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Being a Vancouver Mom

Vancouver Mom - Featured Mom - Monique Parker of Wallis Evera

I was recently featured in Vancouver Mom, which for years has been one of my go-to online places to connect with the local mommy community and find out what’s new and exciting to bring my kids to. Becoming a mom was really the spark that ignited the fire for me in terms of wanting to actively create the kind of world I wanted to live in.

Prior to motherhood, I was definitely a fast fashion shopaholic. I only really became aware of Organic Cotton when I started shopping for bedding and clothing for my new baby girl. I only started paying attention to fabric content, chemical additives and where things were made when it came to choosing what would be touching my daughter’s beautiful, newborn skin. Of course, I wanted only the very best for her! It took a few years, but gradually I started looking at my own closet and began examining what I was choosing to put on my skin, too. (Read more)


Blue Monday's tomorrow!?  Here's something to cheer you.

Wallis Evera $500 Gift Card Giveaway

It’s mid-January and studies show this is exactly the time of year that we need a good pick-me-up! So, here it is: we’re going to fight off those winter blues with a great SUSTAINABLE FASHION GIVEAWAY.  

We’re giving a $500 GIFT CARD to one lucky winner to spend on whatever she wants in our online shop.

There are lots of ways to enter. The more ways you enter, the more chances to win. One winner will be picked at random on February 1, 2017 and informed via email.

If one of your goals for 2017 is to refresh and go green with your wardrobe, this is the way to do it!  >>CLICK TO ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY CONTEST HERE!<<

The contest is only open to residents of Canada and the United States and ends Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 11:59pm PST.

If you have any questions about the giveaway, please contact us!  We're happy to help.

My Greenfield Project

Wallis Evera - Hemp Clothing - Emma Jacket in Navy

Just for the record: hemp is a new thing to me, too. Until just a couple years ago, when I started this business, I didn't own any hemp clothing, I didn't know anyone else that owned hemp clothing, and I didn't know of anywhere one would even go to buy hemp clothing if they wanted to.

The concept of it only came onto my radar by chance, when I happened upon a book in the local public library, called "Overdressed: the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion," by Elizabeth L. Cline.  After that book, I was hooked -- I devoured every book and article I could get my hands on that related to Slow Clothes and the Eco-Fashion movement.

As I read, hemp kept coming up as this "AMAZING" fibre -- I read about hemp jeans that "last forever," hemp evening gowns parading down high-end runways, and came across so many claims that hemp was "the most eco-friendly fibre in existence." Natural, breathable, ultra-durable, versatile, low environmental impact, high yield, multi-use... and the list goes on.

It all made me wonder: if hemp is really all of these things -- if it really has all these incredible benefits -- then why isn't EVERYONE wearing it?

I really wanted to know. So, I started my exploration. 

My background is not fashion design; I'm coming at all of this from the point of view of a conscious consumer who just wants to find out the truth about hemp and its actual potential to change anything at all in the world. I'm playing with styles, hunting for fabrics, studying new technologies, all with the eye to answering this question once and for all. It's quite the journey to be starting this all from scratch. But it's my greenfield project, and it's a good one.

I started Wallis Evera because I had a hard time finding hemp clothing that I would actually wear on a regular basis (i.e. to my 9-5 office job). I can't say YET that our clothes will last 25 years because of the fabrics that we use, but I can say that our designs are meant to last that long. Classic styles, made from hemp fabrics that will wear in beautifully, rather than just wear out.


Connecting and building an international community

Emma Jacket in Black - Eco-friendly Hemp - Ethically Made in Canada
The best thing about being an online company is the ease that we're able to connect, communicate and partner with people from all over the world. The sustainable fashion community is growing in exciting ways and it's been a pleasure and a privilege to be able to contribute in any way that we can.
 
Over the past few months, we've been invited to participate in a number of educational projects through universities in California, Ireland, New Zealand and Canada. We've also had opportunity to collaborate with several writers and activists in the ethical fashion community.  (Read More) 

Celebrating Canadian Makers

Etsy Vancouver Market 2016

Etsy Made In Canada 2016 is coming up next weekend!

