What is Sustainable Fashion?

The Fashion on Display wrap-up party kicked off with a facilitated discussion on ‘Sustainable Fashion’. We welcomed participating FoD artists, shop owners, friends and interested people in Ottawa’s fashion community to gather at the Cube Gallery for an intimate chat to share perspectives, find common ground and brainstorm actions.

To get a sense of what sustainable fashion is, we first asked: What is fashion?. A simple question that offered plenty of colorful answers. Fashion is change. Fashion satisfies our fundamental human needs: creativity, self-expression, warmth & protection. Fashion can represent our culture, religion or our social status. Fashion allows us to stand out, or blend in. Fashion surrounds us, it is everywhere. Fashion is the future…

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We then discussed today’s fashion industry. Keeping in mind what fashion is, we surveyed the lay of the land and talked about whether or not the industry is producing fashion in a sustainable way. To give some context and spark some debate, the facilitation team presented their thoughts on the sustainability of the industry. Some of the environmental & social impacts were presented and discussed, such as excessive water & pesticide use, poor working condition & low wages, and the mass marketing & negative body images portrayed by the industry.

Is it possible to satisfy our human need for fashion in a positive way, without all of the negative external impacts on our environment and society? And, what exactly is sustainable fashion?

  • A new mindset altogether
  • Valuing skills & craftsmanship
  • Personal self expression, unique pieces, emotional memory, resourcefulness
  • Classic, well-made pieces that last a long time
  • Sustainable materials are used: linen, silk, organic cotton etc.
  • Higher & fair costs of fashion to include natural resource and fair labour cost
  • New ways to consume: clothing swaps are awesome and free!
  • ‘Closing the loop’ in production – 2nd hand materials are upcycled, textile waste is reused by industry
  • Small-scale fashion houses can build trust in the community and cater to those without creativity
  • Both consumers AND industry have a role. Consumers need to demand sustainable fashion and industry needs to increase its supply
What are some of of our current barriers to living sustainable fashion?
  • Lack of general education and awareness of sustainable fashion and why its important
  • Our consumer society is all about changing fashion trends
  • Lack of understanding about the price of sustainable fashion, and why it costs more

Finally, we brainstormed some creative actions that can take place here, in Ottawa:

  • School workshops: teaching sewing skills, educating on sustainable fashion
  • Older generation teaching younger generation skills
  • Advertise locally on sustainable fashion
  • Ask retailers more questions about sustainable fashion, helping increase demand
  • Booth at the mall directing shoppers to local shops offering sustainable options
  • Guerilla marketing: Flash-mob sustainable fashion show
  • A public figure in the Ottawa community actively getting the message out
  • Partner with OFW for sustainable/local fashion show OR Sustainable Fashion Week Ottawa with local clothing lines, shows, workshops and more
  • Take advantage of Ottawa’s multicultural population and increase cultural fashion in Ottawa
  • And of course, more clothing swaps!
Thank you to everyone that participated, and a special thank you to Anouk Bertner from The Natural Step for assisting in the discussion and to Bogdan Neagu for capturing images for us to share! We look forward to keeping the discussion going, and helping bring the creative actions to life.

Support Local Month

One more thing before we hit the hay:

Flowing nicely from one local event to another, we would like to let you in on a plan that is about to unfold. In partnership with a whole slew of local stores and restaurants, the beloved Ottawa blog, Apartment 613, is hosting ‘Support Local Month’, starting in November. We’re going to remain mysterious and keep it at that but for more information (we don’t want to be too mysterious), check out: http://www.apt613.ca/supportlocal/

1st Annual Fashion on Display wraps up

It’s 11:08 p.m., we’re exhausted but eager to get the party started. This event has been a great learning experience and we are looking forward to kick-starting the 2nd Annual FoD! Of course, we’re aiming for bigger and better and perhaps, dare we say, in and outside of Ottawa??? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, huge thank you to our artists, stores and sponsors. This event would never have gotten off of the ground without you. We look forward to thanking you in person tomorrow.


Maureen and Malorie


Let’s hear it for the acronyms! BHBB featured FoD on its brand new site and we’re thrilled with the results. Check the feature out .

We’re wrapping last minute details up before the end bash this Thursday, 8 p.m. at Cube Gallery. Tickets are on sale now online and must be purchased in advance. All guests will have the chance to win some fun prizes and as a consolation prize, we’ll keep your stomach and taste buds satisfied.

We invite you to come early at 7 p.m. to take part in an open discussion on sustainable fashion and the future of the industry with , and .

Sneak peak – Young Jane’s

Seamstress extraordinaire, Liudmila Popova of , had a lot of fun with her window and really showcased her theme of reusing and recycling clothing through sewing. Her display features two mannequins, one washing clothing to be reworked and the other sewing clothing into new and beautiful pieces. Her vintage vibe compliments vintage boutique and emphasizes the quality of handmade clothing from the 40′s, 50s and 60s as well as highlights the iconic beauty of the clothing back then with images of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O.

You also have two reasons to visit Young Jane’s, the window and the NEW LOCATION. We had the chance to visit the new shop last week and we can’t get over how beautiful and big it is. The clothing just shines in their new home and we’re very happy for owner Mika and her new vintage clothing haven.

Let the tour begin!

Today is the day ladies and gentlemen. From now until the 20th, take an evening or two to visit some of Ottawa’s most charming, eclectic, trendy boutiques and vintage shops. All participating stores have one or two engaging window displays for you to admire and learn about sustainable fashion and issues related to the fashion industry.

Don’t forget…

  1. Print off our store list here.
  2. Pick up or print off a We Are Local guide .
  3. Visit the stores and be sure to have them stamp their name on the list so you can entre a draw for the chance to win prizes at our wrap-up bash on the 20th at Cube Gallery.
  4. Wrap-up bash tickets on sale .

So what could you win?

We know, bribery is NOT cool. But, well, prizes are fun! So here’s our ever-growing list of generous sponsors who want to thank YOU for your participation and support.

So how do you get your hands on these babies? Print off our store list, pick up or print off a , visit the participating stores, have each store check off/stamp their store name on the list, purchase a to our wrap-up bash, hand in your list and we’ll do a draw or two, badabing-badaboom.

  1. - We’re in love with their sandwiches and delish potato salad so they’re offering our participants a few gift certificates to enjoy the best of the fresh!
  2. - A ‘mmm coffee is amazing’ gift basket of coffee goodies
  3. - One exquisite painting to adorn your living room wall
  4. - A gift certificate to enjoy their scrumptious menu
  5. - A handful of class passes to get your ‘ohm’ on and elasticize those legs
  6. - All wrap-up party guests will get a Red Apron voucher to spend at your pleasure and leisure
  7. - A beautiful necklace to bedazzle your collar bone, rrreaoow
  8. - A gift certificate to munch at one of the city’s ‘it’ dining joints
  9. - A gift certificate – Yoga for your tastebuds!

Check back for more – because we love to spoil you.

A stylish snapshot of FoD

A HUGE thank you goes out to our friend Sanjay at for designing the promo poster. He is a design genius that graciously donated his time and energy to FoD!! We also want to thank for sponsoring the print job. You guys are truly awesome. For all of you taking part in the FoD fun, you can pass along this poster with the juicy details to your fellow tour companions. Download the poster . Try this website herpes treatment natural