"I was the queen of polyester, I am now a believer in hemp!"
Before working for Abaka , I didn't know much about the use of natural fibers in Quebec fashion. Having grown up in Beauport, where it is not uncommon to see your neighbor watering his asphalt in the middle of summer before parking his pick-up or his four-wheeler there, ecology arrived late in my life. There was also the hard-to-dismiss cliché of the-hippie-with-her-jute-dress-making-friendship-bracelets-out-of-recycled-hair when I mentioned to my compatriots that apparently it was possible to manufacture linen in an eco-responsible way.
Times have since changed. We know that as an individual we do not hold much place in front of the big corporations. But if you have a dollar, you can choose where to put your dollar. Who to give our piasse to, in other words. They say buying is voting. We've seen these scabrous reports from mass-market clothing companies shredded to shreds before throwing away tons of last season's items. To drastically ensure that these unsold items do not have a second life. Or even first, in this case! We see every year the number of injured in the human tides of customers on Black Friday to save on the purchase of a state-of-the-art TV. We deplore the status of slave-employees who work in horrible conditions to make us the ipad which ironically allows us to post this status, to share this article which denounces them. How do we heal from this eco-anxiety that we witness and, unfortunately, participate in? The answer lies in the choices we make, by trying to reduce our ecological footprint. Here I am informed, that's all well and good, but did I tell you that I was tripping to death on patterned polyester bathrobes?
Aware but not helpful, I slept on greenhouse gas, as they say! Not only was I guilty of succumbing to impulsive purchases (moon cycles, enticing newsletter from a large company that manufactures in China, too cute pattern for another osti sarong that I will only wear for two weeks in my whole life & other deliciously discouraging patents), but I found myself accumulating laundry, without great quality so difficult to give back to thrift stores, clearance sales or switch'n'bitch, and which most of the time was poorly adjusted.
One day, when I was busy being hot (you know that synthetic fibers don't breathe and transform the body (entéka mine) into a tropical swamp as soon as the barrier of 22 degrees celsius is crossed), Mario & Karine took me proposed a dress to liven up the event which took place at the workshop the same evening. I will remember it all my life. It was a hot sticky June day, and the dress, a flared black one at the bottom with a round neckline on one edge and a V on the other, a reversible neckline as I call them, it was made of hemp and in organic cotton and it was called PEGGY.
Not only did I finally understand what "breathing" fiber was, but I immediately stopped sweating my life as if I were breakdancing in a furnace! A dress. But not just any. A dress that included my silhouette, that adjusted to me, and not the other way around to make a change. A dress that amplified my freedom of movement in addition to attracting compliments. An eco-comfortable dress. A dress that leaves the conscience clear, it's not every day, han? For me, I prefer to talk about adoption than purchase, yes, I'm there. It's the start of something beautiful. It took me to dress it, my eco-responsibility, to understand it. Even if I can't prevent the Gastons of this world from watering their beautiful asphalt, I can make better-informed choices. And I'm very happy to have these beautiful dreamers-doers from Shawi not too far away...
La Presse gives HERE twenty-two ideas to reduce your ecological footprint, it's worth considering!