We’d like to present Sonia, of Ethik BGC, a big fan and supporter of the The SWAP Team.
Tues: 11am – 5pm
Wed: 11am – 5:30pm
Thurs: 11am – 8:30pm
Fri: 11am – 8:30pm
Sat: 11am – 5:30pm
Sun: 12pm – 5pm
When would you say are the fashion world’s peak moments during the year?
The events we find most interesting are Eco Fashion Week (Vancouver), Nolcha (New York), The Ethical Fashion Show (Paris), the Source Expo (London)… and of course Montreal’s ModEthik, held during Montreal Fashion Week!
What’s your definition of sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion is a discipline that addresses the challenges of a planet with finite resources, and considers apparel and accessories as tools that make the world a better place.
Do you consider Ethik-BGC to be an Eco-friendly boutique? If so, how?
Ethik-BGC is more than an eco-friendly boutique: it is an incubator for ethical fashion projects! As such, we provide training, organize events to raise awareness about the importance of ethical fashion, and sell the works of more than 40 designers that are committed toward the protection of the environment and/or who support social justice.
How would you like to see the fashion industry change over the next ten years?
The industry needs to increase the value given to a garment. It needs to create garments that will last longer, and value good craftsmanship and culture over fast-changing trends. It needs to respect all of its workers, from the cotton-pickers out in the field to the shipping crews who work at the docks, basically everyone involved in the production of a garment. It needs to develop eco-friendly alternatives that will make fashion production less devastating for the environment.
How do you think they should do it?
A lot of what they should do has to do with what consumers are already asking for:
-Fair Trade Fashion
-Fashion that supports communities and empowers women
-Fashion that preserves local knowledge, here and abroad
-Well-made garments made from eco-friendly fabrics (recycled or organic)
-Transparency of the production process and traceability of the suppliers
What’s a day In Ethik-BGC like?
Busy! While we’re having classes in the conference room in the morning, we’re receiving new merchandise for the store. A few designers will stop by to drop off their merchandise for our next collective fashion show, all while I’m helping customers find the perfect gift. Once we’ve ended our sales for the day, the contact we had with our customers, designers, members and partner organizations leaves us satisfied with the knowledge that we’ve done something good.
What designers do you sell in your boutique?
We have many international projects such as Bendita Seas from Colombia, products from Mali that originate from an international cooperation project, beautiful alpaca knits from Bolivia and so much more. We also have many local designers like Elladora, Sugaristik, Noir Bonbon and rien ne se perd tout se crée that use eco friendly fabrics. We have a wide range of local designers that use recycled materials as well: Trézor Éco, Ressac and Natalubies are great examples…With more than 40 projects, we have something for everyone!
What sales or deals do you have now?
30% off the original price of many summer items and we have a little surprise if you like us on Facebook!
Tell us about the history of your boutique. How was it founded? What was the idea behind it? How did u start working here?
Ethik was founded in 2009 by Lis Suarez. The idea was to maximize the potential and efforts of all the participation designers by working collectively.
What plans do you have for the future?
We plan to create pop-up boutiques all over Canada and create more and more collective fashion shows in different countries to allow our eco designers to get more visibility for their great work. We plan to make a difference.
If you had all the power of the world, how would you change the fashion world?
I would make all the harmful chemicals involved in the production of fabric disappear and then make sure that all the workers receive enough money to ensure a great life for their family. I would only allow the production of fashion that gives back to the community.
What is your favorite fashion star? Who inspires you?
I adore the work of Alabama Chanin for all the details and quality of their craftsmanship. On a more theoretical note ,Hussein Chalayan and Issey Miyake have addressed interesting questions with their collections but overall, it is Fashion questioning culture that inspires me)
Describe your ideal customer. Who is your boutique for?
My ideal customer is interested in the story behind the fashion pieces she purchases. She seeks meaning and quality rather than trends. She likes to wear colours and brags about her last purchase because it is not only a pretty one-of-a-kind piece, it also has a positive impact on the world.