Ecova: sustainability, one textile at a time
Montrealer Stéphanie Beaulieu wants to bring more sustainability to the fashion industry and raise consumer awareness, one textile at a time. Last November, she launched the first collection of her young brand Ecova, made up of winter accessories made from mainly recycled cashmere.
A business lawyer and new entrepreneur, Stéphanie Beaulieu has led a modeling career on and off for nearly 10 years. “As a model, going to Milan [où elle a résidé à temps partiel ces dernières années], I realized that there was a big problem in the fashion world. It’s a beautiful universe, but it’s very very harmful for the environment and people are not so aware of it, notes the one who also holds an MBA from McGill University and a certificate in sustainable fashion from the Parsons school in New York. I wanted to try to be part of the solution. »
Part of the problem, she says, is consumers’ lack of awareness of the environmental impact of their clothes, particularly those from the fast fashion industry, where greenwashing is common. To raise their awareness, it takes a positive approach, offering more sustainable items and exposing their story. “The goal is for consumers to begin to develop reflexes, to ask themselves questions when they shop elsewhere, to ask themselves what their clothes are made of. Where were they made? Were people paid well in the production line? »
For her first collection, consisting of a cashmere beanie, scarf and headband, she presents in video form the scenes of their manufacture in the city of Prato, Italy which, she says, has a know-how in the recycling of cashmere and wool for a hundred years. With in particular Atelier de Tissage, which works with some major fashion houses, she has developed accessories made from 65% recycled cashmere, a more eco-responsible way of consuming this natural fiber from goats, but whose growing demand has led to degradation. soils and desertification in Mongolia.
Why not use 100% recycled fiber? “Initially, I really wanted it to be entirely recycled cashmere. I was very verbal about it. We did a lot of tests and I saw the difference in the products. Recycled fiber becomes thinner and frays. The 65-35 mix provided longer life, which is considered better for the environment in the longer term. »
For each of the collections, a new textile will be explored and when possible, the items will be made in Quebec. Scheduled for summer 2024, the next collection will be embodied in Bananatex bags, a biodegradable cellulosic fabric made from the fiber of Abacà banana trees grown in the Philippines.
“We want people to have access to high-quality products that last a very long time, which is becoming increasingly rare,” explains Stéphanie Beaulieu.
A first Womance store in Montreal
The Quebec online store Womance will open its first store in the greater Montreal area in September. Founded in 2015 by Andréanne Marquis, Womance offers clothing, accessories and beauty products for women. You can find dresses, pants, cardigans, shirts, jackets, coats and pajamas at affordable prices from the house brand Womance as well as Quebec brands such as Bkind, Pilgrim, and Bonsoir les Bougies. The online store also offers a second-hand clothing resale platform.
After Nike bagels…
For the past few weeks, the Nike Dunk Low “Montreal Bagel” shoe has been making Montrealers run. The craze has given rise to a host of increasingly outlandish proposals for other models inspired by emblematic Quebec dishes. Here are a few.