Eco-sustainability is a driving force in the Montreal Fashion industry
” Did you know that your old faded and torn denim could be transformed into a variety of interesting projects?”
With an ever increasing awareness of global pollution and the mismanagement of waste, the trending themes of sustainability and eco-responsibility have permeated the Montreal fashion scene in recent years and has inspired designers to act.
This week, Gen’s Delights introduces you to one of Canada’s largest fashion events and interviews a local designer who holds sustainability to heart and encourages a closer and very creative look at recycling .
College LaSalle presents SIGNATURE 2017 on Sunday May 7th
The largest fashion show in Canada, this event has been running for more than 25 years, welcoming over 4,000 spectators annually to marvel at the latest trends from emerging designers.
The Signature 2017 creations are entirely designed and created by the Fashion Design graduates from LaSalle College’s International School of Fashion, Arts and Design.
The Fashion show is the culmination of three years of hard work for the students who have dedicated their lives to their craft and have studied in depths fabrics, styles and colours. The show presents a privileged opportunity for these designers to take their first professional steps in the realm of fashion.
As Montreal celebrates its 375th birthday in tandem with Expo 67’s 50th and Canada’s 150th, the students were asked to reflect upon the gradual deterioration of our planet, tap into our biodiversity and find creative solutions to waste.
Signature 2017, it’s the teleportation of a universal reflection on fashion and our societies.
Held this year on Sunday, May 7th at Montreal’s Olympic Park, the graduates will present their collections during two fashion sets: The first presentation held at 4 p.m. and the second at 7:30 p.m.
You can take a stand and make an eco-conscious style statement with Kinsu’s fashionable, upcycled denim fashion accessories:
Gen’s Delights had the opportunity to interview Ariane Brunet-Juteau, a stylish Denim Upcycler whose passion for life has led her to open Kinsu, a fashion line that remodels jeans into stunning, fashion accessories!
Please tell me a little about your background and your studies in design and fashion.
“My adventure with the world of fashion officially began at 6500 feet atop the Indian Himalayas… I had been volunteering at a Tibetan traditional attire workshop in Dharamsala for about three months. The richness of human relations and my encounter with the Dalai Lama profoundly inspired my life’s journey.
Upon my return to Montreal, I pursued studies in fashion, with the spirit of utilising clothes as a canvas for both my political convictions and artistic statements. Since then, I have accumulated over 10 years of experience within the fashion industry.
Much of my passion has also emerged through various international travels and my three year stay in Beijing. During my time abroad, I worked as a designer for Bestseller, one of the largest garment retailers in China, improved my proficiency in Chinese and was given the chance to travel and explore the largest fashion metropolises of Europe and Asia.
Beijing is an amazing city where both old and new coexist and something unexpected awaits at every corner. Today, the city sadly faces serious environmental challenges.
During my time as a designer in China, I realised the great power I wielded being the very source of product creation, and saw how my daily decisions made a direct impact on the environment. For this reason, upon my return, I felt like promoting the know-how and wisdom I learned while abroad in order to contribute to the fashion industry in a more sustainable and committed manner.
Why did you choose used denim as your medium of choice? It is easy for you to obtain material? Are there competitors locally ~ internationally?
‘Upcycling’ is an intelligent way of reusing old materials. Consider it a ‘high-end’ version of recycling that occurs via artistic inspiration. For me, upcycling is all about removing the material from its original context and enabling a future use that upgrades its value. Upcycling pays tribute to pre-loved materials.
Denim is a fascinating fabric. It overcomes sexes, ages, cultures, social ranks, trends etc. It’s alive in the way that it changes appearance as it ages. On average around 60 pairs of jeans are sold each second worldwide. I strongly believe some designers should stop thinking about creating and start focusing on recreating what’s already been produced. Thus, I challenged myself with jeans. Denim upcycling is a recent trend and there are several brands or designers doing quite interesting stuff. There’s Re/Done in California that reinterprets vintage Levi’s, and Fade Out Label in Europe that upcycles old jeans into a collection. I recently discovered Tatman on Instagram, that embroiders beautiful designs on the back of vintage jeans jacket.
Are you working on any current projects ? How do you see your bags, clothes, accessories line evolving ?
This spring I wanted to push my concept further and offer my customers a way to up-cycle their own jeans. Thus every item in the collection is available in both “Ready-to-wear” and “Ready-to-make”. The procedure is simple: Grab a pre-loved pair of jeans and visit my website to download the pattern. All the patterns are downloadable for free for limited period of time. With the video tutorial, the customers will be guided step by step until the completion of their project.
I am really excited about this new dimension to Kinsu and I am looking forward to expanding the project with more tutorials and available fashionable products.
Any wise words or advice ?
My best advice to those wishing to enter the field of fashion would be to become a designer that sees possibilities, rather than obstacles.