In a world full of fast-fashion, a local Toronto company brings sustainable eco-friendly style to the city.
I visited the Blossom and Bloom show on Mother’s Day weekend and meet Sheryl Luz. She is the founder of Artisella, an e-commerce fashion retailer showcasing brands that value ethics, sustainability and style. Our conversation explored how she began her business and what sustainable fashion means.
Sheryl has been working in the fashion industry for a number of years but her choice to highlight sustainable fashion began with the Bangladeshi factory collapse in 2013. The death of more than 1100 workers and injures of another 2500 workers encouraged her to make people aware of the impact fashion choices have on the world. She incorporated her knowledge from various parts of the world to start her ethical business in Toronto.
- Fair Trade: Putting people over profit
- Eco-friendly: Safe materials from production to disposal
- Vegan: Abstaining from using animal products
- Artisan: Products that preserve culture and tradition
- Handmade: Not mass-produced
- Made in Canada: Supporting local talent having like-minded interests
By upcycling my own jewellery, I fully understand the utilization of existing materials and how much more I cherish handmade products.
Each brand under Artisella believes in “slow fashion” which is broken down into sustainability, supply chain and story. FashionABLE looks towards creating economic opportunity for women who used to be sex workers in Ethiopia. All manufacturers and suppliers are required to employ fair wages for the women, fair hiring practices and use of ethically sourced materials. When someone purchases the jewellery, these women are able to send their kids to school or aim for a better future for themselves.
Sustainable fashion puts the artisans who make the products in the spotlight. No one talks about that – it’s all brand, brand, brand – but really there are people behind the product.
The concept of sustainable fashion really resonates with me having worked at Lush. A beauty brand that stresses on similar brand values of not testing on animals, ethically sourcing ingredients and fair trade practices, to name a few. Customers can buy knot wraps made by women from India. I can only hope sustainable fashion is here to stay, even with the likes of fast fashion brands. Leave a comment below with your take on sustainable fashion.