Join us to celebrate and shop Canadian talent in pop-up markets across the country. Each show is carefully curated and juried to ensure the best mix of arts and crafts, as well as quality and originality. We are proud to be joining an incredible roster of local makers at the Etsy Vancouver Market on Sept 24-25 from 10am-5pm. 

Location: The Pipe Shop Building (115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver)

For more information about the market, including directions, vendor listings, and any other information, please visit the Etsy Vancouver website.  Hope to see you there!

If you're not in Vancouver and would like to learn more about all the other Etsy pop-ups happening across the country this weekend, check out the Etsy Made in Canada website.


Choosing Consciously

Wallis Evera Dresses

Sustainable fashion means that pretty is just a starting point. Beyond that... how deep are you willing to look, what are you finding out, and how does that make you feel? Thoughtful design, ethically made and consciously chosen -- these are things that really matter. At Wallis Evera, our cuts are classic and our stance is unapologetically political. 

I write this because I've been thinking a lot about an online article I came across about a week ago, called "Moral fiber: A wrinkle in the ethical market."  It talks about a recent study conducted by researchers from Ohio State University and the University of Texas at Austin, which shows that people really don't care about ethical luxury practices as much as they claim to.

Of course, what people say often differs from what they do. That's common and no surprise. The more interesting assertion the article makes is that companies should hide their product's ethical credentials, and let shoppers shop without facing a moral or political decision. "If, as a brand, you must go ethical, keep it quiet. Best to dissolve the medicine in a glass of orange juice, than to force it down as a horse pill."  Ugh. What nonsense. 

Write us and let us know if you agree.


Hemp is the New Black

Wallis Evera - Modern Hemp Apparel

Your polyester, nylon and acrylic clothes are made from plastic derived from crude oil. Sure, they may be cheap, colorful and able to wick sweat like nobody's business, but those synthetic duds are also non-biodegradable, suck a lot of energy and release large amounts of greenhouse gases in their manufacturing process, and then shed an onslaught of nasty micro-fibres into all of our oceans and waterways every time they're laundered. Cotton doesn't tell any prettier a story. It's an extremely thirsty, land-intensive, chemically dependent crop that is directly responsible for the degradation of several large-scale ecosystems around the world. It's time to bring in some alternative fibres to mainstream clothing and get rid of our addiction to synthetics and conventional cotton. 


Again, the Work-Life Balance

Lila Dress in Navy - Wallis Evera - Modern Hemp Apparel

Summer is my favourite time of year, but it's also the one that brings the greatest strain on that delicate work-life balance. With school out, two months of vacation time with the entire family at home has been fantastic. However, balancing all that fun with the work that still needs to be done everyday to build a startup business is... tough.

I will say, though, I'm pretty lucky when it comes to my home team. When we met, my husband wooed me with poems, conversation, songs and books. He's talented with words and knows a good sentence when he reads it.  I've relied on him heavily to be my editor for everything from product descriptions to postcards. He's been light in his use of the red pen on my writing, and I'm thankful for that. It reminds me that he's cheering for me every step of the way.

My kids are still young (5 and 9), which means they're still intensely curious about what I do with my time, and they love to give brutally honest feedback. Gifts, I tell myself, those qualities are gifts and I am thankful.

The other day, both of my kids climbed onto my lap, squeezing themselves between me and my computer screen, wanting to be included. So we read together and had a beautiful moment of "Work-Life Blend." Here is the article I happened to be reading at the time -- it's a nice, easy breakdown of the why's of eco-fashion, with a great little "eco-conscious textiles guide" at the end. Enjoy!


"Fashion's Fourth Industrial Revolution"

Classy Uncomplicated Hemp - these are not oxymorons

Fabric innovation has been in the news a lot lately. It's an exciting time to be part of the fashion industry, as new technologies are driving advances in materials sciences and opening up a whole new field of possibilities for the clothes we wear. Fashion is frivolous? No. It has the power to transform the world and all of our lives with it.

This article by Kate Abnett in The Business of Fashion has completely captivated us.  It's an incredibly intelligent and well-written piece about the intersection of science and fashion today. She writes that we are in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution -- powered by a constellation of new innovations across the physical, digital and biological worlds, from 3D printing and artificial intelligence to advances in biomaterials -- which is driving a new wave of change across the economy, with major implications for fashion.

