For 22 seasons, Vancouver Fashion Week has striven to deliver a fashion experience that celebrates multi-culturalism and diversity, attracting Canadian and International designers from around the world. As the Spring Vancouver Fashion Show is wrapping up this Sunday, eco-fashion designing, a unique design concept, has been drawing people's attention, apart from the latest styles and colors that are setting the trends for the upcoming fall and winter season.
Designer Jose Hendo from London showcased her environmentally friendly collection that is made mostly from tree bark.
Introducing her "Resonance" collection on Saturday night, she said she has a fashion line made entirely of organic tree bark. The material is renewable and the concept is based on 700 years of traditional tree bark cloth-making skills in Uganda and other African countries.
"Tree bark is the most sustainable fabrics ever. Because when you harvest from the tree, it regenerates and you can harvest again and again," she told Xinhua.
Hendo said she decided 15 years ago that if she were to stay in fashion, she was going to do it her way. She wanted to avoid what she called "fast fashion" while making avant-garde clothes without harming the planet.
"So I really pushed the boundaries there, that's why there's no zips, no buttons, no traditional methods of fastening, just something that is the way I cut the fabric, the way I put the garment together. That really makes it stand out," she said proudly.
Jamal Abdourahman, founder of Vancouver Fashion Week, told Xinhua that eco-fashion is a concept that has been around for a while, but it's the innovative and modern designers like Hendo who are now making the biggest inroads.
"It has been on and off in the industry, but more people are more aware of it now and sustainability plays a role in the industry, just like in any industry, design, furniture, building," said Abdourahman.
Hendo said reducing, recycling and re-using are concepts that inspire her designs and manufacturing methods.
Like most trends that eventually became popular around the world, eco-fashion originated on the fringes of the industry, said Hendo, who designs for the Ugandan Royal Family and has also been featured at fashion weeks in London, New York and Kampala.
"Maybe the voice wasn't loud enough, but now we are getting so many of us, the voice is getting louder and louder. I don't think you can ignore it," Hendo said with confidence.