Eco Fashion Week is aware of the carbon impact made by the fashion industry worldwide

Last month, Vancouver welcomed back the ninth season of Eco Fashion Week (EFW), to celebrate the ongoing transformation of the fashion industry into one that is aware of and co-exists with the environment. The aim was to raise awareness of the environmental, and more specifically, the carbon impact made by the fashion industry worldwide.

The week kicked off at the Fairmont Waterfront with H&M’s Conscious Collection, worn by models who mixed and mingled with the guests, and a series of posters throughout the space highlighting H&M’s sustainability strategies and commitments. The following two nights were filled with back-to-back fashion shows including stylists working with product from Value Village, vintage stores and eco-designers.

Bringing in more than a trillion a year in revenue, the apparel industry so successful relies heavily on the resources of healthy ecosystems — fresh water, clean air, robust biodiversity, productive land — and the stability of just societies. So, as the third most environmentally damaging industry in the world, one might also wonder what its leaders are doing to promote the kind of sustainability necessary for their long-term viability. Well, Myriam Laroche did, too.

Laroche founded Vancouver Eco Fashion Week to work with the fashion community to create a healthier apparel and textile industry. Laroche, who says she was once the “girl with 100 pairs of shoes,” and the “one who would buy one tank top in five colours and wear only three,” said she was influenced by the community of people that incorporated sustainability into their lifestyles after moving to Vancouver. When she learned that the average amount of textiles thrown away per person in America was 68 pounds, she re-evaluated her relationship with clothes and soon founded EFW.

Innovation in fashion is inextricably linked to innovation in sustainability, and EFW’s purpose is to inform and inspire the fashion-conscious and sustainable-minded, alike, in a way that harmonizes beauty and the environment.