Certainly, it's been exciting to see emerging innovations in materials science, such as pineapple leather (wonderful), mushroom leather (weird), and all the ultra-high tech smart clothes (wild). More importantly, it underscores one of the main reasons we started Wallis Evera: the current demand for raw materials like cotton and leather already outstrips global supply, resulting in a vast, immediate and growing need for clothing made of alternative fibre sources. Hemp just makes sense.


Summer in the City

Wallis Evera Claire Dress with Fashion Canadiana
Fashion Canadiana created these gorgeous, edgy shots on the streets of Toronto. Vanessa Petey is the wonder woman behind this fun, informative and vibrant website showcasing indie Canadian designers.  Her blog and social media sites are definitely worth the follow.  Featured here are our Claire Dress, Emma Jacket, Cassidy Top and Stella Skirt.  Learn more about us in our interview with Fashion Canadiana.

Green Girl Boss Business Attire in Paris

Wallis Evera - Lila II Dress in Black - worn by Leotie Lovely

We shipped our Lila II Dress off to Paris in the spring. We couldn’t be more pleased with the beautiful photos and review we received from Leotie Lovely which ended up comprising part of her #GoneGreen2016 series of daily doings and suggestions for sustainable living. She writes:

“Most female business attire is made with fabrics which are petroleum derivatives, like polyester, acrylic, or nylon, all of which will never biodegrade and cause huge damages to the earth in their creation. These collections, whether luxury lines or fast fashion finds are more often than not created by the hands of exploited workers, including children... If you’re a conscious compassionate human, these are fabrics and practices which you’ll be wanting to avoid.”

Read more from Leotie Lovely’s #GoneGreen2016 creative and beautiful series here.


Our Claire Dress in LA

Wallis Evera - Claire Dress in Black Silky

We wanted to share some of gorgeous ways that our dresses are being styled across the country and introduce you to some of the amazing bloggers that are helping to promote sustainable, eco-friendly fashion.  Karen Housel is an environmental scientist and founder of Sustainable Daisy. Based in LA, she writes about beauty products and green DIY lifestyle tips as well as fashion. Bright, fun and friendly, her blog and Instagram feeds are definitely worth following!


Great Reads & Resources

Looking for some worthwhile reads?  Check out this great list of resources on Fashion Revolution. Sometimes it's a book that will inspire change, or a movie, or a conversation with a good friend.  For me, it was a book that I wasn't looking for, but just happened across in my local library.  It got me in my heart. It got me thinking. Then it got me into action... and all of a sudden I had started this business.  Now, I am deeply and passionately committed to the Fashion Revolution -- this exploration of global, environmental and social issues and the push for change that Fashion Revolution stands for. 

I'm proud to be part of this tribe, and I'm glad you are here, too.

If you're looking for some more specific writing about Wallis Evera and the company we keep, how about this honest and thorough review from one of our recent customers.  We've also been mentioned in a number of heavy-hitting eco-fashion blogs, including Magnifeco and The Good Trade.  If you've come across us from other sources, please let us know so that we can share the love!

Monique

 


Connections and Deeper Conversations

Dagny Dress

One of the things I love most about starting this business is connecting with others who are interested in sustainable fashion.  It may still be a niche industry, but it's growing and filled with incredibly passionate people and innovative businesses.  As Fashion Editor for EcoParent Magazine, I get to research and help spread the news about other eco-friendly and ethically made fashion products that are coming into the market. It's a great gig!  

Check out this latest article for Valentine's Day conversation tips (and a little First Date story). If you're ready to bring your date night discussion beyond, "Oh, that's a pretty colour on you..." Show up wearing something worth talking about.  Because, you know, a Hot Date = Intelligent Dialogue.  

xoxo Monique (chief instigator, Wallis Evera)


Fashion Takes Action: Raising Responsible Consumers

Fashion Takes Action - My Clothes My World

Canada’s own Fashion Takes Action is a non-profit organization that focuses on sustainability in the fashion industry. They have created an educational program called My Clothes, My World, which has received rave reviews. Designed for kids in grades 4-12, the program helps educate young people about the impact of fashion BEFORE they become consumers.

