3 green shows to scope at Vancouver's Eco Fashion Week

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      Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week offers style sleuths an inside look at collections from established and up-and-coming names. (Check out the Canadian debut of British designer Jeff Garner’s romantic fall collection or the launch of local ceremonial line Laudae.)

      But its three signature shows, taking place at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel (900 Canada Place) from Saturday to next Wednesday (April 9 to 13), reflect the three Rs that lie at the heart of the environmentally minded affair.

      Creations from last year's Chic Sheets challenge were modeled after Japanese kimonos.
      Alfonso Arnold

      Chic Sheets: The Bed Linen Challenge

      Abandoned bed sheets will get new life with the return of EFW’s Chic Sheets: The Bed Linen Challenge.

      Eight local designers, including Young Oak’s Tammy Joe and Project Runway Canada alumna Kim Cathers, have been tasked with transforming used linens from the Fairmont Waterfront into pieces that celebrate French fashion house Balmain’s 70th anniversary.

      Expect a flurry of gleaming baroque embellishments and hefty shoulder pads, all inspired by designer Olivier Rousteing’s vision. Following the show on Sunday (April 10), the high-fashion looks will be exhibited at Pacific Centre from April 14 to 30, where the public can vote for its favourites.

      Three local stylists will create fully realized collections using secondhand threads for the Thrift Style Challenge.
      Peter Jensen

      Thrift Style Challenge

      Though the premise of the Thrift Style Challenge remains unchanged from its first incarnation seven years ago—three designers must create a fully realized fashion collection using secondhand pieces from Value Village and only $500 each—the results are always unpredictable.

      Preloved threads are mixed, remastered, and altered into almost unrecognizable forms that, in the past, have been influenced by everything from Barbie and Ken to the groovy garb of Woodstock.

      This year, Vancouver stylists Jason PillayNadia Albano, and Nathalie Rees will take to the runway on Monday (April 11) with collections that prove chic doesn’t have to come steep.

      A thrifted outfit from a previous year's 68-Pound Challenge, now known as the 81-Pound Challenge.
      Peter Jensen

      81-Pound Challenge

      Formerly dubbed the 68-Pound Challenge, the 81-Pound Challenge has been renamed to reflect a new statistic for the amount of clothing and textiles the average North American tosses out every year.

      To illustrate this growing number, EFW has enlisted the help of students from the Vancouver College of Art and Design to craft a collection using gently worn fabrics, apparel, and accessories from Value Village that will weigh 81 pounds in total.

      The aspiring designers, who have been guided by fashion industry vets Jason Matlo, Wen-chee Liu, and Glencora Twigg, will present their collaborative efforts on Monday (April 11).

      Follow Lucy Lau on Twitter @lucylau.