delhi by ​Sonam Dubal​, and a celebration of Aboriginal history by Wendy van Riesen​ in collaboration with Haida artist ​Reg Davidson.​

Eco Fashion Week

Chic Sheets Challenge in conjunction with Fairmont Waterfront 2015. (Eco Fashion Week)

Also, returning is the creative Chic Sheets challenge with the theme “Celebrating 70 years of Balmain.” Attendees learned last year that the hotel industry goes through tons of bed linens each year and EFW has created a contest in which eight designers, including Tammy Joe (Young Oak), and Kim Cathers (Project Runway Canada) to transform the used linens from the Fairmont Waterfront into editorial worthy looks inspired by Balmain that will be displayed at CF Pacific Centre shopping mall.

Eco Fashion Week would not be complete without education. Besides runway shows and recycling contests, informative panels and events on will be hosted by local personalities, such as Fiona Forbes (Shaw TV) and Erin Cebula (Entertainment Tonight Canada). Special guests include Nicole Bridger, John Fluevog, Kyle Rudzinski (Levi and Strauss Co), Tony Shumpert (Value Village, Jenny Hughes (Me & You), and Sean Schmidt (Future-ish).