My Clothes, My World half- and full-day workshops provide interactive activities that elicit discussion around issues such as consumerism, labour rights and environmental degradation. It opens students’ eyes to some of the facts and impacts of the global apparel industry and inspires them to take meaningful action.

The program is run completely by volunteers and is in need of your support. They are running an Indigogo campaign to help raise funds to deliver their program to students in Canadian schools.

We support them! I hope you can, too.


We Remember 1 Comment

November 11 - Lest We Forget

Gratitude. Respect. Peace. Love.


Our Role Models

Wallis Evera - Our Role Models - Entrepreneurs, Trailblazers, Achievers

Happy last official Friday of summer!  Today we’re celebrating our feature models who helped ROCK our season.  We filled our roster with real women — Entrepreneurs, Trailblazers, Achievers, women who say YES to making a difference and seizing the day.  What a joy and inspiration it’s been to work them all.  Thank you for the LOVE!!


Hemp. Be Different.

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - 2-Piece Suit in Black Silky

It's been an amazing first season for Wallis Evera -- we have so much to be thankful for!  When we started, our commitment was to create clothing that we knew was hard to find -- high quality, locally made, natural fibre, clothes for the office -- the practical workhorses of our closet -- work dresses that are good for the planet, look sharp, fit and feel great.  

Our focus on using hemp as the foundation fibre for all our products has been important to us.  We know it's a little different, and it takes a bit of a conversation to warm up to the whole hemp idea.  And that's OK with us.  We love different.  When we hear that our dresses have been the start of conversations around the water cooler about deep and complex world issues -- well, that's extremely cool to us.  We love to hear that kind of news, so please keep the conversations going and the feedback coming.

Let's keep pushing the envelope -- quietly (or not-so-quietly), within the system (or without).  There's more than one path to lead change, and they all start with a conversation.  Thank you for joining ours.

To our amazing suppliers, partners, mentors, friends, and our lovely, lovely, most awesome customers -- THANK YOU for making this summer a celebration!! 


Trailblazer: Lori Triolo

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - 3-Piece Suit in Navy and White

Producer, Actor, Acting / Voice / Bodywork Coach

I do many things. I'm an actor, director, producer, teacher... Leader. I think my most important job is helping others find their voice. Whether it be an actor, a CEO, a computer programmer or scientist. As a child I was debilitatingly shy. ... (Read More)


Trailblazer: Tammy Singh

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - 3-Piece Suit in Navy

Service Leader, Problem Solver, Human

I grew up in Professional Services in the tech world - analyst, consultant, project manager, director. I'm a mechanical engineer by education.  I'm a natural born giver at heart.  What defines me is not my 9-5 title or the companies through which I have led... (Read More)


Trailblazer: Dr. Alexandra T. Greenhill

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - Lila II Dress in Black Silky

Founder & CEO myBestHelper

I created myBestHelper as I saw the potential of technology to solve every caring person's biggest problem - "How do I fulfill my obligation to loved ones be it children or elderly relatives, without feeling stretched and overwhelmed?" When they are stuck, our tech allows people to access all their options real time on demand using their mobile phone... (Read More)


Trailblazer: Rachel Baaske

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - 3-Piece Suit in Black Silky

Founder, Link2Life Emergency Training

I am the founder of Link2Life Emergency Training located in Vancouver.  Through university I worked as a lifeguard which is where I started teaching CPR to co-workers between shifts.  When I finished school I kept teaching on the side while I started working in a bank full time... (Read More)


Trailblazer: Jigme Nehring

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - Lila II Dress in Plum

Founder, Mine & Yours

I’m the Founder of Mine & Yours, a designer resale clothing store and e-commerce business. We buy, sell, and trade on-trend, “almost new” contemporary women’s clothing and luxury handbags and accessories.

