Eco Fashion Week – My Sister’s Closet

My Sister’s Closet, a fun and funky Yaletown Boutique selling pre-loved and vintage garments, is also a social enterprise of Battered Women’s Support Services and holds a very special place in my heart.

BWSS’s amazing staff and volunteers work tirelessly helping women in crisis situations. They create programs focused on educating youth and changing society’s attitudes toward violence. I can’t say enough good things about this organization, the strong, magnificent women involved in it and the beautiful sisterhood they’ve created.

In addition to all of this, My Sister’s Closet Boutique is as eco-fashion friendly as it gets. They sell only gently used or vintage items and they do it with flare and style. It’s always a pleasure and a treasure-seeking adventure to spend a little time at the shop.

I was looking forward to their runway collection, Sisterhoood Swagger, expecting it to be really interesting and creative. The collection, however, was beyond all of my expectations. Uber-fabulous.

If I wasn’t already a big fan of thrift shopping, this collection of amazing outfits would have definitely turned me into one…

Eco Fashion that is also creating a better world for us all. Brava!

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Eco Fashion Week 2013

What is the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day? Attending the opening night of Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week 2013, of course.

Founder Myriam Laroche took the stage and began the evening by explaining the philosophy behind EFW and how this amazing movement came about. Our dashing mayor, Gregor Robertson, was also on hand to speak of the importance of consumer choices in creating a sustainable society that is gentle on our earth. Until educating myself, through EFW, I had no idea how polluting the textile industry actually is. Our love of more, more, more combined with highly disposable fashion has created a very toxic environment around the world. Since so many of our garments are made in Asia, the situation is particularly grave there. Please see article here.

Okay, now that we all know why it’s so important to adjust our disposable fashion mindset, it’s time to check out the goodies on the EFW runway.

A unique fashion challenge from Value Village Thrift Shop is launching the shows and I couldn’t wait to see the styles. Three local stylists were given $500.00 and the task of creating collections using only pre-loved or vintage items from Value Village. This challenge involved no sewing, just styling and the results were so lovely. The dazzling outfits showed us just what can be done with creativity and vision when thrift shopping.

A little later in the week Hey Jude rocked the runway with their collection of gorgeous vintage pieces:

And, last but not least, The Jewels!

World Hippie Originals is a collective of environmentally conscious designers and artists . These pieces will add drama and vibrant colour to any outfit.

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Isla Found is owned by a trio of Vancouverites, Toni, Rashni and Lindsay, and is an elegant, timeless collection inspired by the designer’s travels.

Eco Fashion Week 2013 was chock full of creative, talented designers/stylists and has left me very inspired to keep the eco spirit alive for my future fashion choices. After all, our world depends on it.

Cherry Blossoms and the City

On a stroll to the beach this afternoon, I fell under the spell of the heavy, pink blooms on the cherry trees. Blossoms, that for a short time, turn my neighborhood into an enchanted fairy land.

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“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” – Anais Nin

Slow Yoga

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A quiet, peaceful yoga class at the end of the day is a wonderful way to transition from work to relaxation. Every so often though I find it really difficult to switch gears and settle into my yoga vibe when I get to class. There I sit, uptight and anxious, mind racing as I impatiently wait for the teacher to call out the next pose. Not a great state of mind when I’m hoping to re-balance and center myself.

If you find yourself with the same problem, try this: take a deep breath and consciously work on going slow the next time you practice yoga. Give yourself a moment to sink into your body, check your alignment and really notice how you feel. Forget about what your neighbor is doing and how fast. Move through the postures with no sense of urgency and a deep, deliberate breath.

A slower yoga class will put you in touch with yourself, your body and emotions, in a way that way rushing never can. It also may leave you in a zen state of mind that influences the rest of your day…and, maybe even, the rest of your life!

Namaste xo

Salt Spring Island

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Where else but Salt Spring Island would you be offered an auric healing while browsing in a store chock full of pyramids and crystals? Of course I accepted the offer, thinking “Wow, I have landed in hippie heaven”. And, with its community of artists, healers and activists, I was definitely in the middle of Hippie Heaven.

There are so many magical, mystical things about Salt Spring and I can’t name them all or this will quickly turn into a book instead of a post. So below are just a few of the unique places that make me long to return to this modern day Atlantis:

The Saturday Market. Selling everything from fresh veggies, pulled out of the ground that morning, to home-baked goods, jewellery and one-of-a-kind, handmade crafts.

Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm on the top of Mount Tuam, is such a special, spiritual place. A serene garden/farm/shop and their only neighbor is a Zen Buddhist retreat. Sit on the grass for awhile and you’ll find the air, scented with sweet, soothing lavender will leave you completely at peace.

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Salt Spring Island Vineyard looks like a Garden of Eden and makes an organic blackberry port that may be the best thing I have ever tasted. Definitely nectar of the Gods. The vineyard’s tasting area is beside a still, sparkling lake. Find a tree to camp out under, then picnic and sample wine on the grassy area surrounded by water and overlooking an idyllic garden that you won’t want to leave.

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My favourite hippie hangout, The Tree House Cafe. Built around a big Arbutus tree, this cafe has amazing fresh food including their famous Tuna Melt: Tuna salad on fresh sourdough bread with tomato and purple onion, baked with jack and cheddar cheese. Add local beer and bands on weekend nights and you’ve got the island hot spot. When the cafe gets too crowded and people spill out onto the side of the road, sitting on rocks, drinking beer and slowly taking over the landscape.

And last but not least, Salt Spring Island Goat Cheese Farm. It smells a little funky on the winding road to the farm (it’s a goat thing) but once you arrive, you are transported to an idyllic country farm of your dreams. The animals are treated incredibly well, there is a huge garden you can explore and a farm fresh cheese shop with outdoor dining area. A must visit.

This island of healers, farmers and artists, is a place to escape to when you want to get away from the chaos of city life, slow down to island time and re-connect with yourself and nature.

A wonderful place to soothe your soul.

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Blushing Boutique

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Supporting my city’s artists and designers, is something I love to do and Blushing Boutique is one of the shops that I’m drawn to again and again.

This could be because owner/designer, Shelley Klassen’s designs flatter the female body so well (and not every designer does, as we know). Along with amazing cuts, Shelley says her biggest colour influence is the jewel tones of the West Coast in springtime, seen in the abundance of rich, saturated colours sprinkled throughout the shop.

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For Shelley, everything starts with fabric. She describes how the fabric speaks to her and tells her what direction to take. Instead of starting with a sketch, she begins with a section of fabric, draping it over a mannequin and letting her creativity and imagination take over. This is fashion that is so well made and as local as you can get with many of her pieces being constructed in the atelier at the back of the shop.

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The walls of Blushing Boutique are decorated with paintings by Vancouver artists. They rotate every couple of months and add even more charm to the boutique. An array of local jewellery designers are showcased at the counter as well.

With beautiful Vancouver made eco fashion, displays of home-town artists and jewellery designers, Blushing Boutique makes shopping local effortless and beautiful.

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Delicious Detox

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Last weekend was an indulgent one. Too much wine, too much chocolate and way too little working out. Monday has arrived and I need a quick fix to get my equilibrium back. Detox smoothie to the rescue!

The recipe below turns a gorgeous ruby red and will immediately send vitamins, minerals and antioxidants coursing through your body.

Instant Energy/Detox Recipe:

1/2 beet
handful beet greens
1 apple
2 stalks celery
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 cup apple juice

Blend together and enjoy the delicious, raw goodness!