Feb
05

Dear Clients,

I am writing today to tell you to buy less.  I know, weird eh?  I design clothes and I own a store, yet I believe in buying less and I suggest you do the same.

Along with my love of fashion, I am also a long time environmentalist (I almost became an environmental Biologist when I was in CEGEP).  I believe that good quality clothes should last a long time, stay fashionable and be well loved by the person wearing them, or the next person who inherits them. When you’re done with a garment, if it is still clean and in good condition, pass it on.

Here’s how I suggest you get the maximum use from the clothes you purchase, thus reducing each item’s environmental footprint:

1. QUALITY:  Buy only clothes that you love and that are well made.  Perhaps you have to spend more on each item, but you will recover that cost by wearing them more often and for longer.  Buy less, but  definitely buy what you want.

Helpful hints for checking quality:  Good quality jersey fabric should not pill (fuzzy balls on surface). Try rubbing the fabric vigorously in a circular motion to test.  Sometimes, nice wools do pill, and there are a few tricks to maintain a nice surface.  Firstly, you can purchase a “clothes shaver” or “lint shaver”.  It is an electric shaver that magically shaves away all the pilling and returns your garments to their original new state.  Secondly, you can try with a single blade disposable razor.  This is my technique of choice, though I avoid using the razor on very fine rayon jersey.

When buying pants: There is nothing more unfortunate than puffy knees or a saggy bottom.  To avoid this, do a few deep knee bends and check to see if the fabric  in front of the knees gets pushed out, or if it slowly shrinks back into place. You want it to return to the original shape. Pushed out knees is a sign that the wrong type of fabric was used to make the pants.

Examine  the seams and the interior finishing of the garment keeping an eye on the quality of the sewing.  The more often you do this, the better you get at spotting quality.

Read the care instructions:  Is it made from fibers you like to wear?  Will you be able to care for it in the way the manufacturer recommended?  I generally make clothing that wash and wear with very little fuss (except my ready to wear wedding dresses). I recommend that you machine wash garments in cool to warm water with mild detergent and line dry.

2.  REPAIR:  I darn my socks while I watch movies.  Some of them end up with many different coloured yarns in the heel.  I am not offering to darn your socks for you, but I will repair any Katrin Leblond Design clothing you bring me.  Just bring your items to the store and we’ll fix them up to the best of our abilities. Repairs that we are responsible for (manufacturing defects) are  free. KL clothes that have experienced normal wear and tear will be repaired at a fair price. I do not repair clothes that are not from my store, but can recommend an excellent alterations shop.

3.  SECOND HAND: If you don’t want a certain piece of KL clothing anymore or can’t think of anyone to give it to, simply drop it off at my store and we’ll donate it to “Le Chainon”.  It needs to be clean and in decent condition.  Please attach a note to it that clearly says “donation”.  It’s important that good quality clothing stay in circulation as long as possible. Let’s keep it out of the landfill.

 

I design clothing because I love what I do and my designs allow women who love my work to feel creative and self expressed.  I make environmental decisions as a business woman all the time.  I feel like I can have a big (big in my little world) impact on the environment by applying my philosophy to my business decisions.

I purchase 90% Montreal made fabrics, threads, buttons and zippers. Yes Ladies, the textiles I use are actually made in Montreal.  It goes without saying, that all the cutting and sewing is done in Montreal as well.  I started buying Montreal textiles because I worked as a textile designer at a local knitting mill when I graduated from Concordia Fine Arts.  I fell in love with industrial production.  Now I love manufacturing.  I feel exhilarated by factories and industrial machines.  I am  proud to contribute to Canada’s manufacturing economy by producing over 2000 garments per year.

Thread and Fabric: I buy Montreal made thread because it supports local businesses, and because of its superior quality.  It doesn’t break in my sewing machines(Hooray!)  If you have ever sewn, you know how annoying it is to re-thread a sewing machine. It actually saves time using quality thread.  And finally, I buy Montreal made fabric because the carbon footprint of moving 150 rolls of fabric 5 km instead of 10’000 (how far is China anyway?), well that has to be worth something to Mother Earth.

I can’t do this alone, so I ask you, my clients, to make an effort to prolong the life of your clothes.

Love, Katrin

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