EP!C 2013: A Look at Sustainable Fashion

Tees & Sunnies

Two Birds Eco-Luxury Apparel

Daniel and Tiffany of Two Birds know a thing or two about casual luxury. Their eco-friendly line of organic cotton and bamboo t-shirts are silky soft to the touch and make their customers feel indulgent without looking it. They also carry a line of eco eyewear called Sire’s Crown. According to their website, each pair is “handcrafted in LA using sustainably forested and reclaimed woods.” In addition to the stylish Wayfarer-esque look, the glasses also come in an equally sleek case too.

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Frocks & Gowns

Elroy

Designer Leanne McElroy was at a sustainable employment sewing cooperative in Indonesia at the time I had wanted to interview her. Not only does she help develop communities through the co-op, she also uses organic, sustainable or upcycled fabrics, sourced from the Indonesian communities. But this established Vancouver designer needs no introduction; the clothes speak for themselves. Her contemporary West Coast stylings are well suited for an evening out or for professional day-to-day wear. Elroy definitely had one of the busiest booths at EP!C.

Pure Magnolia

Pure Magnolia is a dream come true for brides who opt for eco-weddings to suit their eco-lifestyles. Designer Patty Nayel sources fabrics such as organic cotton sateen, hemp silk satin, and modal knits. The team collects and refashions vintage wedding dresses,  as well as create new styles; one of my favourites being the diamond back styles. The designs even inspired a 3 year old boy, who pointed to the tulle wedding dress on a mannequin and said, “When I get married, my bride’s going to wear this dress.”

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Purses & Handbags

Love Me 2 Times

Featured in the EP!C preview, Love Me 2 Times is the brainchild of handbag designer, Amelia Shaughnessy. Her bags, clutches, make-up bags, and coin purses are all made from recycled leathers sourced from local vintage shops. Her latest collection of fringe purses are are flirty and fun; simply perfect for summer.

Cork by Design

The Portuguese designed and crafted cork handbags by Cork by Design could easily pass for leather. Instead, the husband and wife team, Martha and Jack Vainer, have used cork, sourced from the cork forests in Portugal. Bark is stripped from the cork trees, and the renewable resources “regenerates itself after each extraction.” The Style by Fire team’s favourite eco-design of EP!C is definitely the Cork by Design iPad shoulder bag: how modern and sustainable!

Coming up next… A Look at EP!C from a sustainable living point of view

EP!C Preview: Amelia Shaughnessey Loves Leather 2x

LoveMe2Times-1

Amelia Shaughnessy started making bags from reclaimed leather 3 years ago while working full-time. But at her day job, she says, ”All I was thinking about was making bags!” So in January of this year, she opted to make Love Me 2 Times  her full-time work. Although every new business can be a struggle to get off the ground, Amelia confidently says, “It’s worth it to do what you love.”

Her bags are all made from vintage leather jackets… and pants! Apparently there’s quite a high supply of leather pants in the thrifting markets. Pants also offer a much wider range of colour choices for the designer, as most leather jackets she finds are brown or black. What is now a teal handbag was once a pair of pants, and a current blue purse was a former leather skirt. Amelia never knows what to expect when hunting for new materials;  it’s certainly always a surprise.

Because of the panels on these garments, she often takes what may seem like an awkward piece and turns it into a focal point in her designs. Oftentimes, jacket pockets are repurposed as a bag’s external pockets. Perhaps it would act as an easy go-to area for lipstick? Love is literally infused on Love Me 2 Times bags: a little stitched heart makes an appearance on the products.

Look inside the recycled leather bags, the brightly patterend lining you see was made from a vintage dress. In addition to speaking to the environmental awareness she creates, Amelia says she “really wanted to something so each one is unique so that people felt it was something really special.” The uniqueness factor is something that runs throughout her business and personal style. When asked which fashion icon she admires, she doesn’t take a moment to hesitate, and mentions Emilio Pucci. “My entire wardrobe is vintage dresses,” she laughs.

Amelia Shaughnessey

Amelia will be at the EP!C Sustainable Living Festival this July 6 – 7th at the Sustainable Living Marketplace. Check out Love Me 2 Times along with Elroy, Dahlia Drive, and other eco-fashion designers.