Sustainable Fashion & the Environment


Hi! My name is Thomas Mo, founder of Alberta Apparel and Greater Canada Apparel. Four years ago, we started Alberta Apparel in hopes of bringing locally and ethically made clothing to consumers. Using local themes and photographs, we now create apparel that reflects our beautiful province and uses Alberta based talent.

Realizing that success cannot be achieved as a solo mission, we decided to get involved with Fashion Revolution YYC in 2018. Fashion Revolution began due to a tragedy in Bangladesh in 2013 when a factory collapsed and 1138 workers were killed, all due to poor construction and cost savings. Since then, over 100 countries have joined in on the cause. Events take place throughout the week of the anniversary to educate and celebrate in the apparel world. Our aim is to unite people and organizations to work together towards radically changing the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed so that our clothing is made through a safe, clean and fair process. We believe that collaborating across the whole value chain — from farmer to consumer — is the only way to transform the industry. Our mission is to bring everyone together to achieve this.

We recently wrapped up our second Fashion Revolution week in Calgary with much success. With the help of almost 30 sponsors, we organized 5 nights of events, bringing in local subject matter experts and engaging with the public on important topics in sustainability. Approximately 400 people came out to our panel discussions, clothing swap, movie screening of River Blue, and our gala night.

Looking to get involved, but not sure where to start? There are many ways individuals can make a difference as consumers from an environmental perspective. Some of these practices include:

  • Buy Less

If there are items in your closet that you haven’t worn in a year, that’s a sign you could cut back. This may seem simple, but modern trends shift quickly and there can be pressure to keep up. Which leads us to…

  • Buy Quality

Low-cost clothing, or “fast fashion”, often comes at its own high price down the road. Their materials generally do not hold up more than a year or two. Instead of perpetuating the cycle, invest in higher quality basics that will withstand the test of time (and trends).

  • Re-purpose

Organize a clothing swap, buy used, or donate your clothing instead of throwing them out. This will reduce the burden on our landfills and could potentially help someone in need.

  • Ask your favourite brands about their sourcing practices

Many brands are now catching on to the movement towards sustainability and transparency. Start to become familiar with the production methods of your go-to labels by checking their website or asking a representative.

  • Wash your clothes less often

Check the labels on your clothes to avoid unnecessary over-washing. Depending on the materials, many garments do not require a wash after one light use. This will increase the shelf-life of your clothes and saves water while you’re at it.

These practices will end up saving you time and money, and are beneficial to you and the rest of the planet. While it is difficult to avoid today’s widespread advertising, try setting an annual apparel budget. This will help you stick to your goals and set an example for others to follow.

If you have any questions on the apparel world, please reach out to Thomas and his team at Alberta Apparel.

Interested in learning more about Fashion Revolution Week? Visit www.fashionrevolutionyycca.com and stay tuned for more events coming later in 2019!

For global events, visit https://www.fashionrevolution.org/.

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