Coffee couture

Last week there was a bit of a mess on our office floor. Scissors, a few rolls of tape, and busy hands were getting creative with Ethical Bean coffee bags to fashion up the coffee-friendly couture you see here.

Why, you might ask? Well aside from being a super fun way to spend a Tuesday morning, Vancouver’s own Eco Fashion Week starts today until Thursday. As proud sponsors providing locally roasted, Fairtrade Certified Organic coffee for the week, we wanted to stay true to the Eco by using returned empty coffee bags as upcycling material, and rock an awesome skirt at the same time (nod to our amazing in-house model!).

That’s the name of game at Eco Fashion – make an impact, without making an impact. And while the fashion industry can, at times, seem to be anything but “eco,” a few doses of creativity and collaboration can turn unconventional materials into fantastic new works of art.

About Eco Fashion Week

Myriam Laroche, the brain behind Eco Fashion Week, has done a fantastic job of combining fun and eco-consciousness for Spring 2012. Her and her team has transformed the heart of Vancouver – Robson Square – into a fashion and education hub, where participants can ogle at the fashion wares while learning more about how to minimize their footprint. Here are just a few of the ways Eco Fashion Week is making it happen:

  • All participants and members of the audience are invited to clean out their closets and bring their old clothes to the Value Village Donation Centre. One persons trash, as they say…
  • See Myriam Laroche herself talk about ReLove, where second hand clothing reigns supreme and consumers can learn more about the labels on their clothing
  • View designs and fashion from amazing local and international artists using organic materials and natural dyes

After two days of fashion, shows, day three is devoted to seminars where attendees can learn from great companies making a difference in the textiles industry (see the full schedule here). The Canadian Textile Recovery Effort, for example, are doing a seminar about recovering old fabrics from landfills. De-Brand will also be there, talking about end-of-life product management to keep closed-loop systems. All in all, pretty cool.

Fun with coffee!

To link this back to that rich, smooth product we all know and love, couture is by no means the only way to get creative with coffee. Here’s just a small collection of ideas from the web about how to have fun upcycling and repurposing the coffee world:

  • Looking for a low impact, high fun wallet? Check out these step-by-step instructions on how to upcycle your coffee bag into a wallet from Industructables. Nice!
  • From the ever-awesome minds behind How It Works here are some great ideas about how to re-use your coffee grounds, from conditioner to ant control.
  • They call it “Trashion,” we call it awesome. Get elaborate with coffee filter dresses, complete with delicate stains for the perfect colour accents.

Enjoy the fashion frenzy!



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