Photo: Lindsay Boeckl

This Sustainable Life: Five Minutes with Shawna Robinson

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Anne-Marie Vettorel sits down with Shawna Robinson, the Creative Director at LABEL. LABEL designs and produces sustainable clothes right here in Toronto.

Q: Which is better – buying green or buying less in general?

I think it’s a combination of both – buying quality clothing that will last and not being so focused on disposable fashion.

Q: As students, many of us can’t afford expensive clothes. Do you have any tips for being green and keeping some green in our pockets?

I think it goes back to your first question. Purchase fewer items and ones that can be used in many ways; think about styling. Vintage is a great way to wear better-quality clothes without the price tag. In my personal wardrobe, I’m always mixing vintage with new.

Q: Why is it important to pay attention to our fashion choices? How significant are they to our overall ecological footprints?

I think it’s very significant because the fashion industry has taken a turn for the worse in terms of disposable H & M type fashions, with are bad for our ecological footprint in many ways. Your consumption is what contributes to your footprint – if clothing is what you care about, you need to pay attention to the effect of that.

Q: So what is your take on H&M’s Conscious Collection, and other big-name brands going green?

I think it’s kind of ridiculous to be honest. They’re still manufacturing in the exact same way, still manufacturing in the same conditions, but just sourcing these products from a source that is slightly less damaging. They seem to just be giving a nod to this concept, but it’s still a corporation trying to make money off people who care, while at the same time making money off the people who don’t.

Q: What’s the deal with burlap?

Burlap is definitely not used at all. But when sourcing materials, it is more challenging for us. It’s getting better every season, we keep seeing more that we like, but I do think that it’s consumer driven. If people make it known that this is what they want, more will become available.  But we do use hemp, and it’s actually quite lovely.

LABEL will be showing their Spring and Summer 2012 collection tonight at 6 p.m. at 221 King Street West.

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