Genevieve Fortin is the owner of a new online clothing company based in Rossland called MapleLoop.

Wearable art

Rossland-based online clothing boutique MapleLoop brings ethics, environment and art to the clothing industry

An ethical voice of reason is sounding out in the clothing industry and it is coming from Rossland.

Called MapleLoop Style Boutique, the online clothing and home accessory store pulls together some of the best clothing from Canadian design and the fashion industry that support fair pay and environmentally friendly manufacturing practices.

Launched in December by Genevieve Fortin, the idea behind MapleLoop is to offer unique and beautiful clothing but styles that are ethical and eco-friendly.

Sometimes eco-friendly means it is made in Canada with recycled or up-cycled material, said Fortin. Ethically means it is designed here but made in co-operative, eco-friendly factories in other countries that have good working conditions.

“I would like us to be more aware of where our clothes come from,” she said. “Most of the time we pay attention to trend and price.”

People die producing clothes in some of the abhorrent conditions of third world factories, Fortin said, and there is a lot of waste material produced by the garment industry, not to mention how crippling the dye process is for the environment.

The five designers carried by MapleLoop—including Designers Annie 50, Kollontaï, miel, Cokluch and Aquaovo—hail primarily from Montreal, with one Vancouver designer thrown in.

These companies contribute to a more sustainable industry, a smaller footprint on the environment and happy staff, said Fortin. All lines combine uniqueness, charm, comfort and quality and they were chosen in fulfillment of Fortin’s mandate of design over trend.

“I see clothes as a wearable art, and a means of expressing ourselves,” she said, “but also it would be nice if we could keep people on the planet happy with our (purchases).”

A new fashion show is planned for fall in Rossland, building on the success of the 14-woman show that was staged at the Rossland Gallery in April where over 100 people showed up to view the various lines in action.

If you live in the Rossland area or are visiting and would like to view the collections in person, please email Fortin and she will offer a private viewing.

“We are an online store but people in this area want to see clothes and they can try them on,” she said.

The company’s next wine and cheese evening is coming to present the spring and summer collections.

 

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