Not Just Pretty : Sustainable Style

May 17, 2008

Pretty Dresses With a Small Footprint

Passenger Pigeon Dingy Dress
Passenger Pigeon Keel DressPassenger Pigeon was started in 2005 by Heather Schibli and Wendy Traas. They have a small studio at 135 Tecumseth Street, where they design, sample, print and warehouse their items. All their clothing is constructed locally in downtown Toronto.

The Keel Dress, shown on the left, has a soft gathered neckline, a flattering grey waistband and a pretty forest and bird motif on the skirt. It’s made of a organic cotton/soy/spandex blend.

The Dinghy Dress on the right is made of a woven organic cotton with a sweet blue bicycle pattern.

The following is an excerpt of an interview with Heather Schibli by Tim from blogto.com about Passenger Pigeon, the state of eco-fashion in Toronto and her plans for the coming year….

What is the concept behind Passenger Pigeon?

We at Passenger Pigeon believe in supporting local business (we source our fabrics from Canadian suppliers and have everything made here in Toronto), the environment (we use environmentally responsible textiles), and playful designs (we do not follow the predicted colour trends and so forth. We work with colours and images that inspire us).

In what ways is your company/clothing environmentally friendly?

First and foremost, Passenger Pigeon is deemed an environmentally friendly company for its use of eco-conscious textiles. We source fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp, organic wool, lyocell, bamboo and soy. These fibres still leave a footprint on the planet, but a much much smaller one then their counterparts. We pay fair wages to our contractors, who sew our garments here in Toronto. All our patterned fabrics are printed with water-based inks, which are better for the environment than oil based inks. We use 100% recycled, non-bleached paper for our business cards, catalogues and signs (and in fact, most of our paper work is done on the computer. We print as little as possible) printed with vegetable ink. Neither Wendy or I own a vehicle- we bike or walk to our studio and cycle when doing errands. We donate to charities like Greenpeace and WSPA.

Any plans for 2008 you’d like to tell us about?

As mentioned before, we are very exited about or Spring/Summer line. We are focusing on unbleached creams, warm blues and greys for this season with prints of bicycles and foliage. We also will be attaching a mildly political treat to each and every garment displayed on the racks at every store we sell through (it’s a surprise so you’ll have to look out for it)!

Anything else you’d like to add?

We plead – if you can not afford to support your local designers, than support second-hand shops. It lessens the burden on the planet. Avoid disposable clothing (items that survive only one or two seasons). It’s best to buy good quality classic looks that you can continue to wear for years to come. Pick up sewing! It’s surprisingly easy to convert an old sweater or dress into something fresh and exciting!

For the whole interview go to blogto.com

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