News » Made in Canada

  • 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.

  • Teal Ribbon for Ovarian Cancer Awareness

    Published Sep 20 2019 in diane kennedy, ethical fashion, Made in Canada, Ovarian Cancer, Women's Cancer

    Designer Diane Kennedy for Ovarian Cancer Awareness

    Please take a moment and educate yourself about Ovarian Cancer. I know so many women whose lives have been touched by it. It's known as the Silent Killer because most women never even realize they have it until it's too late. The very best defence against Ovarian Cancer is early detection.

    It's important to me to spread awareness, as not only did I lose my Mom at a very early age, but my Sister-in-law as well.  You may have heard the story of one of my models, Elly Mayday, who at 25 years old was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Sadly Elly lost her battle earlier this year at the age of 30. Since then I have known several friends and acquaintances as well as an employee that had had ovarian tumours.

    There is no one specific symptom for Ovarian cancer and these symptoms are generally vague, often attributed to other things and thus overlooked. 

    Ovarian Cancer Awareness

      Please take a moment to share this information with all the important women in your life so that they’ll be aware too.

    • A Girlfriend's Guide to Beauty Secrets

      Published Aug 30 2019 in Beauty, Beauty finds, beauty tips, ethical, Everywoman, Made in Canada, over 40, over 50, shopping, style

      In addition to modeling for us, Scarlett has been working part-time in our office this summer. With a background in makeup artistry, she has been sharing some of her beauty advice during our office chats. Read on for some expert tips from Scarlett.

      beauty tips, diane kennedy, fashion and beauty

      It is always fun to share fashion finds, vacation locations and beauty tips with friends. Many of us are now connected to family and friends from near and far on social media, making it easier than ever to share and find things within our online communities. However, sometimes those in-person conversations with girlfriends reveal the best tips!

      As we shared on the blog a few weeks ago, during our photo session with Leah Tuttle, we learned about some her favourite and fabulous beauty products. This has sparked a lot of conversation around the office about makeup and beauty rituals. We thought it might be fun to share - since I have learned some new things too! 

      Over 40 model applies make-up

      Skin and Foundations 

      While everyone has different skin needs, it is more recently that we have been hearing mainstream cosmetic companies become more transparent about their ingredients. Ativo Skincare is a Vancouver-based brand that manufactures all-natural skincare using only holistic organic ingredients. I swear by their Waterless Beauty Balm, which I use as a makeup remover/moisturizer. It is described on their website as a multi-purpose cream. It's nice to find something that is local and also cruelty-free!

      For a lightweight moisturizing foundation, a BB Cream is often a great alternative. A BB cream is actually a 'Beauty Balm'. The difference between that and a tinted moisturizer is that a BB Cream will prime and moisturize your skin at the same time. It provides a bit more coverage than a tinted moisturizer. There are plenty of organic and cruelty-free options at your local retailers and online beauty sites.

      Over 40 make-up tips

      Eyes and Lashes

      One thing I have found about wearing eyeshadow as I have gotten older is that it tends to get creasy and wear off during the day. Did you know that an eyeshadow primer is a great solution? There are a few different brands on the market. Eyeshadow primer is used before you apply your eyeshadow so your shadow will stay put all day. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion is a really good one, and it now comes tinted so you can wear it alone instead of eyeshadow if you like. Brilliant!

      Our models for Diane Kennedy and Cherry Velvet often come to photoshoots wearing false eyelashes. These are removable and good for one-day wear, but if your lashes have gotten finer or more sparse, I have learned about some other options that are available too. Latisse is a lash growth serum, available by prescription in Canada, and boasts fabulous results for eyelash growth. Eyelash extensions are also an option and are usually done by a certified professional in a medical-spa or skin care clinic. 

      I hope you have learned a few new things! I know I have! What other beauty or fashion finds would you be interested to learn about? 

      Scarlett 

       

       

       

    • Mixing Prints; Diane Kennedy Style

      Published Jul 04 2019 in diane kennedy, fashion, Made in Canada, print mixing, style

      I'm always looking for unique prints and textures in the bamboo fabric we love so much! As my customers, you're used to seeing mostly solids from me so I thought it might be a good opportunity to talk about mixing prints together. There are a couple of tops and a jacket that I've designed that do the mixing for you.  All you have to do is choose either a coordinating solid colour or pull out one of the prints already in the mix to put your outfit together.  Fashion should be fun, sometimes it's great to rework the 'formula'.

      Dancer Gia Holman wearing a Diane Kennedy Black and White Bamboo outfit

      Gia is wearing the Evidence Tunic and Casting Capri.

      But what about mixing prints together when it's not been planned out for you? Is this something you would try?

      My thoughts on how to Mix Prints

      The first thing you look for is at least one colour in common, but two is better. The scale is important and simple graphic prints are easier to mix than more complex ones. Here's an example of mixing prints with colours that match and the pattern as the only variable. This is a great way to introduce pattern matching into your wardrobe. . .

      Dancer Gia Holman wearing a Diane Kennedy Black and White Bamboo outfit

      Gia is wearing the Paradox Jacket over the Clever Cami and Casting Capris.

      To mix prints successfully, two patterns is usually enough. It takes a skilled eye to mix multiple patterns together, although it's certainly possible. If you want to try it, stick to a simple colour scheme like black and white. Adding solids to the mix plus a punchy colour in your accessories is another way to go. Fashion used to be about rules, now not so much. Make your own rules! My notes here are meant as a guideline only. Mixing elements like patterns, colours and accessories together is what makes fashion fun and interesting.

      Dancer Gia Holman wearing a Diane Kennedy Black and White Bamboo outfit

      Pictured above, Metro Tunic and Smarty Pants

      Step outside your comfort zone and try some print mixing for yourself!

      Love Diane