Farmers + Fashionistas?
“It’s time to talk”… says Guelph Organic Conference
For Immediate Release – January 8, 2018
Guelph, Ontario – On January 25, 2018 farmers and fashionistas, an unlikely combination, will get together to mingle, to talk fashion and to brainstorm sustainability and farming.
Hosted by the Guelph Organic Conference, a popular annual trade show and conference focusing on organic foods & farming in Canada, The Field to Fashion Runway aims to bring together organic farmers with sustainable fashion insiders, asking them the question “how do we connect organic farmers with sustainably-minded fashion designers?” The conference is in its 37th year on the Guelph campus.
And a timely question it is. After Meghan Markle was photographed wearing a Canadian designed wool coat by LINE during her engagement announcement to Prince Harry, the coat sold out in minutes. The coat has since been renamed The Meghan. Canadian fashion is having a moment and sustainable designers want to capture the momentum.
According to Peggy Sue Deaven-Smiltnieks of Peggy Sue Collection finding local materials with which to design is challenging. “I’m approached every month by a designer who wants to work with local fabrics and textiles. And I tell them it’s not easy. You can’t just stop by a shop and buy however many yards you want. You have to go meet the farmers, find the producers, discover who is producing the fibre.”
Accessing local materials and discovering those farmers continues to hamper the progress of sustainable designers. Connecting the producers of raw natural materials, such as wool, alpaca, flax and hemp, to fashion designers is an issue that needs addressing. This is where, Tomás Nimmo, the coordinator of the Guelph Organic Conference, hopes to begin the conversation.
“We know that our organic farming community is ready to reach out to find new markets,” says Tomás. “And sustainable fashion has quickly become a topic of interest in environmental circles. After seeing Peggy Sue Collection win the Toronto New Labels Award with an entirely locally sourced collection, we knew it was time to bring local/Ontario farmers into the conversation.”
The panel discussion will try to carefully track the supply chain from field to fashion with panelists representing farmers, organizers, artisans and designers. The evening will include table displays by the panelists, as well as ample time for networking. Organic wine and light refreshments will be served at the mid-way point of the evening. www.guelphorganicconf.ca/sessions/the-farm-to-fashion-runway
Tickets are $35 + HST up to January 8th, then $45 after that or paid at the door – www.guelphorganicconf.ca/product/thursday-evening-seminar-farm-to-fashion
Tweet it – Unlikely conversations make for interesting results. Farmers & Fashionistas talking sustainable fashion at #goc18 @GuelphOrganic
Sarah Jean Harrison
Peace Flag House