So I am in school for Fashion Design in Canada. I am very interested in Ethical and Sustainable practices. A few friends and I have started a school affiliated group focusing on sustainable design. We find that Canada is seriously lagging behind in the fashion world. We are looking for organic/sustainable fabric suppliers and fashion businesses. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated!!
I am also a Canadian fashion student (in Vancouver) and I can tell you right now, finding fabric that is actually sustainable is not any easier now than half a decade ago when my search for it began. I bought from Syka textiles for years, who imported high quality 'eco' fabrics, mostly bamboo viscose and soy blended with organic cotton... but they went bankrupt, supposedly when the factory they bought from in china went under. The vast majority of fabrics produced in the world today are produced in China, and other countries who do not yet have decent labor law enforcement in place. This can never be sustainable, until we also find a sustainable fuel source for the long shipments overseas. In Canada, you can find a few woven textile plants, but they are more along the lines of industrial tarps, not fashion fabrics. Also, many 'sustainable' and organic fabrics are in their own way damaging to the environment, besides the emissions from shipping them, like the chemicals used in producing viscose fabrics, and the amount of water needed to grow organic cotton. In my opinion,we don't yet have an actually sustainable fabric production method, besides maybe Tencel or Modal, which uses a chemical process to 'cook' cellulose matter into fibers but uses a closed loop system that does not leach chemicals into our eco-system, but as far as I know, these fabrics are still only being produced in China, and until Chinese workers are paid enough to make foreign labor unattractive to businesses, it'll stay that way. It will happen on day, though, and I hope North Americans will be ready when it does.
please keep in touch, there are precious few people on this tip!
What a fantastic initiative for your Uni! Please do check out Offset Warehouse, we've got a whole load of ethical fabrics and lots of resources that can help you to be as ethical as possible: www.offsetwarehouse.com
As Shelley says, even when you're trying to be ethical in fashion, there can still be negatives associated with the manufacturing and production of fabrics and clothing, which can be environmentally and/or socially damaging. But our theory is (and we'd like to think the general consensus is), that it's a darn sight better to be doing something, rather than nothing!
We'd love to know your thoughts, and if you need any help, please don't hesitate to get in touch! info(@)offsetwarehouse.com
Canada is seriously lagging behind in the fashion world. are you serious? as far as i know, young ladies in CA always keep abreast of fahion updates. you can drive them mad, if they are given to know this