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4 reasons to attend Toronto Fashion Week

Angela Wallace Sasstainable Toronto Fashion Week

I speak out and stand up for a Sasstainable lifestyle. So, last season when I was tweeting and posting about Toronto Fashion Week, I got a bit of pushback from other ethical and sustainable advocates questioning my decision to support the industry. How can I show up to something that’s so commercial, so mainstream, so status quo?

Angela Wallace Toronto Fashion Week Runway

In a few days, designers, buyers, journalists, bloggers and street stylists descend on Toronto, so I’m sharing my top 4 reasons why I’m proud to attend our city’s most important fashion event.  I’ve sent in my RSVPs and started to plan what I’ll be wearing (please join me in begging the universe for warm, sunny weather, because brollies are sooo last season).

  1. Discovering insanely creative design talent. We have incredible designers who are making their mark here in Toronto, and around the world. It’s exciting to live in a city that both attracts and retains such a roster of talent, like my favourite Laura Siegel. In a global marketplace, it’s very difficult for designers to build a business and make their endeavours a success. They need our support. And it’s an honour to show up for them and recognize their creativity, while we call for change.
  2.  Championing the local economy, from pattern makers to retailers. Fashion week helps drive our economy, with jobs including makeup artistry to journalism, and many (though not all) of the designers work right here in Toronto, from design to production and sales. I like to live local as much as possible, and that extends to my conscious closet.
  3. Supporting the Toronto changemakers  scene. You only need to stand in front of the tents for a few minutes to realize fashion week is bigger than a handful of designers and big corporate sponsors setting up shop for a week; fashion fans travel from across the country to attend. I’ve met amazing bloggers, photographers, stylists, advocates and entrepreneurs supporting everything from positive body image, to increased industry diversity and yes, sustainability. We’re a group of intelligent, stylish, creative types and for me, networking with them is arguably the best personal outcome of each season.
  4. Contributing to a better fashion future. Real talk time – environmentalists and social justice activists can tend to be focused on speaking amongst themselves, in an isolated chamber of annoying self-righteousness. But preaching to the choir only reaches the already converted. I believe in an approach to change making that is collaborative, creative and engaging. I want to focus on partnering up AND protesting to make a difference. That means I’ll take a seat at the table when it’s offered (or in fashion speak, I’m oh-so-happy to sit in the frow). Just yesterday, homegrown designer Hilary Macmillan announced her new commitment to cruelty-free fashion, in support of animal welfare. I’ve been following her for a few years. She’s one example of a designer who is taking steps to challenge and transform the way she creates fashion. I’m proud to promote her.

Why do you love attending fashion week? Let me know in the comments. I hope I see you at the shows! – A xx

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About the Author

Angela is founder and editor of Sasstainable, an insider voice on sustainable lifestyle and ethical luxury. She serves on the board of directors for Toronto Zooshare Biogas Co-operative. In 2013, she completed her MSc in Environmental Management at the University of London, at the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy. Her passion for the environment grew out of her family's rural property in Raglan, Ontario, now a designated Natural Heritage System area in the Ontario Greenbelt. In 2009, she was granted Ryerson University's Top 30 Under 30 Alumni award, because of her work as a motivational speaker, in partnership with Participant Media and Me to We. She inspired over 30,000 high school and university students across North America. She is a published writer, contributing articles to Geez Magazine, Eluxe Magazine and Feelgood Style, among others. She enjoys fashion, cooking, art and yoga. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada, with her daughter, Charlotte.

2 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Christina says:

    Kudos to you! The whole idea is to ultimately incorporate sustainability into the existing mainstream. Sustainability has many different levels and dimensions. It isn’t black and white. By attending the show your are sustaining your community and any local designers involved. That’s sustainability in action right there. Not to mention you will have a forum where you can spread your ethos as well. The sustainability arena needs less judgment and more choices. Love the awareness you are building around your attendance. Enjoy!

    • sasstainable says:

      Thank you Christina! I agree – we have to support actions and initiatives that transition the mainstream towards sustainability. I hope to play a small part in that transition! Thanks again for stopping by and I look forward to reading more at Ethical Muse.

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