“Fashion is not only something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” –Coco Chanel

Your clothes make a statement before you even open your mouth, a statement that’s woven right into the fabric. Recent documentaries like The True Cost by director Andrew Morgan ask us to consider where the clothes we spend our days in come from.

“Fast fashion” is a term that describes clothes made by large retailers with an emphasis on optimizing the supply chain for current trends to be designed and manufactured quickly and inexpensively. Clothes brought to the mainstream consumer at a low retail cost are almost always cheaply made (“a loose association of threads” – as a dear friend puts it) favoring quantity over quality. Poor working conditions in developing countries and major pollution both in the production and in the decay of synthetic fabrics are results of this industry. Creating clothes in order to essentially dispose of them not only has a powerful and negative impact socially and environmentally, it’s also an attack on individualism and style.

A natural reaction and alternative to mass-produced clothing is the “slow fashion” movement that challenges people to think about fashion as more valuable. It is driven by supporting smaller businesses and fashion designers, ethically and locally made clothes, encouraging upcycling, DIY and classic and quality designs. Where can you find such shops, artists and labels?

Local “fabulous fashion mavens” Brittany Munro and Jamie Maxwell show us how it’s done, with a self-styled shoot showing off sustainable style from their own closets and the businesses behind them.

Brittany Munro is growing a reputation in Calgary for makeup artistry and styling, looking to make positive and permanent changes in the fashion industry with sustainability in mind. Mainly interested in upcycling, she works with custom clothing and jewelry pieces.

Jamie Maxwell is an aspiring hairstylist and young urban creative, highly active in the Calgary music and arts scene. With experience as a local clothing maker, he is equally passionate about the city’s artisanship and sustainable commerce.

“With fashion topping the ranks as an ecological blight, it’s more important than ever to exercise our dollar to make it known that we want the industry to change. If we can keep our currency local and support our friends, even better. There can be so much magic in sustainable shopping when you find that one-of-a-kind piece that’s yours and yours alone to rock! My hope is that this way of thinking will lead to a new era of artisans and creators in our cities.” –Jamie Maxwell

“Bill Cunningham said ‘fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life’. I often repeat this to myself while creating specific looks or just getting dressed for brunch. Clothes are so powerful, and our style tells a story. Part of the story that’s often overlooked is asking ‘where did my clothes come from? Who made my clothes?’ I started asking these questions about two years ago, and the answers I found were not good ones. Slowly the way I thought about shopping and the human component of the fashion world I love so much began to change. Unique sustainably and ethically minded clothing choices are essential to me and shape the way I live my day-to-day reality. We can all do something to affect change, however big or however small.” – Brittany Munro

 

Jamie Maxwell – Day Look

Shirt: Vintage Affair (638 11 Ave SW)

Sweater: Value Village (various locations)

Vest: Shine Makeup & Styling custom piece (@shine.makeup.styling)

Pants: Hazel Avenue Women’s Consignment Boutique (920 16 Ave NW)

Boots: Value Village

Brittany Munro – Day Look

Hat: Vintage Affair

Turtleneck: Closet Raid YYC Pop-Up Market (@closetraidyyc)

Vest: Value Village

Jeans: SalvEdge Consignment (1002 Macleod Trail SE & 1222 8 St. SW)

Coat: Clothes Up & Personal Plus Fashions (2024 Edmonton Trail NE)

Purse: Zoe’s Shop (1403 14 Street SW)

Necklace: Alora (@aloraboutique)

Boots: Vintage Market on 17th (now closed)

 

 

 

Jamie Maxwell – Night Look

Jacket: Vintage Affair

Shirt: Hello Arts (@helloartscreations)

Pants: Value Village

Socks: Stylist’s own

Boots: Crown Surplus (1005 11 St SE)

Ring: Tribe of Lambs (@tribeoflambs)

Brittany Munro – Night Look

Dress: Trends Clothing Co. (120 10 St NW)

Over-Skirt: Vintage Affair

Necklace: Trends Clothing Co.

Ring: Tribe of Lambs

Coat: Market Collective (@marketcollective)

Tights: Stylist’s own

Boots: The Junque Cellar (10442 82 Ave NW, Edmonton)

Styling & Makeup:

Brittany Munro (@brittanyalexismunro)

Jamie Maxwell (@dreamsinargyle)

Photography: Sebastian Buzzalino (@unfoldingcreativephoto)

Special thanks to The Coup

Check out these fantastic designers and shops around Calgary

 

By: Magdalena Gorski

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