Green has definitely become the new black, as environmentally sustainable ways of living are becoming widespread. Rarely do we see, however, the reduce-reuse-recycle mindset applied to modern fashion. The fashion industry works diligently to attract consumers into a cycle of desire that perpetuates endless wastefulness. A sustainable fashion show, ECOuture puts a spotlight on this issue, using the runway to make an environmental statement. Showcased March 22 at Karina’s Club Lounge, ECOuture’s 2016 event “EcoLUXE” promoted green fashion, stimulated discussion on sustainability, and urged the audience to change the way we should look at our clothes.
ECOuture is a philanthropic initiative that, according to its Facebook page, compromises neither glamour nor style in promoting sustainable fashion. It has been for a few years within McGill and is sponsored by McGill’s Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) under the ECOLE project. This year EcoLUXE saw a roaring applause, greeting the guests in a black, white, and gold affair.
Co-director of EcoLUXE Jenna Dilworth told The Daily, “This year we really tried to advertise the show as a little more glamorous. The idea behind this was to convey the message that you can still look stylish and fashionable while making environmentally friendly choices.”
“This year we really tried to advertise the show as a little more glamorous. The idea behind this was to convey the message that you can still look stylish and fashionable while making environmentally friendly choices.”
Models, music, dancing, and an entertaining monologue by members of the show’s committee made the evening a brilliant success, with all proceeds going to the NDG Food Depot. Dilworth continued, “This event is special because the cause we are raising awareness and money for is also represented by the clothes we showcase.” ECOuture uses art and entertainment to educate about a serious reality by showing that style and environmental consciousness can go hand in hand. The fashion industry is a leading cause of pollution and the industry is unsustainable in a number of ways – in terms of material reuse, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness in trade and labour, to name a few.
Dilworth noted that “the greatest success of ECOuture is […] showing to the McGill student body that being eco-friendly isn’t an extremely difficult thing to do – just a few small lifestyle changes.” She explained that just recycling wasn’t enough. “Using less water and electricity are all very important, changing our clothing choices can also make a huge difference.”
Environmental sustainability can come in many forms. For instance, used clothes repurposes materials without purchasing newly manufactured pieces. Choosing locally produced clothing also reduces the carbon footprint created by shipping clothing halfway across the world and means not supporting the inhumane labour used in clothing production in poor countries.
Another sustainable choice can be using fabrics, dyes, and techniques of crafting clothing that don’t contribute to polluting water with harmful chemicals. The directors of the show emphasized in an interview that the problem with mainstream fashion is the promotion of “fast fashion” with clothing that “have to be replaced in a year or two.” ECOuture, therefore, focuses on finding brands that reuse materials, manufacture without sweatshop labour, and that are stationed locally in Montreal.
The fashion industry is a leading cause of pollution and the industry is unsustainable in a number of ways – in terms of material reuse, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness in trade and labour, to name a few.
ECOuture promotes a “very realistic cause,” model Natasha Chatur told The Daily.
In addition to having an ideological message, the show offered an impressive range of designers and entertainment. It featured brands such as Annex Vintage, Empire Exchange, RedMinded, INCIW, and Hoodini. INCIW’s curated vintage line comprised of reworked dip-dye and pops of vibrant colour with their signature chokers. Annex Vintage contributed unique thrift pieces from their shop, focusing on classic nineties wear. Singer-songwriter LIA also performed at the show,enchantingly, complementing to the work of the designers.
EcoLUXE was elegant, thought-provoking, and entertaining, leaving the guests with the message that conscientiousness in fashion matters. While it is challenging for the fashion industry to conform to sustainable environmental standards, ECOuture hit the balance between mindfulness and creative expression.