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Vancouver Fashion Week Designers: Moving Towards a More Sustainable and Responsible Fashion Future

By Partner


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Credit: HBT, photo by Cassidy Chen

The Fall-Winter 2022 Season of Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) took place at the David Lam Hall in Chinatown, Vancouver. The platform showcased an exclusive selection of talented designers who fostered an imaginative and innovative environment, where the topic of fashion and creativity sparked conversation between designers, media, and guests internationally.

Some designers include UNSERTEN and ISXNOT from Japan, #whysocerealz from Korea, HBT from France, Ignacio Carrasco from Mexico and Chalanse, Faun Studio and Ay Lelum from Canada. Apart from individual designers, Vancouver Fashion Week also encourages student designers from Vancouver Community College and La Salle College to display their work. Each designer used their work to tell a social, environmental, or personal story, and as these series of paths crossed at Vancouver Fashion Week, their chemistry shed light on the newer chapter of the fashion industry—an upbeat, modern, but sustainable and responsible industry.

Credit: LEFT Guido Vera, photo by Cassidy Chen RIGHT Soseisoudo, photo by Arun Nevader

Guido Vera: Sustainable Fashion At Its Finest

With the slogan “cruelty-free,” this Chilean firm has created a collection inspired by the geographical region of Patagonia, where the designer was born. Sitting on the corner of South America, Patagonia is characterized by terrain ranging from temperate rainforests to icy glaciers, rocky mountain terrain, and vibrant grasslands. This magical dynamic of geographical features fuels Guido Vera with imagination and creativity.

This permanent collection of his work aims to showcase Chile’s past and present by utilizing sustainable textiles. The collection highlights the luxury of nopal cactus skin from Desserto, non-animal, biodegradable leather from Vinylife, and GOTS-certified organic cotton of Pima and Tanguy. Carefully choosing what he uses and creates, Guido Vera proves that with fashion and style comes sustainability and responsibility.

Soseisoudou: “Hugging a Sheep”

When Rikka Hemi found large amounts of sheep wool dumped on a nearby farm, she reused the abandoned material to create fluffy, light clothes and found her sustainable brand, Soseisoudou. Established in 2004 and based in Bifuka-Cho, Hokkaido, the brand emphasized its goal of simultaneously recycling materials while producing comfortable clothing.

Soseisoudou uses the unique technique of weaving wool into thin fabric to design soft and warm clothing. This method means that the brand produces zero waste, and they demonstrate this at Vancouver Fashion Week through the theme of seeking harmony with nature. Rikka Hemi used the wool of seven sheep from her farm and created nine looks that make you feel like you are “hugging a sheep.”

HBT: The Magic of France

Originating from a Marseille tailor family in the early 90s, HBT is the revival of that creative impulse approximately two decades later. In 2016, HBT rebranded itself and connected past inspiration with military-inspired looks and the European subway culture of cities like Paris, London, and Berlin. The brand uses polyamide, a synthetic flexible and breathable textile for the body. In addition to comfort, the material is also durable, making it more economically and environmentally friendly long-term. HBT uses the Herring Bone Twill—a fishbone weaving technique—allowing them to replace the denim material inspired by the U.S. military uniforms and create softer, more extendable garments and suits. With this army inspiration within the brand’s DNA, the brand creates sporty, durable clothing while maintaining its fashionable sense of style.

Credit: LEFT Chalanse, photo by Cassidy Chen RIGHT Love To Ukraine, photo by Cassidy Chen

Chalanse: “The Attitude, The Brand”

Based in Vancouver, BC, Serena Kealy builds her clothing and accessories brand with combinations of unique fabrics and structured shapes to demonstrate her artistry as an emerging designer. The brand makes a statement with its powerful designs, delivering timeless styles that mirror elegance and confidence; Serena’s definition of feminism and an independent, fearless individual is demonstrated through these ready-to-wear pieces, where keywords such as “bold” and “empowering” reflected throughout the collection. The brand’s belief in creativity and equality demonstrates that Chalanse is truly “fashion that empowers.”

Love to Ukraine: A Message to the World

Vancouver designer, ECOSstylist, and model Tetyana Golota presented her collection to showcase Ukrainian culture by incorporating traditional folklore costume notes within her creations. Tetyana used her work to express her admiration and appreciation for Ukrainian culture. The unique display of her pieces highlighted the runway show; the models danced down the runway to exhilarating music, creating an uplifting atmosphere that moved all guests. The show reflects the love and respect the world has for Ukraine culture and brings attention to the unfortunate events in homeland Ukraine. Tetyana successfully brings not only art but also a message to the world: stand with peace, stand with Ukraine.

The FW22 show of Vancouver Fashion Week welcomed many designers with purpose who aimed to show the world a cause or idea they represent. Vancouver Fashion Week will continue hosting future designers with good motivations in mind; combined with the designer’s creation and our platform, we are the artistic voice that advocates for the voiceless.

Sustainable Fashion