When I first saw the lineup for
Vancouver’s fall/winter 2012 Eco Fashion Week, I did a double take. The first name I expected to see was
Nicole Bridger, who is one of Canada’s best-known
socially conscious designers—and who has been a big supporter of Eco Fashion Week since its launch two-and-a-half years ago. So why didn’t she show this season? “I’ve decided to shift my strategy and start showing my collection in-season,” she tells me when we meet up for a chat at her almost-year-old boutique in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. “The majority of the people that are filling our runway shows—and we fill to capacity—are our [retail] customers, and they want to see stuff that they can buy now, not six months from now, especially with shows going up on the internet immediately,” she says. The decision also makes good business sense because it creates tighter lead times, reduces sampling costs and generates less waste. “I wouldn’t be surprised if more businesses adopt the idea.” So what can we expect to see from her
fall/winter 2012 collection—which she’ll be showing at the next Vancouver Eco Fashion Week (scheduled for fall 2012)? “Next season I have our fist print coming out in silk. It’s a beautiful abstract
floral, and it just became available to me from a mill I’ve been working with in India.”
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