Toronto Fashion Week: 81lbs of Thrifted Clothing Refashioned

By Kate | Women
Posted Mar 12, 2017

When IMG pulled the plug on Toronto’s Women’s Fashion Week, many thought it would be the demise of runway shows for Canada’s fashionable city. Yet, without missing a step, the local fashion community rallied and this season a renewed TWFW is back on under the ownership of Canada Fashion Group, also owners of the successful TOM (Toronto Men’s Fashion Week).

The new ownership has brought new sponsors and perspectives and a welcome spotlight on sustainability. As the business imperative for this industry, TWFW added both a discussion panel (our own EcoSessions®) and several sustainable designers to the calendar.

On Saturday night, Project Runway Canada Winner (2008) Evan Biddell presented a high fashion collection made entirely of materials found at Value Village (a privately held for-profit thrift store chain with 350 stores across North America) to a sold-out, enthusiastic crowd. Titled “VV by EB”, the collection explored found treasures, lightly altered clothes and fully transformed pieces.

In partnership with Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week, the collection urged sustainable practices in the fashion industry and is an extension of The 81lbs Challenge, presented at lasts season’s Vancouver Eco Fashion Week. Annually, 26 billion pounds of textiles are discarded by North Americans, an average of 81lbs per person.

“I can’t believe we all throw that much away,” says Biddell. “There really isn’t a reason to buy new, there’s so much here already.”

Canada’s top model Stacey Mackenzie opened the show in a tiger printed shirt dress, made of a fleece blanket, which set the tone for the rock and roll aesthetic of the Biddell brand. Full of leathers, furs and suedes, heavy on the 70s rock and roll aesthetic and complemented by ruffles and fringe – the collection was welcomed by a standing ovation and left a greater awareness of sustainable style with Toronto’s well heeled fashion crowd.

VV by EB is set to be presented in Vancouver at Eco Fashion Week 12’s closing night and will be exhibited at the Museum of Vancouver for two weeks beginning April 2.

Watch the making of the collection here.


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