Tag Archives: FiveLeft Leather

Recap of Eco Fashion Week Seminars

I had to debate about going to EFW’s seminar series. Like yourself, I’ve only got 24 hours in a day and I was hoping to work on some other things and keep my Sunday lazy. But honestly, it was one of the best things that I could have done to further the learning I’ve done through BCIT’s SBL Program.

We didn’t dive into the details about LCAs or CSR plans, but what I found was similar to a fellow SBL-er classmate and friend of mine: I jumped with joy when I understood every term the speakers threw out there – closed-loop systems, zero waste, vertical integration, etc. I even knew the answers to some questions and felt confident to provide ideas to the discussion based on the research I’ve done on sustainable fashion throughout the year too.

So here are the highlights (aka my Coles notes version, quite literally) from the 5 seminars that kicked on EFW season 6:

  • Seminar 1: Facing the Issues
  • Seminar 2: Looking for Solutions
  • Seminar 3: Designer Challenges & Solutions
  • Seminar 4: Trends & Moving Towards the Future
  • Seminar 5: Rethinking Second-hand

I found a few recurring themes throughout the day…

– challenges of family life and running a business

– challenges/opportunities of Vancouver’s small industry


– limits of growth for small, local businesses

Interesting things I’ve learned:

– textiles will be part of the City of Vancouver’s recycling plan as of 2017! (from Wes Baker, de-brand)

– don’t use cotton thread with polyester – textile mixing not good for the recyclers and decomposers (also from Wes)

– modular design – it’s possible to design a piece of clothing worn 25+ ways as a shirt, dress, skirt, scarf, bag… (by Shannon Whitehead)

– trend: in popular culture, we’ll see nature to take on a sense of humour (by Carly Stojsic, WGSN)

– trend: we’ll be turning away from consumption and gravitating toward DIY (also by Carly)

– having more control of your fashion business via vertical integration allows you to make a bigger social difference (via Nicole Bridger)

– you CAN find Gucci, Balmain, Dior, Givenchy at Value Village! (a la Myriam Laroche, EFW founder)

Best Quotes of the Seminars:

“We hold our corporations accountable, but we don’t hold ourselves accountable.” – Jason Neve, Boardroom Eco Apparel

‘The good thing about my designs is that they’re never out of trend because they’re never on trend.’ – loosely quoted from Lincoln Heller, FiveLeft Leather

“Can I hack it in the industry and be who I am?” – Nicole Bridger

“I’m not going to do any good in the world if I don’t make money.” – Nicole Bridger

If you are at all interested in sustainability, I highly urge you to attend next season’s seminar series!

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