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Ten years ago, Quebec native Myriam Laroche moved to Vancouver and learned about its goal to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. Inspired, the former buyer created Eco Fashion Week to showcase how the industry can be more sustainable. When she’s not planning the spring event, which includes panel talks and Project Runway-style challenges using upcycled materials, she’s consulting for brands like Simons. We caught up with her before a business trip to Quebec City.

Myriam Laroche

What’s your packing philosophy?
I bring as little as possible, and since I don’t like to iron when I travel, my clothing has to be comfortable and functional. I love when I can sleep in it, then go for brunch, then add heels and go out – a 24-hour outfit.

How can people be eco-fashion-conscious when they travel?
Shop locally instead of going to another mall. Or do a clothing swap: Pack some items you don’t wear anymore to donate, and bring back new clothes from the place you’ve visited.

How should we choose eco-conscious fabrics?
In general, think about your values around natural and human resources – as well as your financial means – and do what makes sense for you. Cotton is natural and good for your skin, especially if it’s organic, but the process uses a lot of water. With wool, be aware of animal cruelty by asking where and how it was produced. Polyester isn’t natural, but now it’s being created from plastic bottles.

Is the fashion industry changing?
There’s an awakening. With today’s access to information, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the clothing industry is one of the most damaging to the environment. But most people want to do the right thing, and it’s easier now to look great and buy clothes that are more sustainably produced. It’s an ongoing conversation.



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