I started Mine & Yours for a number of reasons: ...(Read More)


Trailblazer: Susanna Stewart

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - Claire Dress in Black Silky

Event Planner / Production Coordinator

I am an event planner and producer. I work collaboratively with clients to create events that are imaginative, thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable. I determine my clients’ needs and tastes through expert communication and highly attuned intuition... (Read More)


Trailblazer: Chloe Gow-Jarrett

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - Lila Dress in Navy and Blue

3FoldVentures and ello Foods Co-Founder

3FoldVentures accelerates the development of sustainable, additive and responsible businesses.  I work on the leadership side, focusing founders and their teams on their purpose, helping leaders lead and scale their message as their teams grow... (Read More)  


Trailblazer: Laurie Logan 1 Comment

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - Claire Dress in Black Silky

Radio and TV Host/Producer, Green Blogger

Although I do some TV work, radio is definitely my first career love – I love the immediacy of it. I love that it’s live, it's still very authentic and that you're judged not on how you look but about what you say. I've recently accepted a position with News1130 events reporting and with 969 Jack FM that I'm very happy about... (Read More)


Trailblazer: Noelle Wardell 1 Comment

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - Claire Dress in Black Silky

Mum

For the last 12 years I have been a stay at home mum, the better part of my adult life.  I had no interest in University or a fancy job, just a cozy little chaotic household full of mistakes, lessons and a whole lot of love... (Read More)


Trailblazer: Natalie Grunberg

Wallis Evera Eco Fashion - Natalie Grunberg

CEO, PantybyPost.com

Panty by Post is a monthly subscription service delivering a curated selection of premium luxe underpinnings right to your door.  It’s a little taste of monthly glamour, for about as much as your Netflix! ... (Read More)


Trailblazer: Madeleine Lamphier

Firefighter / Officer / Athlete / Mother

I'm a career firefighter.  I came to the job 14 years ago, knowing I wanted an intense physical career, the opportunity to help people, and to work in an environment which relied on camaraderie and provided lots of laughs. It wasn't until I met a female firefighter that it occurred to me it was the perfect fit... (Read More)


Trailblazer: Stephanie Florian

Wallis Evera Eco Fashion - Stephanie Florian

Founder and Fearless Leader, Play Outdoors Media Inc.

Passion for play and adventure, owner and media personality, Stephanie Florian was introduced to the great outdoors from childhood. Her parents owned Onondaga Camp, a successful summer camp for children and she was given the opportunity to inspire young people to enjoy life from the get go... (Read More)


Our Trailblazers Series

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - Claire Dress in Black Silky

Our Trailblazers series of photo-essays starts tomorrow. Every day, over the next few weeks, we will be featuring women who are supporting the fashion revolution by choosing local, sustainable, and eco-friendly. The women come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and each one has been a wonder and inspiration to me in their own way... (Read More)


Behind the Scenes of an Indie Brand

Wallis Evera Hemp Dresses at Eco Fashion Week Vancouver

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for a peek at what happens behind the scenes.  We've posted some fun photos from our experience at Eco Fashion Week as well as ongoing shots of what happens in the factory and on our photo shoots... (Read More)


Breaking Stereotypes

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - Dagny Dress in Tangerine and Black

I saw this quote in an Oprah newsletter quite a while ago, and I've held onto it because of the many conversations I have about my dresses that somehow always come back to the many stigmas around hemp.  I love these conversations, because someone always throws in a pot or hippie joke I haven't heard before... (Read More)


Hemp Renaissance

Hemp is the foundation fibre for all Wallis Evera products.  It is not the hemp of 1995 or 2005.  It is the fabric that the nimble and  assertive Chinese economy has chosen as one of its key fabrics for manufacturing. Not only has hemp undergone a transition (much like cotton did hundreds of years ago) towards a versatile, beautiful, comfortable fabric that lasts -- it has also proven to be one of the most eco-friendly of the major fabrics...  (Read More)

Happy First Day of Summer

Wallis Evera Hemp Eco Fashion - Lila Dress in Tangerine and Smoke

It's a good day to pause and just breathe in everything that's happened in the year so far.  For Wallis Evera, it's been a busy launch year filled with a lot of "firsts"...our 1st collection, 1st runway show, 1st time in a Top 10 list in the press, 1st dress parties, 1st customers... (Read More)