News » bamboo

  • What makes our Bamboo Fabric different; Part 1

    Published Oct 17 2019 in bamboo, eco friendly, garment manufacturing, Made in Canada, sustainable

    There are very few fabrics that get a perfect report card in terms of what's best for the environment. To access any fabric, it's important to look at the whole process; where it comes from in the beginning, how it's made and the end of the cycle as well. As an eco-conscious company, we want to share with you the reasons we've chosen to use Canadian made bamboo in our designs.

    If you have worn our bamboo clothing, you'll already know that it is naturally soft, drapes beautifully and is extremely comfortable to wear. This was our original inspiration for using organic bamboo for our designs. As awareness grows for the health and wellness of our planet, using natural fabrics has become a movement rather than just a trend.

    It's important to us to source our fabric in Canada as much as possible because the standards for (water) waste management and pollution are so much higher than other countries where Bamboo usually comes from.

    Water pollution in Jian River, China

    photo credit: RiverBlue

    Natural Fibers

    Sustainable fabric is sourced from the environment, this can occur in one of two ways, either plant-based fibers (like linen, cotton, bamboo) or sourced from animals, (like silk, wool, cashmere) The fibers are grown, extracted and spun into yarn that is then used to either knit or weave textiles. By contrast, polyester; a synthetic petroleum-based fiber, is made from a carbon-intensive non-renewable resource.

    Bamboo, the Plant

    Bamboo is a wonderfully beneficial plant and just might be the world’s most sustainable resource. It does not require the use of pesticides and herbicides for crop production, as a result, plantations can easily be kept organic. Additionally, as the plant is flood and drought resistant, water irrigation is not necessary for production, requiring very little maintenance.

    It’s extremely fast growing and can grow up to a meter or more per day. It produces a huge biomass, both above and below the ground. Growing bamboo improves soil quality and helps rebuild eroded soil. The extensive root system of bamboo prevents soil erosion by holding the soil together and retaining water. It doesn’t require replanting each season because its vast root network continually sprouts new shoots, all the while converting sunlight and greenhouse gases into new growth. One study found that when planted in large groves, it can store 4 times the CO2 as a stand of trees of a similar size. 

    Diane Kennedy Bamboo Made in Canada

     

    Sustainability

    The second step of sustainable fabrics is how the fabric is manufactured into textiles and the impact that manufacturing has on the environment. This includes energy consumption and water consumption during manufacturing. The objective is to keep both consumption rates to a minimum. 

    Energy Use

    We purchase about 85% of our bamboo fabric from a mill in Canada, which uses hydro-electricity, and green energy. The natural flow of water in rivers offers kinetic power that can be transformed into usable energy. To produce hydroelectricity, the water flow is directed to the blades of a turbine, making it spin, which causes an electrical generator connected to the turbine to spin as well. This generates electricity. Our supplier uses a combination of hydroelectricity and natural gas, which is used to heat the boilers that heats the water used to dye the fabric. In contrast, fabric made in China uses coal to fuel factories which causes so much pollution it can be seen from satellite photos.

    These are just some of the reasons that make our bamboo fabric different. Please, visit our blog next week to read part 2.

     

     

     

  • A Legacy of Natural Fibers

    Published Sep 26 2019 in bamboo, design, diane kennedy, environmentally friendly, fabric, inspiration, Made in Canada

    My love of natural fibers began at an early age. As a gift, my mother bought me a miniature sewing machine and as a result, I spent hours near her as she worked. Some of my early 'toys' were often boxes of buttons, spools of wooden thread and of course her drawer of beautiful fabrics.

    Spools Of Thread - Diane Kennedy

    My mother sewed beautifully and taught me to sew. She had wonderful clothes made of natural fibers; wool coats, cashmere sweaters, silk and cotton dresses and lovely garments made out of Viyella (cotton and wool blend). I learned early to appreciate the feel of the quality fabric.

    My appreciation for natural fibers continues to this day. 99% of my designs are executed in natural fibers like bamboo.

    Swatches - Diane Kennedy

    Natural for the Planet

    With so many brands made from polyester, especially in the plus sizes, I prefer to be the alternative. Part of the allure of polyester is its inexpensive cost, which brings down the price of the garment. While the polyester fabric may be affordable to purchase, the cost to our planet is high. Did you know that Polyester and indeed most synthetic fibers are derived from crude oil drilled right out of the earth? Polyester is a polymer, or a long chain of repeating molecular units, which is a plastic derived from crude oil.

    What about the cost to our bodies as well? I personally can't stand the feel of polyester on my body and immediately begin to perspire. I far prefer the feeling of soft natural fibers against my skin and the breathability and comfort that these fibers afford me. Like the food I put in my body, the clothes I wear I want to be in a natural state or as close to nature as possible.

     



    New arrivals made from softest bamboo can be found in our online shop here. Or visit us at our studio for one of our shopping weekends. We're open for shopping Oct 4 from 2-7 and Oct 5 from 11-5 @ 1635 Powell Street, Vancouver B.C.

  • What a Great Jacket Can Do For You

    Published Jun 14 2019 in #style over 50, bamboo, colour, eco friendly, ethical fashion, jackets, jumpsuit, shop local

    Sometimes all it takes is that perfect jacket to take any outfit to the next level. We often choose a jacket as a 'basic' item. But what if we thought of it differently? What if we treated a jacket as an accessory to the outfit?

    Barb Wilkins wears outfits by Diane Kennedy; Vancouver designer

    Our Jinx Jumpsuit is great on its own - just step in, zip it up and you're dressed. Add The Paradox Jacket with its graphic black and white stripes and you're ready to take this look to the office or out for the evening. This is a great example of using a jacket as an accessory.

