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Home // Community // News // VCAD to Spearhead Fashion Sustainability Challenge at Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver

VCAD to Spearhead Fashion Sustainability Challenge at Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver

Monday, March 21, 2016

VCAD 81lbs Challenge Presented by Value Village to Debut at 10th Edition of Eco Fashion Week on April 11, 2016 at 9pm

VANCOUVER, BC – March 21, 2016 – The Visual College of Art & Design’s (VCAD) Fashion Design program is excited to announce a brand new collection created from upcycled clothing, which will debut at the 10th Edition of Eco Fashion Week next month.

Created from 81 pounds of discarded clothes – the average amount of clothing and textiles thrown out by an individual each year – the VCAD 81lbs Challenge presented by Value Village will feature 30 contemporary pieces crafted entirely from used apparel that could be worn by consumers.

“The purpose is to show how to close the loop of clothing that is normally thrown in the dump when not used,” said Natasha Campbell, Applied Arts Department Head at VCAD. “This collection is created by a team of student designers with the guidance of our instructing designers and industry professionals.”

As part of the challenge, VCAD’s Fashion Design students were tasked with handpicking all 81 pounds of clothing, courtesy of Value Village, and creating their own chic collection solely from the used garments. To put things into perspective, one pound of clothing on average consists of three shirts, nine pieces of kid’s clothing, or one pair of shoes.

Extending the life of a product, whether in fashion or any other industry, has countless ecological benefits. Up until 2014, the average North American discarded approximately 68 pounds of clothing each year. However, recent trends such as fast fashion has encouraged overconsumption amongst consumers and as a result, the amount of discarded clothing has drastically increased to 81 pounds per person in 2015. Of the discarded clothing, 85 per cent – around 26 billion pounds – is directly disposed into landfills while only 15 per cent is donated or repurposed.

While the objective of the challenge is to present a new collection created from second-hand clothing, the ultimate goal is to demonstrate how eco fashion can be repurposed into stylish clothing and ultimately, minimize waste produced. From casual day-to-day outfits to stunning evening wear, attendees can expect to see imaginative, wearable designs on the runway this April at the VCAD 81lbs Challenge presented by Value Village.

VCAD has been regarded as a trailblazer of fashion marketing and design training, pioneering a new curriculum that incorporates a course dedicated to sustainability and social responsibility, the first diploma program of its kind in North America.

“Over the course of the past few years, sustainability has been an ongoing discussion in fashion,” said Campbell. “We have noticed that this is becoming not only a conversation but a point of differentiation that companies want to align themselves with based on consumer responses. Sustainability is not only about how we interact with our planet, it’s also is about how we interact with each other.”

For more information on VCAD’s fashion programs or the VCAD 81lbs Challenge presented by Value Village, visit fashion.vcad.ca or follow us on social media using #EFW, #VCAD81LBS, and #ReuseRethink.