Peggy Sue Collection Proves Fibershed Potential with “New Label” Prize

By Staff | Women
Posted May 13, 2016

The fashion world shifted last week.  Peggy Sue Deaven-Smiltnieks, a transplanted LA-native, RISD graduate, showed her inaugural, fibershed Peggy Sue Collection, to a packed room of three hundred well-heeled guests –including fashion media, buyers and celebrities  – for the annual Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)’s Most Promising New Label show, and won the New Label Award.

If we were giving awards for the ‘eco-est’ or ‘most ethical-green-sustainable’ fashion, fibershed projects might win. A movement that focuses on local fibers, local dyes and local labour, think of a fibershed as the ‘farm-to-table’ equivalent for fashion. Rebecca Burgess, founder of The Fibershed Project agrees, “A Fibershed roots the fashion industry in the soil, connecting the dots from the soil to our skin and embedding the supply chain in regional landscapes, economies, and communities.”

The Peggy Sue Collection featured ten looks and 18 pieces, including a woven dress with alpaca trim. The entire collection, including accessories, were all made by hand and each looks seemed fresh with the natural (no dye required) palette making the collection seem current and on point. Continues Rebecca,

“Peggy Sue Collection’s win is a really thrilling moment for the growing Fibershed movement because it recognizes the talent of the designer in collaboration with the skills and efforts of regional farmers and artisans. The fact that Peggy Sue Collection won in an “innovation” themed competition against collections with no material constraints or explicit sustainability focus also demonstrates that fashion is ready to embrace the Fibershed concept and look to our own backyards for our closets.”

Peggy’s joy in the win was echoed by the cheers from the regional farmers and artisans, who sat alongside fashionistas at the runway show. In reflection, she stated,

In addition to the HUGE honor of winning – it’s incredibly validating as a young designer and new label to have so many industry leaders believe in my company and what I am doing with it. Winning the TFI New Labels Competition means that the Fashion Industry (represented by the esteemed panel of Industry Judges) is behind a locally sourced farm-fiber to fashion label. It means that the Fashion Industry finds value in our local fibershed and merit in the way that my company is turning that fiber into fashion garments. It’s a huge vote for sustainable fashion and North American Fiber that will launch my company’s initiatives further into the fashion market.

Susan Langdon, Executive Director at Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) noted,

Tonight, the spotlight is on young designers who might otherwise go unnoticed. With the support of our tightly knit fashion community, we’re able to provide a platform forfresh talent. Each finalist represents a fiery creative spirit vying for their show stopping moment and TFI New Labels®2016 showcases fashion’s future superstars to a riveted audience.

Next up, Peggy gets to meet with Suzanne Timmins (Senior VP of Hudson’s Bay Company and Lord & Taylor) to evaluate which pieces will make sense for retail and if HBC and Lord & Taylor are first in line to buy, we might actually have the beginnings of an ‘ethically stocked department store’. Change is in the air.

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