     Dancer Gia Holman wears designs by Diane Kennedy

    Gia is wearing The Jinx Jumpsuit in Moroccan and has paired it with a Black Paradox Jacket. The same two pieces as the photos above but a completely different look. Would you have thought of wearing a 'tailored style' jacket over a jumpsuit?

     Barb Wilkins wears outfit designed by Canadian designer Diane Kennedy

    A great jacket can completely change the outfit. Here we have the same Casting Capri and Clever Cami base but with two different Jackets. Barb wears the Paradox Jacket on the left and the Downtown Jacket on the right. It changes it completely, doesn't it?

     Dancer Gia Holman wears designs by Diane Kennedy

    Don't be afraid to mix your stripes! Elevate your style with some contrast. The Casting Capri, Clever Cami, and Paradox Jacket with a great pair of shoes in a contrasting colour (Fluevog here) to really make a statement.

    Dancer Gia Holman models outfits designed by Diane Kennedy

    One Jacket with two different styles of pant. This changes the look dramatically. The Downtown Jacket paired with The Pacific Pant a palazzo-style pant is office or dinner appropriate. To make it casual zip it up over a pair of Rejuvenate Leggings. This super versatile jacket can also be worn as a tunic. 

    There it is. Consider adding an "accent" jacket to your wardrobe. It is just about the best way to elevate your clothing collection. 

  • Let's Make Outfits; Barb's Style

    Published May 31 2019 in bamboo, Barb's Style, capris, design, diane kennedy, ethical, fashion, jackets, jumpsuit, leggings, local, Made in Canada, Personal Style, spring, Spring 2019, spring looks, tunics

    We love and appreciate our customers and are always trying to find ways to make your shopping experience better. Sometimes when you see a bunch of clothes online you wonder, how should I wear that?  You want to get ideas to style your own outfits, right? We figured, let's look at the collection as a whole and put together some outfits to show you.

    That's where I got recruited. I'm not a model. Full stop. I work for Diane Kennedy clothing in the capacity of customer service, I also do all the shipping and write the odd blog post, among other things. But the other day I was challenged with putting together some outfits from our Spring 2019 collection that I would wear in my own way.

    Vancouver Designer Diane Kennedy's Bamboo separates

    The City Tunic and Casting Capri in gorgeous Moroccan. Could an outfit be any easier to wear?

    Vancouver Designer Diane Kennedy's Bamboo separates I want to say right from the beginning that modeling is hard. I'm not kidding, it's a lot harder than it looks. Lucky for me, I had our newest team member Tracy and our in-house fab photographer Logan to put me through the moves. Tracy knows all about how to get the best out of a model, how to stand, how to walk, what to do with your hands, where to look. It's actually a lot to think about so I was so, so grateful for the guidance. Logan is fantastic, among other things, and he is infinitely talented and extremely patient. 

    Vancouver Designer Diane Kennedy's Bamboo separates

    I couldn't wait to try the new Jinx Jumpsuit on. Possibly the most comfortable thing I've ever worn. I wanted to try the Black and White striped Paradox Jacket over top and I just loved this look! This jumpsuit is so casual and yet so easily dressed up. 

    Vancouver Designer Diane Kennedy's Bamboo separates

    Another new fave has got to be the fantastically versatile top Add Pockets in Moroccan. Wear it on its own or layer it over almost anything to create the most amazing silhouette. I wore it over the Rejuvenate Leggings also in Moroccan and topped that with the Paradox Jacket in Black and Moroccan stripe. I love the way these layer up and the jacket just pulls the whole look together.  

    Vancouver Designer Diane Kennedy's Bamboo separates

    Here I've worn  Add Pockets with the Casting Capri in Black and Moroccan stripe. These capris are so fun with their wider leg and are the perfect length. Wear them with flats or a little bit of a heel. Again, casual or dressy but always soft and luxurious. 

    This is just me, wearing a few of my favourite Diane Kennedy separates. I hope you enjoy seeing my personal choices of Diane Kennedy's Spring 2019 line and that you can envision our collection as part of your own personal style.

    XOX Barb

     

     

  • How to "Add Pockets" to your Wardrobe

    Published May 17 2019 in bamboo, bare arms, body positive, design, ethical, fashion, local, Made in Canada, pockets, tunics, vests

    Everyone loves Pockets, right? I'm in a lucky position as a designer to be able to create exactly the item that I want to wear. For Spring this year I thought to myself what are all the things that I want in a new top? The Add Pockets Tunic was what I came up with.

     Jennifer Pistor wears a Diane Kennedy outfit of the Add Pockets Tunic and Smarty Pants

    The idea behind "Add Pockets" was a top that could be worn in different ways. For me, that means mostly on its own but it can also be worn like a vest over a sleeved top like the Perfect Tee. In this way, it transcends the seasons and "Add Pockets" can be worn all year long. It's a summer top but it's also perfect for fall layering when worn as a vest. It's shown here as an outfit with the Smarty Pants.

     Jennifer Pistor wears a Diane Kennedy outfit of the Add Pockets Tunic, Perfect Tee and Smarty Pants

    So if like me you LOVE bare arms in the summer, this could be for you. Many women complain about their arms, specifically that 'extra area' under the bicep. I choose not to be one of them. I'm kind of indifferent to my arms, bare arms are so freeing and comfortable for my busy workday. 

    Scarlet wears a Diane Kennedy outfit of the Add Pockets Tunic and Travel Pants

    Other than deep pockets for my phone, the Add Pockets tunic was designed to be flattering with lots of room across the tummy, and slimming vertical seams. It's long enough so that it can be worn with Cafe leggings too.

    If you're local to Vancouver, come try on all the possibilities at our Studio Shop this weekend:

    Friday May 17 from 2-7pm + Saturday May 18 from 11-5 pm